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The deluxe reissue of the most defining Sol Invictus release, Sol Veritas Lux, celebrates 20 years of Sol Invictus, freshly remastered and presented in a luxurious package. Claim your copy of one of the all time classics of neofolk!
Even in this modern world, it seems every few years, some new resurgence of "folk music" rises out of nowhere and finds a welcoming following.
The latest wave commonly labeled as freak-, psych-, or wyrd-folk has given us such stars as Devendra Banhart, Akron/Family, and Six Organs of Admittance. From the English folk revival of the 60's, to this "New Weird America" movement now in full swing, the quality each of these moments has in common is looking respectfully to the past, while contributing a new twist appropriate to the times.
Just about two decades ago now, another curious folk music movement began to emerge. A strain of English "industrial" groups were looking for ways to impart new meaning into their bleak and frightening noise, and a new and highly creative, "post-industrial" folk music came to life, heavily charged with mystical and philosophical themes. "Neofolk" as it would come to be known is largely defined by early releases by Tony Wakeford's Sol Invictus, alongside fellow pioneer projects Current 93 and Death in June.
2006 now sees the reissue of one of the best and most important releases of neofolk, _Sol Veritas Lux_ by Sol Invictus.
_Sol Veritas Lux_ which combines the debut "Against the Modern World" LP (1987) along with the live "In the Jaws of the Serpent" LP (1988) is likely to rank as one of the most raw listening experiences you can ever find. Playing this album is like calling an arctic blast from Old Pagan Europe. It's cold and it's mean and it offers no apologies. Whatever you think, you are not ready to hear this album.
Over the following years Sol Invictus would smooth out the rough edges and produce many beautiful albums, but there are many who would argue _Sol Veritas Lux_ shows Wakeford and company at their most potent and compelling. It has always stood as one of the best selling Sol Invictus releases.
The 2006 edition of _Sol Veritas Lux_ celebrates nearly 20 years of Sol Invictus, presented in a luxurious package with new liner notes, and freshly remastered by Denis Blackham to bring out even more of its primitive glory. It offers three newly rerecorded bonus tracks showing a current interpretation on the same material.
The most remarkable achievement of Sol Invictus and the neofolk scene would have to be its enduring appeal. New releases and new concerts are received by a loyal cult following year after year. Watching the trends in the music world, it may even turn out the peak is yet to come for Tony Wakeford and friends.
_Sol Veritas Lux_ is the first major Sol Invictus album to be released in an edition specially for North America. _Sol Veritas Lux_ is promoted & distributed in North America by Strange Fortune. Release date in North America is end of Summer 2006.
"Sol Invictus blow most over-hyped death folk/psych records out of the water."
The Wire UK
Strange Fortune listener reviews are a free space to share your impressions of the music.
Michael J. Salo says on 17 May 2006
I still remember the shock I felt the first time I heard the first chords of "Against the Modern World."
I found Sol Invictus around ten years ago. I had just begun exploring the fascinating world of "apocalyptic folk" and was devouring whatever I could get my hands on, which was mostly later releases of Current 93 & Death in June. I was enjoying the lush, richly produced songs of these groups but was also ready to get even more adventurous.
Everyone had advised I would also be interested in Sol Invictus, so this was the natural next artist to check out. This stuff was not easy at all to come by at the time, and it happened that all my radio station had in its library was an old vinyl of "Against the Modern World."
I put the needle on the record and was blasted by one of the roughest, bleakest, most stripped down recordings I ever heard, fronted by a singer who had the thickest British accent I ever heard. I got through one song and had to put it away. I wasn't ready for this after all.
Yet it would seem my curiosity was piqued, as I soon found myself coming back for more, assimilating this peculiar little dark-folk record little by little.
Shortly afterward I stumbled on a CD of _Sol Veritas Lux_ for sale the only Sol Invictus available at the shop. It seemed that destiny wanted me to have this one so I went ahead and snatched it for myself without a second thought. Here I found the recording quality of "Against the Modern World" to be a little cleaner than the old record I had been playing. Just when I thought I was getting accustomed to it, the second half of the CD begins and takes the affair down two more notches in primitiveness.
_Sol Veritas Lux_ would vividly strike its chord for me some months later. It was the middle of winter and I was in the middle of nowhere, upstate New York, on a long road trip. I was trying to get someplace and I was late. Much to my despair one of the biggest snowstorms I ever encountered began coming down. The storm ended up stopping traffic completely, leaving me stopped in place for four hours. There was nothing to do but sit there, watch the snow and listen to some music.
I passed the hours on that trip with all kinds of music but what I remember the most is Sol Invictus _Sol Veritas Lux_. The primitive structure of this music, the stark feeling of the guitar chords and percussion, the mysterious atmosphere radiating from the keyboard lines, the severe lyrics on themes of nature and power, delivered about as coldly and mercilessly as nature herself. This music made the most perfect sense in an unforgettable way.
I went on to collect and enjoy all the Sol Invictus albums. While on the surface this first release may not compare with such lush masterworks as _In the Rain_ or _Hill of Crosses_, _Sol Veritas Lux_ forever glows with a certain raw creative energy you can't find in any of the others.
Alongside essential classic Wakeford songs such as "Angels Fall" and "Summer Ends," you get some real gems delivered by Ian Read (later of Fire + Ice) a very strange guy with some brilliant moments. Read is possibly the only vocalist who could equal Wakeford for odd distinctiveness.
The live "In the Jaws of the Serpent" portion of the program is rough going, fascinating listening that shows an early take on many great songs that would appear on later Sol albums. An interesting note is the beloved Rose McDowall lends a hand here... on drums of all things. "In the Jaws of the Serpent" is noticeably smoothed out on the new reissue of _Sol Veritas Lux_.
The instrumental industrial track "The Joy of the World" is included once again, as well as new bonus tracks of songs rerecorded from "Against the Modern World" that I have been enjoying quite a bit.
_Sol Veritas Lux_ is a release in a category of one. It's impossible to imagine Sol Invictus going back and making music like this again. It's hard to imagine anyone making another recording like this. All Sol Invictus fans need to hear this album.
It's quite an honor for Strange Fortune to be entrusted with overseeing a new edition of this strange & exquisite classic. If it does well enough _Sol Veritas Lux_ is to be just the first in a series of deluxe reissues, order your copy and help us make it happen!
pif242 says on 13 Sep 2006
Wow finally it's out... and it was absolutely worth the wait. It is one of the few albums of Sol Invictus that I did not have and had a hard time finding (even on e-bay). I easily understand why this album has propulsed Sol Invictus into becoming the legend they are today. It is raw, powerful, strong and fragile at the same time. Even though we all prefer other albums (In The Rain appears to be a popular choice) it was a good taste of things to come. The guitar and the singing (both by Ian Read and Tony Wakeford) have a depth not common in Neofolk. If you are a Sol Invictus fan (and even if you're not actually) you owe it to yourself to discover this historic release. Way way way above the mass, so much better than early DIJ (which is already excellent by the way), one of the few artists from the turn of the century that should be recognized for leaving a profound mark on music.
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