If you consider yourself part of the metal community, there is almost no chance you have not heard of the mysterious Ghost. Whether you think the hype generated is deserving or not they have gathered themselves a huge following, including the likes of James Hetfield and Phil Anselmo. Whilst touring extensively, quite recently headlining above metal giants Gojira, they have managed to gain some studio time and record their follow up to 2010’s Opus Eponymous. This follow up may push them closer to mainstream success, something The Accuser will no doubt revel, preferring ‘satanised’ to sanatised music.
Already into the first three tracks you can already feel this album will grip you. The songs that they have included in their set lists recently (The title track, ‘Per Aspera Ad Inferi’, ‘Secular Haze’, ‘Year Zero’ and ‘Monstrance Clock’) are probably the easiest to listen to, as well as being the best tracks that hit you straight away. The use of melody is catchy and not cheap. Some of the passages will be in your head for the rest of the day, but you’ll connect with them in a special way (despite the fact they’re singing about Lucifer). Other songs such as ‘Ghuleh/ Zombie Queen’ and ‘Idolatrine’ initially appear less interesting, probably due to their difference to other songs by Ghost, but by the end of the final passages they win you over. Satan’s evil is lessened by the elegance and beauty of the music, opted not to scream and shout for the Devil to come forth, making the unholy antagonist seem merely just misunderstood.
The ambition is greater, keyboard sweeps akin to progressive rock even more prevalent, and the band have employed talents not familiar with the band. Apparently using a church choir for ‘Monstrance Clock’ and the use of classical strings for ‘Body And Blood’. These talents may be found within the band, unless everyone involved is anonymous as the credits state ‘All Selections Are Performed By Para Emeritus II And A Group Of Nameless Ghouls.’ Sadly the magic of Ghost is not massively within the music and without the enchanting spectacle to view intoxication may not come to those who do not throw their mind open. That said it’s easier to gain a greater understanding of the music.
Thankfully this album is similar enough to the debut it won’t turn many true Ghost fans away yet there is still the feel of evolution. There will definitely be many more followers once people begin talking about this album and whilst songs like ‘Idolatrine’ may seem unfinished at first. The majority of this album however has the makings of a classic and is a nice, refreshing take on an old genre. Nick Rasculinez has done a fantastic job producing and mixing this album. If you don’t end up singing ‘come together, together as one, come together, for Lucifer’s son’ and drowning in this strange beautiful track, this album will be lost on you.
May they forever remain anonymous.
Verdict – 4/5 Stars
Release Date – April 16th 2013