Sunday, July 24, 2011

Review: Ghost - Opus Eponymous

Band: Ghost
Album: Opus Eponymous
Year: 2010
Genre: Heavy Metal

The Swedish band Ghost have been getting rave reviews from most in the metal press. At first I couldnt understand exactly why. I mean I heard a couple tracks off of Opus Eponymous while listening to the Reqiuem Metal Podcast's Best of 2010 podcast episode, but I wasnt quite sure what all the hype was about. The songs were good but I think it took listening to the album as a whole to recognize how impressive this release is.

The guys play in the old school stylings of Mercyful Fate and Blue Oyster Cult. The BOC influences really are the most noticeable to my ears. I mean if you have heard Don't Fear the Reaper (and who hasnt?) you have a good idea what this album sounds like. But I think all the tracks here are on the same level of awesomeness as DFtR.

The album starts with the ominous Deus Culpa which is an instrumental done completely with an organ. It reminds me a lot of the stuff often played in churches. All of the material on Opus Eponymous is extremely catchy and chalk full of melodies. The songs Ritual and Satan Prayer are the two at the forefront of this masterful show of melodicism. Death Knell is at times a more plodding and borderline doomy. The use of keyboards and effects near the end of the song are pretty cool too.

Speaking of keys, I usually HATE keyboards but they add dont hinder the album at all and the album wouldnt be the same without them. The bassist plays some sweet riffs and I can happily say he is plenty audible for the duration of the album! In fact he is given the spot light in a few songs (Prime Mover especially and at the start of Con Clavi Con Dio).

As I mentioned earlier the album is ultra catchy and credit must be given to who ever wrote the riffs here. The guitarists have created some really impressive throw back music that isnt just a clone of old school heavy metal but would fit perfectly in that time period. It is by no means technical in any way shape or form but it isnt meant to be.

The vocalist of Ghost sings with a natural way about him. He doesnt sound like he is forcing it and seems completely comfortable where he is. That would be bad news if his voice sucked but the guy has got an awesome voice. It reminds me even of the vocalist from the BOC.

If I were to describe this album in one word it would be: fun. Whether its the hokey satanic lyrics, the halloweenish atmosphere, the sing song vocal melodies, or the captivating music, this album is plain ole fun. I mean this would be great music to throw on around halloween and get into the spirit. Ghost have created a masterpiece of retro metal here but to beat this with their sophomore album will be a massive undertaking. One thing is for sure, the metal masses will be impatiently awaiting whatever new material they have waiting for us in the future.

Score: 9/10
Standout Tracks: Ritual, Satan Prayer, Elizibeth

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