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HARDWARES

GHOST

Infestissumam

(Loma Vista Recordings)

Reviewed by : Jason Deaville
Rating : 9.0

Like it or not, we are in the midst of a full-on revival in metal. A revival that sees everything old becoming new again. A revival in which lush, psychedelic rock passages are infused with the euphonic, harmonious melodies and atmosphere of a bygone era. Spearheading this revival of occult/mysticism-inclined bands is none other than Sweden's eponymous sons of satan, GHOST (known in the US as GHOST B.C. for legal reasons). Literally exploding onto an unsuspecting scene back in 2010 - no doubt with a little help from DARKTHRONE's Fenriz, who lauded the band on his 'Band Of The Week' blog - Ghost have become this generation's BLACK WIDOW and COVEN, particularly as it relates to the satanic imagery of their music and stage act. With their debut album, Opus Eponymous, Ghost demonstrated an uncanny ability to invoke the spirit of such legendary outfits as MERCYFUL FATE and BLUE ÖYSTER CULT. With their recently released sophomore effort, entitled Infestissumam, Ghost have taken that revivalist approach to their craft and leveraged it with an ABBA-esque pop sensibility. This isn't to say the nameless, faceless members of Ghost have taken to wearing funky belts, platform shoes, wigs, and fringes; quite the contrary. In fact, Ghost are still as overtly satanic as ever, they've just softened their approach, making the entire affair feel less forced and contrived. Perhaps this is due to the new Pope, Emeritus II, whose velvety, flocculent voice hypnotizes and seduces; just as the listener is lulled into a false sense of security, songs such as 'Year Zero' and 'Jigolo Har Migiddo' work their diabolical magic with Gregorian-like structures, culminating in some truly memorable progressive passages à la URIAH HEEP and ELOY. Ghost may not fit the definition of extreme metal as most of us have come to know it, but they can definitely blasphemize with the best of the corpsepainted denizens of helvete.



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