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Ghost is a band I came across on Opeth's April 2012 US tour. At the time, I never heard them before (or even seen them) but I did know they were an opening act that I probably wouldn't care for, so I came a tad late and entered the venue in the middle of their set to six men cloaked in black gowns with their faces unrevealed and thought to myself "this definitely wasn't expected." Their music was also not half bad by what I could hear during their live performance in which I described as "a hybrid of progressive rock and doom metal." Little did I know, I was witnessing a performance of opening act that later grew to be yet another grand addition to my iPod.
This is Ghost's debut album, Opus Eponymous. The musical style that this band portrays is a little hard to describe. To some people I tell them "It's a metal version of The Blue Öyster Cult" and to others, I just proclaim it being "soft metal for the faint of heart." But what Ghost do do best isn't so much in what they sound like, but the fact that nobody knows who these six men are yet perform a style of music that really isn't too shabby.
Many of the tracks on this album range from moderate to slow tempo (usually in between) and most of the tunings of the guitarists aren't the same on two songs. There's even some heaps of surprises every now and then such as spooky keyboard outros, a few solos and and remarkable bass guitar performance. The drumming is your basic 4/4 time patterns, so there's nothing too big going on in that region other than me having to admit that it's good to once hear an album in this day an age where the drums are not programmed or triggered, which is a major relief.
One of the greatest factors I believe in Opus Eponymous, however, would definitely be its production. It's neither too loud or too soft, everything is where it should be and you can hear the bass guitar clearly 95% of the time. It is production done right, so right that I would call it perfect if it wasn't for the keyboard overlapping the guitars at times, but not a big flaw at all.
However, if I did have one complaint about this record (or Ghost as a whole) would be their vocalist's singing style. Yes Papa Emeritus does have a moderate range, but at times it just seriously feels like the notes he hits or the sounds he generates with his voice do not fit the music at all (get a load of the overly nerdy and nasally singing style he does in the intro for "Stand by Him") and if that isn't enough, he uses a studio effect on his voice to give it this echo-ing effect which makes the music sound a little awkward at times.
Overall, the record is a fun listen. Nine tracks may be a tad too short, but my greatest hopes lie in Emeritus adopting an alternate vocal style by Ghost's second LP. The album is a good album, and Ghost I believe are a great band and they're only just finding their potential.