October 26, 2010
Take a 70's Rock band, make them listen to NWOBHM, teach them a few Mercyful Fate songs, replace their singer with a Pink Floyd fan and lock them all up in a satanic cult for a few years. Sounds strange to you? Well, that's the best way I can describe Ghost.
Ghost is a band from Sweden that started in 2008. They became 'famous' when Fenriz from Darkthrone named them his band of the week on his blog in april of 2010. They have since then put out a 7" and now there is Opus Eponymous. So was Fenriz right or is this all bark and no bite?
The first thing you notice is that these guys are very serious about their 'Satanic' imagery. Just take a look at the artwork and the band photo that features a grimreaper like priest. Even when they play live they dress up in robes, think Sunn O))), and the singer is dressed like the priest on the cover of the album. And they don't just draw the line there. Lyrically this cd sound like a 70's version of black metal. Remember those old Hammer Horror Movies? Well, all the stuff that happened in those movies is lyrical content on this cd. Rituals, human sacrifice, Latin verses, death, witches, it's all here. The only thing that had me wondering was the liner note that said all music and lyrics are by A Ghoul Writer. So these guys are an actual satanic cult or the are really good at faking it (the rumour is that these guys all play in other well known bands and just don't want their names linked to this project). Either way, the satanical/evil content is over the top but without ever getting hilarious like Steel Panther.
Opus Eponymous has a very 70's hardrock/metal sound. A fuzzy but clear guitarsound, good clean production and an overall sound that is very 70's. Never the 'in your face' loudness that so many bands use these days. Ghost uses a very balanced sound that creates room for all instruments, be it guitars, drums, bass or organ. The great thing about Ghost is that they play a melodic blend of 70's rock and metal which in combination with the clear vocals and lyrical content makes them sound more evil than most contemperary black metal bands out there. Nice sounding guys aren't supposed to sing about Satan. They also seem to have the patent on huge sing-along-choruses. Just listen to 'Ritual' and you'' know exactly what I mean.
This album features 9 songs, 2 of which are instrumentals and which are no more than fillers, needed to pass the 30 minute mark, in my opinion. They are not bad in any way, but I would have liked to see 2 or 3 more 'real' songs. The other 7, on the other hand, are great vintage rock songs and will make sure that the buzz about this band isn't just about their look but even more so about the music.