Sol Invictus - The Cruellest Month
Acoustic, Neofolk Time away can be a very good thing sometimes and after the release of their last album "The Devil's Steed", it was clear to one and all that Sol Invictus needed a break. While the return to a more classic sound was appreciated by some, it was a bit dull considering the splendid back catalog Tony Wakeford and company have gifted us since 1987. Wakeford's been busy putting out solo albums and also resurrecting his classical ensemble L'Orchestra Noir with a stunning record entitled "If" in 2010. Every few years this band put out a definitive release and 'The Cruellest Month' is one of them. Also of note, even though most will not find it so, is the beautiful release he did with Matt Howden "Wormwood". It's a never ending fountain of varied and brilliantly inspired work which issues forth from this fellow.

His collaborative album with Nurse With Wound's Steven Stapleton was also recently re-issued in an expansive new version, lord knows what else is lurking in that labyrinth of a vault of his. But back to cases, it's all too easy to get off topic critiquing an individual with such an immense body of work...

This is easily the finest hour Sol Invictus have had since the incredible "In a Garden Green" over a decade back. The overall musicality and creativity of his other projects has only widened the scope of Sol Invictus' abilities. I do find myself enjoying the militancy some of this work possesses, it has been a while since this band have had so much fire in their belly. Wakeford's new creative partner M provides an ample foil to the somewhat nihilistic bent this band's director is given over to. There are many many beautiful moments which are so fragile you almost don't want to speak while listening or they'll crumble before your very eyes. June is very strange month to release something like this, which is extremely dark and wintery in tone. Be that as it may, don't be dissuaded by the mood "The Cruellest Month" conjures, it's a fine fine example of splendid musical craftsmanship. To have such dynamic power with so little in terms of arrangement speaks volumes for how intrinsically potent this band are to anyone who prefer a challenging listen.

Strangely enough, at first I wasn't very excited about new material from this outfit given how much ground Wakeford has covered on his own in the last six years but as soon as the first song on here finishes it becomes clear just how special the chemistry of Sol Invictus is. Of the original wave of World Serpent acts, only this one remains relevant and with any luck this will change at last; this album is part of a massive boxed set which collects all of the band's work from their debut up until now. There are not many copies of it, but for those who do not have any exposure to this band it is something to look into. Even though I own all that this bunch have put out, I am more than tempted to plunk down the money for all the expanded versions, in particular his 1996 solo album "Cupid and Death" which is on my desert island disc list.

"The Cruellest Month" is an impressive tour de force which incorporates almost every facet of musical exploration this group has investigated while showing new sides to the band. It's all so well sequenced, so victoriously confident and if, as has been rumored, it is to be the final Sol Invictus release then it's an amazing opus to go out on. Here's to many many more, Tony. Bravo!
5
Brutal Resonance

Sol Invictus - The Cruellest Month

9.0
"Amazing"
N/A
Electroracle
Spotify
Released 2011 by Auerbach Tonträger
Time away can be a very good thing sometimes and after the release of their last album "The Devil's Steed", it was clear to one and all that Sol Invictus needed a break. While the return to a more classic sound was appreciated by some, it was a bit dull considering the splendid back catalog Tony Wakeford and company have gifted us since 1987. Wakeford's been busy putting out solo albums and also resurrecting his classical ensemble L'Orchestra Noir with a stunning record entitled "If" in 2010. Every few years this band put out a definitive release and 'The Cruellest Month' is one of them. Also of note, even though most will not find it so, is the beautiful release he did with Matt Howden "Wormwood". It's a never ending fountain of varied and brilliantly inspired work which issues forth from this fellow.

His collaborative album with Nurse With Wound's Steven Stapleton was also recently re-issued in an expansive new version, lord knows what else is lurking in that labyrinth of a vault of his. But back to cases, it's all too easy to get off topic critiquing an individual with such an immense body of work...

This is easily the finest hour Sol Invictus have had since the incredible "In a Garden Green" over a decade back. The overall musicality and creativity of his other projects has only widened the scope of Sol Invictus' abilities. I do find myself enjoying the militancy some of this work possesses, it has been a while since this band have had so much fire in their belly. Wakeford's new creative partner M provides an ample foil to the somewhat nihilistic bent this band's director is given over to. There are many many beautiful moments which are so fragile you almost don't want to speak while listening or they'll crumble before your very eyes. June is very strange month to release something like this, which is extremely dark and wintery in tone. Be that as it may, don't be dissuaded by the mood "The Cruellest Month" conjures, it's a fine fine example of splendid musical craftsmanship. To have such dynamic power with so little in terms of arrangement speaks volumes for how intrinsically potent this band are to anyone who prefer a challenging listen.

Strangely enough, at first I wasn't very excited about new material from this outfit given how much ground Wakeford has covered on his own in the last six years but as soon as the first song on here finishes it becomes clear just how special the chemistry of Sol Invictus is. Of the original wave of World Serpent acts, only this one remains relevant and with any luck this will change at last; this album is part of a massive boxed set which collects all of the band's work from their debut up until now. There are not many copies of it, but for those who do not have any exposure to this band it is something to look into. Even though I own all that this bunch have put out, I am more than tempted to plunk down the money for all the expanded versions, in particular his 1996 solo album "Cupid and Death" which is on my desert island disc list.

"The Cruellest Month" is an impressive tour de force which incorporates almost every facet of musical exploration this group has investigated while showing new sides to the band. It's all so well sequenced, so victoriously confident and if, as has been rumored, it is to be the final Sol Invictus release then it's an amazing opus to go out on. Here's to many many more, Tony. Bravo!
Jun 26 2011

Peter Marks

info@brutalresonance.com
Writer and contributor on Brutal Resonance

Share this review

Facebook
Twitter
Google+
2
Shares

Buy this release

We don't have any stores registered for this release. Click here to search on Google

Related articles

Darkwood - 'Schicksalsfahrt'

Review, Jul 01 2014

Leger Des Heils - 'Licht'

Review, Feb 05 2013

TONTTU - 'Nekrognomekon'

Review, Feb 01 2014

DVAR - 'Zii'

Review, Jun 17 2011

Trinithos - 'Zeichnungen'

Review, Jan 22 2013

Shortly about us

Started in spring 2009, Brutal Resonance quickly grew from a Swedish based netzine into an established International zine of the highest standard.

We cover genres like Synthpop, EBM, Industrial, Dark Ambient, Neofolk, Darkwave, Noise and all their sub- and similar genres.

© Brutal Resonance 2009-2016
Designed by and developed by Head of Mímir 2016