Ghost first perked up my interest because of the way they looked & acted. A group made up of 6 members, 5 of which wear hooded robes & call themselves ‘the nameless ghouls’ while the singer wears a skull mask & a cardinal outfit.
When I listened to the first album ‘Opus Eponymous’ I was stunned, I don’t know what I expected but it certainly wasn’t a Black Sabbath/Merciful Fate-esqe combination. I wasn’t to sure about it at first & the heavily satanic lyrics also took me by surprise. Over several listens I found myself enjoying it more & more & while the album isn’t a wall-to-wall classic it ranks up there as a favourite for me now.
Anticipation for the new album, Infestissumam was high & there was a lot pressure on Ghost to repeat their previous success.
The opening song shares the album title, Infestissumam & is a combination of choir-esqe vocals & a killer riff. It’s like its signalling the introduction of the antichrist & it flows seamlessly into Per Aspera ad Inferi where Papa Emeritus gets to showcase that amazing voice of his. It could have been lifted from the first album if it wasn’t for the killer chorus that sees the unholy one chanting “Per Aspera ad Inferi” backed up by chilling keyboard notes & a nice drum beat.
The first single, Secular Haze follows putting me in the mind of waltz’s & carnivals. You can’t help but imagine a satanic masquerade ball with all kinds of grotesque creatures dancing while Ghost plays on the nearby stage. Papa’s voice really soars throughout proving that there are few singers now who can match him.
Jigolo Har Megiddo has a much faster tempo & I found my foot involuntary tapping along to the simple yet effective drum beat. Watch out for the killer guitar solo about halfway through. What follows came as surprise as the eerie sounds of Ghuleh ring out. Driven by keyboards, a light bit of drumming & an emotional sounding Papa Emeritus, it is a lovely piece of work. It is split with the party vibe of Zombie Queen which made me think of a thousand horror movies.
The 2nd single was called Year Zero & had a controversial video alongside it (check it out). This is one of my favourite songs on the album with its opening chants of Belial, Behemoth, Beelzebub,
Asmodeus, Satanas & Lucifer it feels deliciously evil. The chorus is a highpoint as Papa Emeritus welcomes the devil to year zero while sounding less like he did on any of the other tracks.
They take it down a notch for Body & Blood delivering a much slower sound that borders on soulful at times. It’s a subdued effort that is welcome after the pace of the previous songs & you won’t often hear many singers croon “receive, consume, receive, consume, digest. Defecate & pull it off so convincingly.
The album draws to a close & with the previous Ghost album the latter half of the album tended to be a bit weaker then the start but thankfully that is not the case this time. By no means bad, the song Idolatrine isn’t likely to stay in the memory for long. Depths of Satan’s Eyes fairs better & has a nice & catchy chorus just watch who you sing it around.
The final song on the album is Monstrance Clock, a dark & moody affair that feels very final. The keyboards mixed with the command that we should ‘come together as one, for Lucifer’s son’ gives visions of the most evil black mass possible. This song will be an absolute banger live….
Ghost - Infestissumam (Loma Vista Recordings)