Ghost - Infestissumam (2013) - The same formula in an improved manner - 85% (15/07/14)
Swedish occult rock band Ghost created quite some frenzy three years ago when they released their first strike Opus Eponymous with many catchy tracks somewhere between Mercyful Fate and Blue Öyster Cult. Their satanic lyrics and mysterious images with anonymous band members, led by a mystic singer called Papa Emeritus I, had intrigued many rock fans of all ages and kinds. These days, the band from Linköping is back with a second output entitled Infestissumam, has changed their name to Ghost B.C., and replaced Papa Emeritus I with Papa Emeritus II – but they are clearly the same vocalist, which listeners will quickly recognize.
The band didn’t change its formula one bit. Those who liked the debut record should absolutely get this release as well. Those who think the band is unoriginal and bland won’t have any new reasons to like this record more than the debut. There are, however, a few minimal changes. The songwriting has become a bit more epic and progressive at some points. “Ghuleh / Zombie Queen” is an atmospheric, catchy, epic, progressive, and killer track that clocks at far over seven minutes and never gets boring. In my opinion, this song is the best tune the band has written so far in its career. It’s only slightly superior to the relaxing album closer “Monstrance Clock”, which includes haunting organ sounds and epic chants that lead to a gripping grande finale.
On the other side, the record includes less obvious potential single choices. There are a few catchy songs on here like the circus music inspired “Secular Haze” that reminds me of a mixture of King Diamond and Eden Weint Im Grab and the dark and enchanting “Year Zero” that is danceable and psychedelic at the same time and could come directly from a horror movie score developed by a Black Sabbath and Pink Floyd partnership. The songs have their strengths but despite being the two leading singles, they are not as overtly addicting as “Ritual” or “Elizabeth” from the debut release for example.
Even though one or two weaker tracks like the sleepy “Body And Blood” can be found on this release, it is, in my humble opinion, superior to the debut record overall. The song writing has become more diversified and professional, and though the band is still very much inspired by many occult rock bands of the seventies, they’ve started to add their own touch to it. Many people thought that this band was some sort of a one hit wonder or temporary phenomenon. It isn’t, as this second strike proves those critics wrong. This is one of the rare exceptions where a general hype is at least slightly justified. If you’re able to get over their questionable satanic image, you will discover many addicting songs that you won’t get out of your mind anytime soon. I’m Christian. but this is like watching a great old horror movie – it’s atmospheric and entertaining but you shouldn’t take the image and story all too seriously. So don’t hesitate to grab this record and literally enjoy the hell out of it.
Originally written for Black Wind Metal« Graveyard - The Sea Grave (2013) - Only the atmospheric instrumentals can convince - 60% (15/07/14)Finsterforst - Rastlos (2012) - Solid blackened folk metal without any surprises - 70% (15/07/14) »
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