Album ReviewsReviews

Review: Sol Invictus - The Bad Luck Bird (2010)

artist: Sol Invictus
release: The Bad Luck Bird
format: 7″
year of release: 2010
label: Auerbach / Proph­ecy
dur­a­tion: 7:14

detailed info: dis​cogs​.com

It’s been quite a wait, but after almost five years, 2010 sees the release of new Sol Invictus stu­dio mater­ial. A full-length album is upcom­ing on Auerbach/Prophecy, but this 7″ is the first taste of what is to come on The Cruelest Month.

And that is, not sur­pris­ingly, clas­sic neo­folk as it is not often made any­more these days. Main­stays of the genre like Cur­rent 93 and Death in June have moved into dif­fer­ent ter­rit­or­ies or rel­at­ive silence since the early and mid-nineties, which can be con­sidered the hey­day of this par­tic­u­lar sound. And as for later bands, we’ve seen some qual­ity mater­ial here and there dur­ing the past ten years, but on the whole, the genre seems to be in low gear.

Who bet­ter than Sol Invictus would come with new mater­ial to cel­eb­rate this tra­di­tional neo­folk sound? The A-side is a rous­ing and swoop­ing song with strong per­cus­sion, a gui­tar chord base, and lead roles for flute, violin, and cello. The track is a logical but more power­ful con­tinu­ation of sounds from 2005’s The Dev­il’s Steed, and pretty much embod­ies the side of neo­folk ded­ic­ated to grandeur and mar­tian feel­ings. “Stella Maris” explores the calmer, more mys­ter­i­ous side of the music, without let­ting go of the full instru­ment­a­tion.

If this style is any indic­a­tion of what will fea­ture on the upcom­ing album, it is some­thing to look for­ward to, espe­cially if you have a soft spot for Sol Invictus’ par­tic­u­lar neo­folk style. I must say that I was a bit dis­ap­poin­ted by the overly mod­est pack­aging and lay­out of this lim­ited 7″. In this digital age, vinyl buy­ers like to be rewar­ded with a dash of col­our, a gate­fold, or even an insert or inner sleeve would’ve been nice. Apart from that though, this is a very enjoy­able single that shows Mr. Wake­ford and his merry band have still got it.

Reviewed by O.S.


A. The Bad Luck Bird (Single Ver­sion) (3:37)
B. Stella Maris (3:37)