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Videos (13)


Sol InvictusThe Cruellest Month

Label:Auerbach Tonträger – AB031
CD, Album


1Raining In April2:34
2To Kill All Kings4:50
3The Sailor's Aria1:38
4Fool's Ship
Lyrics ByNahum Tate
7The Bad Luck Bird4:14
8April Rain5:33
9Cruel Lincoln7:59
10Something's Coming4:11
11Stella Maris3:26
12The Cruellest Month5:45
13The Blackleg Miner3:23

Companies, etc.



Comes in digipak.

Barcode and Other Identifiers

  • Barcode: 884388303126
  • Label Code: LC 10160
  • Matrix / Runout: manufactured by optimal media production AB39360-01
  • Mastering SID Code: ifpi L574
  • Mould SID Code: IFPI 9708


TigerTR7's profile picture
A tour de force, composed just when it all came together, an assembly of a bohemian cast that includes a desire to Kill all Kings - delivered with gusto by Andrew King. As an album it sounds akin to a company of strolling players descending on a 17th century bawdy Southwark tavern - oh it brims with frothing ale and slaps its thighs in jest to suddenly reveal a door to the Hourglass Sanatorium. The sounds revel in the resonances of the past, melancholic strums, forever pattering with echoes connecting to a world that has long since disappeared, yet conjured up here in deft tones. South London is an area that has often been filled with lethal violence and yet this also captures a certain poetry drenched in blood, cavorting within an area that never quite succumbed to the ennui of the northern spectres of the city - these bourgeois climes are far safer but much more bland.

Andrew King adds a wry smile and the wink to the proceedings - providing the glint to the iris of the eye, as the players are balanced on a rope stretched outward between him and a connection to Tony's perspective - a land where pessimism slowly turns to nihilism, as any shred of innocence flows over the spit and then burns itself on the charcoal of its incandescent remains.

It is shambolic and sublime album where the bad luck bird sings its song of death to capture the spirit of life -it is both beautiful and deadly

henrybogarde's profile picture
The worst of Sol Invictus. Sorry but Neofolk is dead.
marks's profile picture
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 Cruelest 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 Cruelest 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!