As I listen to the new album more and more, I like it more and more (I've already liked it after the first listening, but now I like it even more). The first really good Sol Invictus record after about 15 years.
After few extra spins I love this album even more. Once Upon a Time is a wonderful, well-rounded addition to Sol Invictus' grandiose discography. Anderson did a great job on it - his well-balanced guitar-work really added a lot of refreshing, embellishing textures to a solid Sol Invictus formula. Also, Wakeford's vocals are exceptionally good. Live long and prosper, Sol Invictus!
I already love the new album, after only one spin. To be honest it seems a little uneven, but one can not deny its soul, freshness, and good old Sol Invictus-style pessimistic flair, which is ironically decadent in itself. Yeah!
Of what I've sought out of Sol Invictus' work I think "Lex Talionis" is my favorite. "In the Rain" is an easier listen and as such I've listened to it more, but the blend on "Lex Talionis" of neofolk and industrial (with maybe some of the post-punk vibe of his earlier works thrown in) really makes it a beautiful singularity of an album and one of the most perfect fusions of the involved genres. Other half industrial/electronic, half neofolk albums like C93's "Imperium" or DiJ's "Nada!" don't create the same atmosphere or feeling that SI's opus manages to. Though Wakeford later rejected the naïve anti-modernism you can find on "Lex Talionis" I find the themes rather appropriate for what the album delivers musically. "Lex Talionis" is truly a classic.