Sol Invictus - Once Upon a Time
15 songs (53'00'')
Release year: 2014
Reviewed by Jared

Since 1987, Tony Wakeford (ex-Death in June, Above the Ruins) has been keeping things solo with his project Sol Invictus. After leaving his controversial solo project Above the Ruins, Sol Invictus was born. Working and collaborating with many musicians since its creation, Sol Invictus rides on the heels of rock with a neofolk driven atmosphere.

The newest album, Once Upon a Time, not only sounds neofolk, but extremely medieval in sound. It’s another great change of pace again this year with this rather unique listen. Acoustic guitars open things up with along with a simple guitar solo in The Devil’s Year. The Devil on Tuesday follows, displaying a strong neofolk sound. The vocals on the first track were a bit dull for my taste, but getting farther into the song, it did have a sort of catchiness that became enjoyable at the chorus.

The title track Once Upon a Time, is a bit of a more rocking acoustic tune with a rather oceanic feel to things. It’s a pretty solid track, but the vocals did become a bit tiresome with most of their monotone sounding approaches. The Path Less Traveled is one of these examples. Between the thundering drums and the classical instruments, it was just extremely hard to appeal to them.

Progressing further, Mr Cruel comes off as sounding like an obscure sounding Stairway to Heaven. Vocals here are a bit more colorful and fit the song better than most. At this point most of the songs follow a strictly slow tempo, but on later tracks like Our Father, acoustic guitars pick up the pace. But its short lived and the album jumps immediately back to its slow nature. However, more beautiful songs like Austin, a completely instrumental piece towards the end, really captures some lovely sounds before it is all said and done.

England’s Sol Invictus was a different sounding band than I was expecting. Its rock style neofolk is pleasing to the ear at times, but much of it lacked that certain vigor of memorability. The vocals were a bit difficult to get used to overall throughout the entire album, but it is far from being a terrible record.

Killing Songs :
The Devil on Tuesday, Once Upon a Time, Austin
Jared quoted 68 / 100
Other albums by Sol Invictus that we have reviewed:
Sol Invictus - The Cruellest Month reviewed by Goat and quoted 80 / 100
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