Ladies and gentlemen, the time of Necropolis is upon is.
With the possible exception of Current 93, there is no band that has influenced the neofolk genre like Sol Invictus. It’s not merely that they brought the simple beauty of the pared-down English folk ballad to the modern musical lexicon, or that they rebuilt it with lush classical and noisy elements that conveyed its often mystical nature. Without Sol Invictus, it is impossible to understand the rediscovery of Celto-British folklore that moves alongside the neofolk genre. Their progeny range from shameless imitators to thoughtful innovators, but there is only one Sol.
However, it would border on criminal (well, musically criminal, which is a category that should absolutely exist) to characterize Sol Invictus as simply a “neofolk band”. Their oeuvre includes tracks that are more chamber fare than troubadour or gritty post-punk inflected rock. They have never been afraid to splice waves or noise or disembodied sound loops with simple melodies.
But perhaps their most magical achievement is the artistic growth they’ve shown without pushing their fanbase away. Whatever new sonic pathways they’ve explored, a hand has been extended to those who have loved their previous work. Our past patronage is never scorned. We are invited along for the journey.
Thus it is with Necropolis, which is both a summation of the band’s thirty-year journey and very much its own beast. Tony Wakeford, the band’s originator and creative force, describes the album as reflecting his feelings on the city of London. Once arguably capital of the world, Wakeford describes London now as “the playground of other empires that have superseded it.” The album is named for The London Necropolis Railway, a railway line that has connected London with the Brookwood Cemetary since 1854. But the moniker is also a nod to Wakeford’s perception that the town is now “a London of mausoleums and masonry” and “a city haunted by the customs and crimes of the dead and the living.”
Today, we have the great honour of hosting an exclusive preview of Necropolis, which will be released tomorrow on Prophecy Productions. Once again, it is something that both fans and new listeners can treasure.
It’s rumoured that this will be the final Sol Invictus album, but it’s not been confirmed.
You can order Necropolis here. And you should.