The extreme hype over Swedish masked horror-rockers Ghost is one thing that left me feeling slightly hesitant over reviewing their so-far only album, Opus Eponymous. At first I thought the album was, as expected, not at all worth the fuss stirred up in the media here in Sweden. The praise was almost nauseatingly unanimous. The fact that the members' identities are kept a big public secret was also a fact that made me really not interested at all in this band. I of course listened to the record, but it left me feeling little else than just a big shrug of the shoulders coming.
This was before I saw the band at this year's Getaway Festival. The show made me realize two things: firstly that the band really should be experienced live. Secondly, the songs so boring sounding on record were lifted to such heights that I naturally had to go back and listen to it again.
Paying tribute to such bands as Mercyful Fate and King Diamond is one factor of Ghost. But don't expect such aggressiveness as these bands deliver. Ghost is first and foremost a very melodicsounding hardrock-band, sounding almost a bit weak. If it wasn't for the lyrical content that is a pure satanic wordfest. The discrepancy between the music and the lyrics is what makes this record so truly great. Take the song Ritual for example - the almost popesque feeling given is very soft. And then you get a chorus with the lyrics "The Chapel Of Ritual smells of dead human sacrifices". Brilliant!
The songs are all so good, and the only songs I like less are Death Knell and Prime Mover. Not that these are bad, it's just that the other ones are so much better. Stand By Him has a chorus most bands would kill to come up with, and the instrumental closer Genesis builds up to such emotional heights that you are left gasping.
If you're into melodic music, you'll do well in checking Opus Eponymous. It might not live up to the hype but still is a killer album.
also review of: Infestissumam