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I picked up this gem recently. I hadn't however heard much of it and what I heard did not sound to appealing to me at the time... At first listen I thought that the magical essence of Opus Eponymous was nowhere to be found. But repeated listens led me to the verdict that this amazing piece of music.. erm, more like "cinematic art", must be experienced straight through in one go, it reminds me of Black Sabbath's mighty release Sabotage which contains extremely diverse and somewhat operatic pieces that it can't simply be judged in the usual song by song formula. Although I shall mention all songs and my thoughts on them.
First off, the production is real clean and tight. It's not much of a challenge trying to distinguish from which album a ghost song is from just by digesting the production. All instruments sound amazing and so do the vocals by good ol' Papa. The use of additional vocal lines played simultaneously is one of the best features on the album and the delivery is awe-inspiring. Same goes for the synth which really shines through in songs like "Monstrance Clock" and "Secular Haze".
Now for the songs. Quite interesting indeed when it comes to diversity as no one song sounds similar to another and the genre ambiguous attitiude of the album gives it an edge when it comes to some of the unorthodox styles that are executed here. We of course have collosal epics that really deliver the "cathedral"-like atmosphere such as the meaty "Year One" and the humorous before-mentioned "Secular Haze". Certain songs do give off a surfer-rock feeling such as "Body and Blood", "Idolatrine" and the poppiest of all, "Jigolo Har Meggido". Other tracks go for more melancholic and proggressive routes such as the huge bastard of a track "Ghuleh/Zombie Queen" with its amazing chorus.. In fact, Ghost can really come up with some catchy-ass chorus lines, my personal favourite being the marching goodness of "Per Aspera Ad Inferi". I did expects something similar to "Con Clavi Con Dio", "Ritual" or "Stand By Him" at first listen but even without something reminiscent of those classic beasts, this album pulls through even stronger than its predecessor.
Let's go for standout moments, instead of standout tracks (because who the hell won't enjoy EVERY single one of these pieces):
Fantastic and melodic verse of "Depth of Satans Eyes"
The lead from "Infestissumam" into "Per Aspera Ad Inferi" (including the great chorus of the latter track)
Chorus and synthy part in the great closer, "Monstrance Clock"
The outro of "Ghuleh/Zombie Queen"
Beatles-esque chorus of "Body and Blood"