Thursday, 18 April 2013
Ghost Infestissumam Album Review.
I'm sure many of you who regularly visit here know that I am as much a fan of music as I am horror, so I thought I would begin to include more album reviews here too, as we are in Doctor Carnage's world of horror, and horror has never been confined to a single medium.
I am going to begin by reviewing Ghost's sophomore album Infestissumam. I was incredibly impressed by Ghosts debut album Opus Eponymous, which bought to mind a heavier Uriah Heap, with the Satanic message of Mercyful Fate, and the horror theatrics of Alice Cooper, only taken to the extreme. The band are a six piece, and five out of the six members are cloaked, hooded and wear masks so their identities are not revealed. The vocalist on the original album was Papa Emeritus, who for the second album, has been replaced by Papa Emeritus II. His voice and movements have also been passed along to the the new Pope of evil. The character of Papa Emeritus/Papa Emeritus II is that of a man who has a skull painted on his face and is decked out in a robe decorated with three times six inverted crosses.
The band are mysterious, and one would be forgiven for thinking they make one hell of an unholy racket akin to Archgoat or Behexen. But as mentioned earlier, on their debut, they were much closer to Uriah Heap.
Opus Eponymous, conceptually, told of the coming of the antichrist, while Infestissumam deals with him already being here, and that most blasphemous past time, Sex.
The new album picks up with 'Infestissumam', an opening homage to the infernal one with chants before breaking down into a beautiful lead riff that has elements of early Iron Maiden. Then we move into the second track, Per Aspera Ad Inferi (Through Hardship to Hell). This song is the one that most closely resembles the Ghost of the past album. A heavy rhythmic riff breaks into a keyboard ridden verse, with Papa's smooth vocals creating an almost hypnotic atmosphere.
What follows is Secular Haze, another hypnotic head trip that bought to mind Italian prog rockers Goblin. Keyboard swirls as the drums keep time with a 3/4 time signature, which gives the music an incredibly uneasy feeling. The lyrics are just as dark, but also incredibly beautiful, and again manage to stick in your head for long after you have listened to the track.
Next up is Jigolo Har Megiddo an ode to sex, with the line " I am the one lacivious" repeated to great effect. The riff again is incredibly rhythmic and the song considerably up-tempo, almost to the point of being danceable.
Next comes a love song to a Succubus, titled Guleh/Zombie queen. The first part of the song features a beautiful piano part, partly drenched in sorrow, then turning into something which again sounds like it should be featured in an Italian horror movie. Halfway through, the song morphs into what can only be described as Surf pop. It really does sound like something The Beach Boys could have recorded.
Then we have Year Zero. The song begins with chants for six different names for Satan, before launching into an amazing riff backed up with a disco beat. The chorus is one of the strongest on the album, backed up by an infernal choir all chanting "Hail Satan, Archangelo, Hail Satan, Welcome Year Zero".
Body and Blood comes next. A slower number that bought to mind 60's rockers Mama's and Papas (my mother is a big fan of 60's music). The vocal melody sounding like something they would have sang. A beautiful song mocking holy communion and its cannibalistic connotations.
Next is Idolatrine, which begins with a gorgeous keyboard led intro before again being layered with sweet vocal melodies and a danceable riff. The vocal hooks on this album are amazing! This song is a comment on religion in general, but it does it in a way that doesn't come across as serious, which is incredibly clever, as the majority of satanic bands out there ask so much of their listeners.
Depth of Satan's Eyes comes next, and is another foray into the heavier side of Ghost's repertoire. Filled with a pounding riff and sweet saccharine vocals, this is another song that will be lodged in your head for days.
The album ends with the amazing Monstrous Clock. The vocal melodies, as they are on every song, are sweet, and deceptively soothing, which draws you ever deeper into the music. The chants of "Come together, together as one. Come together, for Lucifer's son" will be going around in your head for hours after listening.
Lets get one thing straight.This album is not in any way, shape or form a metal album. It defies all genre classification. Ghost are in a league of their own. It's as simple as that.
The songwriting on Infestissumam has increased so much since the debut, the arrangements are more well rounded and more technical. Ghost have proven that it is possible to be original in any genre, and I for one hope they continue on this path.
I urge each and every one of you to check out Infestissumam. You will find not only one of the greatest rock albums released in the past 30 years, but one of the most amazing bands in the existence of music.