Please be seated for the continuation of a terrifying heavy metal sermon in the return of Ghost. Sporting a brand new look to accompany the release of their third album Meliora, this Swedish 6-piece is preparing their ascent to the grandest pulpit atop the musical landscape.
Okay, I know exactly what you’re thinking. But remember, as kids we were always taught “never judge a book or its silver-faced demon spawn by its cover”. Nevertheless, Ghost (formerly known as Ghost B.C.) unquestionably stir up differing emotions and opinions amongst those who lay eyes upon them. While some may be offended by their Satanic symbolism or ridicule their extravagant appearance, one can’t help but marvel at the enigmatic figures of Papa Emeritus III and his band of “Nameless Ghouls”, whose rapidly growing congregation of fans include none other than Foo Fighters’ frontman Dave Grohl.
As an album, Meliora (Latin for “the pursuit of something better”) can be interpreted as such in its musicality. Evident in tracks like ‘Majesty’ and the first single released from the album ‘Cirice’, Ghost have incorporated a far more aggressive tone with stronger guitar riffs and a generally higher energy. On what is his first album with the group, Papa Emeritus III excellently picks up from where his predecessors (Papa Emeritus I & II) left off and gives the impression that he has been an ever-present fixture in the band. In comparison to their previous offering Infestissumam which included more traditional acoustic sounds, this albums sounds more like it came from a heavy metal band, but still retains some of the elements which makes Ghost so unique. Meliora‘s real strength, however, is lyrically. Using their cult gimmick and religious metaphors as a mask, Ghost attack numerous social issues, from capitalism and societal power; to death and man’s relationship with faith. All of which are accentuated further throughout the jaw-dropping artwork in the CD’s booklet which shall leave you stunned.
On the 24th of August, the day of its release, I woke up and went straight to the shops to buy it. Since then I haven’t stopped listening to it – I love this album. Each song has its own identity and are insanely catchy with strong lyrics and even stronger guitars. The artwork on the front cover and in the aforementioned CD booklet is gorgeous and incredibly detailed. Plus… look at them! They’re everything heavy metal should be: exciting; a musical spectacle; but, most of all, completely different. Ghost’s “pursuit of something better” certainly turned up trumps.
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