• God is a popestar - A review of Ghost's Popestar

    Ghost - Popestar (2016)

    Roughly three years after the underwhelming first extended play If You Have Ghost, the Swedish occult rock phenomenon released this record. Popestar is much more interesting than its forgettable predecessor for the reason that it includes one brand new song which also happens to be one of the best tracks the band has written it is career.

    ''Square Hammer'' finds the right balance between gripping riffs and rhythms on the thin line between hard rock and heavy metal, a gloomy, obscure and occult atmosphere transported by organ sounds and catchy, mellow and saccharine vocals that make especially the chorus an unforgettable experience. The ideas to open the tour supporting this release with this song and to record the band's first live album on that tour were courageous but turned out being successful. This song mixes metal and pop elements in almost equal parts. The brilliant songwriting can be compared to the greatest moments of ABBA and Metallica alike. This is quite a statement but if you don't believe me, just spin this song and let it grow on you.

    The cover songs can't keep up with the astonishing opening track. Eurythmics' ''Missionary Man'' is quite potent with Brian Reed's passionate harmonica performance and Fia Kempe's chilling background vocals. One most also admit that the band didn't choose to cover some of the band's more popular songs and rather adapted this hidden gem into a quite diversified cover song. Imperiet's ''Bible'' comes along in epic proportions with a gigantic chorus and a length of over six and a half minutes. The atmospheric grower somewhat overstays its welcome however.

    In the end, Popestar is a much better extended play than If You Have Ghost three years earlier. This release includes an absolutely outstanding brand new song and the cover versions are overall also a little bit better than on the predecessor. The cover artwork is particularly detailed, creative and beautiful again as well. Still, this release doesn't offer too much value for money in the end and is only interesting for avid collectors and faithful fans. Pick it up for a reasonably reduced price but don't waste ten bucks or more on it.

    Final rating: 67%

    « Occult pop - A review of Ghost's If You Have GhostFlorent Vollant en concert à La Nouvelle Scène Gilles Desjardins à Ottawa »
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