|Review: Ghost (Sweden) - Opus Eponymous|
Label: Rise Above Records
Year released: 2010
Review online: December 30, 2010
Reviewed by: Adam Kohrman
Rated 4.32/5 (86.41%) (103 Votes)
It's not every day that a band comes around with the level of hype that Ghost have gotten. Their breed of heavily melodic psychedelic rock meets NWOBHM and stoner doom has been pushed to death by the Internet fanboys. Such popularity can only result in a backlash, and that's exactly what is happening. People are refusing to listen to such a talked about band. Such things happen, and normally the most talked about bands are dumbed down, childish acts hawked at us by record execs. That's not the case here. Ghost may appear stupid at first, with the instrumentalists dressed as druids and the singer as the pope, but these guys have a melodic flow only rivaled by pop bands we are required to hate.
In a lot of ways, this is what I'd expect a metallic Beach Boys to sound like. The songs on the cleverly titled Opus Eponymous are great pop metal singalongs with Satan sprinkled atop them. Guitar parts here are simple but catchy and lead into infectious, spiritedly gleeful choruses. Songs like "Ritual" and "Elizabeth" will certainly be the happiest songs about the smell of rotting flesh and Erzsebet Bathory that you'll ever hear, and that makes it all the better. Ghost aren't trying to outdo the other bands in their field; they just simply have the tools to do so. They can play stoner doom, but have the vocal harmonies that other bands either can't do, or choose not to have. The stripped-down atmosphere of most lightweight stoner doom is absent, but in its place is a broader band capable of more.
Even though Ghost are pushing the boundaries of their rather constraining genre, they themselves have one sound. It doesn't stretch beyond itself. Even me, one of the band's foremost supporters, has to admit that Ghost's songs are limited. As fun as they are, these songs do get old, and don't have the replay value of other bands in the genre, even ones without Ghost's added quirks. After a few spins, the album – especially its second half – becomes a bit tepid and uninspired.
I expect this to be Ghost's only album. They rely heavily on imagery, and while the music is good, it seems to take a backseat for them. Their sound is already succinctly packaged into one cohesive form, with little to grow upon. In all likelihood, Opus Eponymous will be a good but singular entry into the metal world for Ghost.
|Other related information on the site|
|Review: Meliora (reviewed by MetalMike)|
Review: Opus Eponymous (reviewed by MetalMike)
Video: Ritual (Live)
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