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Ghost’s sophomore album Infestissumam shows a new, fresh side of Ghost. It is far from their heavy, satanic and doomy debut Opus. It shows the band progressing with more budget and time to spend in the studio. They really deliver a diverse set of music and they show how their influences have grown. Some are bad (circus music Secular Haze) and some are good (surf rock on Ghuleh/Zombie Queen) Still we get a solid and different approach from Ghost overall. While Opus Eponymous can be categorized as doom/heavy metal, Infestissumam is much more varied. Ghost grows before our very eyes with this release and distances themselves from Opus in many ways.
If you listen to this album with an open mind and you are not expecting Opus #2, this is an enjoyable album. We get choir passages, groovy surf rock, catchy hooks and choruses along with a few heavy riffs. This album is not guitar and bass oriented like Opus but it the keyboards and the vocals really drive the album from start to finish. If you need an example check out Secular Haze with the much maligned circus style keyboarding. There is nothing on the album that hits hard with a riff and they are often watered down in the mix unfortunately. That is one of my major gripes with the album as it truly fails to deliver a hard hitting and memorable riff.
Luckily there are plenty of catchy pieces that will stick. The most memorable moment for me is found within the song Body and Blood. The Receive, Consume, Digest, Defecate whisper portion is absolutely unforgettable. Also the aforementioned Ghuleh/ Zombie Queen are a truly epic song. One last memorable portion is the album closer and live show closer Monstrance clock. The sexual innuendo and sing along about Satan is absolutely brilliant.
Infestissumam may be an album you cannot say out loud of spell correctly, but it is certainly a good album. It shows that Ghost is growing and is not afraid to let their influences guide them to higher ground. This album sounds like an album from The Doors combined with satanic themes. I can see why this album is not for a lot of metal heads because there is not a lot of actual heavy metal to be found. It is more like prototype metal or hard rock with a lot of psychedelic influences. Ghost is a very unique band with a lot to offer if you give the music a chance. They shed the music from Opus Eponymous and delivered a whole new bag of tricks with this album. The risk certainly paid off for Ghost as they continue their musical journey for Satan. They are no longer a gimmick band, Ghost is here to stay. Come together, together as one. Come together, for Lucifer’s son.