A colleague at work tried for literally weeks to get me to buy the band’s first (and only) album, Opus Eponymous and I resisted.
While I love this guy, his taste in music is far more hardcore than mine. Put it this way – I don’t have the new Disfigured Prostitute album but I am pretty sure he does.
I have told him a million times that I like melody with my metal. No screamo cookie monster stuff for me. Well, he must have been paying attention because Ghost is the most catchy devil music I have ever heard.
Yes – the band promotes itself as devil music, a la Mercyful Fate and the like. But I have to think it’s a ruse. The five-piece band dresses in black capes and cowls, with their faces obscured so you can’t see them. They don’t even have names – they are all called Faceless Ghouls in interviews and on promotional material.
All of this raised the chuckle factor for me, but then I got a free offer for Spotify and really had no excuse but to stream up the Ghost album to pacify my friend. That was about a month and a half ago and now I own the album and will see the band tomorrow evening in Portland on its first ever U.S. tour.
If I were to publish a recipe for this band, I’d say blend 50 percent pure Black Sabbath with 25 percent Metallica, 15 percent Genesis, 5 percent Blue Oyster Cult and 5 percent Randy Rhodes-era Ozzy. Does that equal 100 percent? I dunno - math sucks.
The Sabbath and Metallica-infused dark riffage and speedy moments permeate the music, but it’s when they hit that prog-rock percentage that my ears really perk up.
The fifth track, Stand By Him, is a great example of this. Part-way through this very catchy rock song, the band busts into weird time signatures with spooky organ and Steve Hackett-esque hammer-ons and then goes into some very Metallica-inspired heaviness. The song winds its way back to the catchy chorus that sounds like a BOC outtake and ends with some great melodic guitar a la 70s Maiden. What the hell…
The closing instrumental number, Genesis (aptly named) sounds like an outtake from that band’s Foxtrot album. Ending a dark-assed CD like this with a gorgeous dual-acoustic passage is flipping genius.