Ghost - "Opus Eponymous" CD Review (Metal Blade) ~ BrooklynRocks: NYC Music Blog

Monday, March 28, 2011

Ghost - "Opus Eponymous" CD Review (Metal Blade)

STREAM: Ghost - "Ritual" (click-through to

Ghost - 'Opus Eponymous' CD Review (Metal Blade)Sweden’s Ghost take an interesting and engaging twist on the metal genre as the band plays psychedelic alt-rock with clean vocals and harmonies, memorable anthemic melodies and heavily Satanic lyrics. The band released their US debut album Opus Eponymous earlier this year through Rise Above/Metal Blade. This disc was released in Europe last year and Fenriz of Darkthrone listed this album as one of his favorite releases from 2010 – “astounding album but is it heavy metal occultism or death-rock? who cares”.

The music and philosophies of Ghost specifically target "individuals who have a void in their life perhaps caused by some form of emotional trauma or upset" (research suggests these are most likely adolescents); this dearth can then be alluringly filled by Ghost's music and philosophies, "so that in time the easily manipulated will come to share the views and goals of the Coven's ministry and can prepare their own plans for the downfall of humanity."

"Our mission is not as much about conversion as it is about underlining which path you all have chosen to go, and where it will ultimately lead you," declared Ghost in a rare communiqué.

The disc’s nine tracks run just under 35 minutes and the catchy, “death rock” sensibilities of the band make this a disc that could have caught on with a wider audience if not for the blasphemous lyrics. With odes to Satan, a spoken word bastardized version of The Lords Prayer and tales of human sacrifice, Ghost’s lyrical content comes close to rivaling Mercyful Fate and Impaled Nazarene. The band adds to the overall feeling of a satanic ritual in their live show as the six (unnamed) members of Ghost play behind masks and robes and the lead singer dresses as a black pope.

If you can get past the overt Satanism, Ghost has impressive musical chops and Opus Eponymous is a diverse and tightly executed disc. Rounding out the melodic death rock, the disc opens and closes with a pair of instrumentals. The opening track, “Deus Culpa”, adds to the death rock comparisons and is a minute and a half piece held together by a mournful church organ. The final track, “Genesis”, is an aggressive, almost art-rock instrumental.

Ghost’s only scheduled US appearance is at Maryland Deathfest on May 29th.