SOL INVICTUS (UK)
Founded in 1987, Sol Invictus is a band that can best be described as the godfathers of apocalyptic folk, while its leader Tony Wakeford is referred to, alongside Douglas Pearce of Death in June and David Tibet of Current 93, as an originator of the whole neofolk aesthetics. Taking for itself the Invincible Sun, a solar divinity of the ancient Rome, as patron, the band has released over 20 albums, with their music content evolving from a raw and dark, post-punk folk towards more sophisticated, neoclassical arrangements. Tony Wakeford, the only permanent member of the group over its long life span, describes Sol Invictus as a "cabaret band from Hell, playing music for the fin-de-siècle", having coined the term "folk noir" to refer to his art. The group's iconography and the lyrical content of the songs have remained under a strong influence of traditionalism as well as a dislike for the contemporary world and the racing materialism of the contemporary civilisation of the West. Sol Invictus's melancholic songs, to a large extent also inspired by the work of the outstanding American poet Ezra Pound, express longing for a true romantic attitude and a long-lost beauty, love and a culture underpinned by values. Wakeford's pessimistic vision of humanity and inhumanity is extremely distinctive, original and marked by its creator's personal character.