Ghost- Opus Eponymous

By Chris Dahlberg

Published on Sunday, September 26, 2010

Recently there has been an increase in bands that use satanic lyrical content and imagery without playing black metal. While that particular genre is the one typically associated with these themes, groups like The Devil’s Blood have been playing satanic themed classic/progressive rock and traditional heavy metal. One of the latest acts to do so is Ghost, who hail from Sweden and have kept the identities of their members a secret. Their debut album Opus Eponymous features nine tracks of mellow, groove heavy songs that are catchy as hell and this is sure to make Ghost a group people start hearing more about in the months to come.

Ghost clearly takes inspiration from older progressive rock and heavy metal, as there are plenty of heavy groove laden riffs that sound as though they were ripped out of the halls of NWOBHM and keyboard driven melodies that could get the band mistaken for a 70’s prog act. It works quite well, and despite the fact that the album is fairly short (it lasts for a little over half an hour) Ghost seems to have gone for quality over quantity as they make sure that the nine songs have memorable riffs. Despite the fact that the instrumentals have a retro appeal, the modern production values make the album stand out in today’s musical landscape. Overall, Opus Eponymous’ combination of heavy metal and progressive rock works quite well and it is sure to appeal to fans of both styles.

The vocals on this album are very mellow and laid back, which makes it seem even more interesting that they are uttering satanic verses and themes. Now, it’s interesting to note that the band is promoting themselves in such a way because if you listen to these songs casually and don’t pay attention to every single word it isn’t obvious that this is what many of them are about. Ghost’s vocalist has this really light and airy voice that brings classic progressive rock to mind, and this definitely ups the band’s appeal. While I will admit that the instrumentals steal the spotlight at times, the vocals are strong enough to hold your attention.

Opus Eponymous feels slightly mysterious and eerie at times, which seems appropriate considering that Ghost is a band that has chosen to keep the identity of their members a secret and create some occult imagery. If you’re into bands like The Devil’s Blood that have combined satanic poetry with catchy progressive rock then this album is a must have as it has some great tunes. I definitely want to hear more from this group, as their old meets new vibe is truly addicting.

Full Disclosure: Review copy provided by Rise Above Records

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