Swedish metal band Ghost have released their first album, titled Opus Eponymous. Their has been some hype regarding the album due to the fact that no one knows who the members of Ghost are. The press release from Metal Blade Records says that the musicians names are "???". They come onstage in hooded costumes and the lead singer dresses up like a priest. Their have even been rumors that the members of Ghost are famous black and death metal musicians from Europe. Their goal with this album? To "glorify and glamorize the disgusting and sacrilegious."
When I first put this album into my cd player I had no idea what to expect. I was thinking it would probably be black metal along the lines of bands like Immortal and Darkthrone. I couldn't have been more wrong, though. The album begins with a haunting and sad organ instrumental entitled "Deus Culpa". From there the album goes into the first song, "Con Clavi Con Dio". The first thing that stuck out to me was that this band sounded straight out of the early 1980's. This music wasn't brutally heavy and there were no blast beats to be found. The singer even sings in a clean singing voice. The song has a haunting vibe to it (as do all the songs on the album) that brings to mind Melissa era Mercyful Fate.
The third song on the album, "Ritual" sounds like a 70's prog-rock song with a slightly heavier riff and an extremely catchy chorus. However, the chorus on "Ritual" doesn't hold a candle to the awesomness that is the chorus on "Death Knell". The singer calmly sings "666" as if he doesn't really care that he is conjuring up evil spirits. "Satan Prayer" is probably the best song on the album. It has a harmonizing vocal line that glorifys Satan and the band speaks of how they cannot wait for the Anti-Christ. The album closes with another instrumental in "Genesis".
A band hasn't sounded this creepy and scary without screaming and blast beats since Mercyful Fate were in their heyday. This has to be one the top releases so far in 2011. If you like every song to be about Satan, like heavy mid-tempo riffs and somewhat laid-back drums, then this album is for you.
Ghost will be playing at Maryland Deathfest IX on May 29, 2011 in Baltimore, so if you are in the area, check them out.