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Sol Invictus - "Sol Veritas Lux" (CD)

Sol Invictus - "Sol Veritas Lux" CD cover image

"Sol Veritas Lux" track listing:

1. Angels Fall
2. Raven Chorus
3. Against The Modern World
4. Long Live Death
5. A Ship is Burning
6. Untitled
7. Summer Ends
8. Wolf Age, Axe Age
9. Angels Fall (2)
10. Rise and Fall
11. The World Turns
12. The Runes
13. Gold is King
14. TWA Corbies
15. Somewhere in Europe
16. Media
17. Abattoirs of Love
18. Raven Chorus (2)
19. The Joy of the World
20. Angels Fall (3)
21. Against the Modern World
22. Summer Ends

Reviewed by on September 9, 2009

"From beginning to end, 'Sol Veritas Lux' is more than just downplayed or bleak, it’s absolutely apocalyptic."

A re-release of the 1990 album of the same name, “Sol Veritas Lux” is more accurately classified as a neofolk album than a metal one. While Sol Invictus may not have released a disc that has the full force brutality of most modern metal releases, it still has enough of a pull to bring in the metal crowd that enjoys industrial or folk music. To keep the music relevant, the songs have been re-mastered for a fresh sound, and there are three bonus tracks that weren’t present on the original release.

From beginning to end, “Sol Veritas Lux” is more than just downplayed or bleak, it’s absolutely apocalyptic. Uninviting bass lines, desolate guitar riffs, and disheartened vocals all come together for a cheerless and raw expedition into the darker reaches of music. Although each track is relatively short, the album does share some similarities with the doom genre, as the music seems to be more about the journey itself and less about the destination. There are no blast beats or ultra fast guitar lines, but the overall atmosphere is so heavy and dark it still gives off a metal vibe. Besides the depressing mood and heavy atmosphere, most of the tracks have an industrial edge created by liberal use of sound effects.

The vocals would probably completely ruin any other type of music, but they fit the sound of Sol Invictus in a wholly natural way. It’s folksy, miserable, and slightly angry all at once. Potential listeners should be warned that front man Tony Wakeford has an exceedingly thick British accent. Since there are only clean vocals, listeners from the U.S. may find the accent slightly distracting on the first listen through.

There are a few problems that arise throughout the album, most of which are simply a product of the era in which they were written. “Long Live Death” is one of the most notable examples, as the ‘80s style sound comes off as slightly cheesy in a modern day setting. “Wolf-Age Axe-Age” keeps the menacing backing music, but the non-step chanting of the phrase “Wolf Age” in the background creates an odd electronic feel. While the chanting is meant to mesmerize the audience, it can easily become annoying for anyone not in the right frame of mind.

At a whopping 22 tracks, “Sol Veritas Lux” is a worthwhile purchase for anyone who can enjoy the music. The album is primitive and primal without ever coming off as an amateur effort. It won’t please metal fans who require blast beats, blistering guitar solos, and harsh vocals, but it could definitely be appreciated by anyone who likes a heaping dose of atmosphere in their music.

Highs: Heavy and bleak atmosphere, interesting blend of folk and industrial style music.

Lows: There is some repetition between the songs, a few tracks have annoying or cheesy missteps.

Bottom line: A bleak folksy album with heavy industrial undertones. Worth a listen for anyone who enjoys atmosphere over techniciality or brutality.

Rated 3.5 out of 5 skulls
3.5 out of 5 skulls


Key
Rating Description
Rated 5 out of 5 skulls Perfection. (No discernable flaws; one of the reviewer's all-time favorites)
Rated 4.5 out of 5 skulls Near Perfection. (An instant classic with some minor imperfections)
Rated 4 out of 5 skulls Excellent. (An excellent effort worth picking up)
Rated 3.5 out of 5 skulls Good. (A good effort, worth checking out or picking up)
Rated 3 out of 5 skulls Decent. (A decent effort worth checking out if the style fits your tastes)
Rated 2.5 out of 5 skulls Average. (Nothing special; worth checking out if the style fits your taste)
Rated 2 out of 5 skulls Fair. (There is better metal out there)
< 2 skulls Pretty Bad. (Don't bother)