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Ghost's debut album has been getting a lot of buzz lately. I am often skeptical about new bands that everyone raves about. All to often, they end up being some trendy band with a gimmick and no real talent. So when I heard about a band from Sweden with unknown members and a Satanic priest in band photos, I had my doubts about whether it would be good. Was I ever wrong about this album, it turned out to be one of the best releases of 2010.
"Opus Eponymous" is an awesome throwback, if someone told me that this record was made in the late seventies or early eighties, I would have believed them in a second. When I say it is a throwback I don't mean its an all out rip off of old bands, it just features the sound of another era. It sounds like a mix of Black Sabbath, Blue Oyster Cult and Deep purple, with a little Candlemass put into the mix. Their sound is doom-ridden yet strangely uplifting, with psychedelic keyboards thrown in for good measure. Even though this album came out 40 years after heavy metal was given birth, it could have very well came out when Ozzy was still singing for Black Sabbath.
All the members are very talented at their respective instruments, so I am left wondering about their true identities. Who are these amazing musicians? The clean melodic singing is captivating. Both the creepy melodies and catchy choruses keep my interest the whole album through. For the past week, the exceptional vocals on "Satan Prayer" have been playing on endless repeat in my head. The guitar work is truly refreshing. This album is packed with amazing riffs and memorable leads. The lead guitar on "Genesis" is not something I will be forgetting soon. We also get a taste of some really tight drumming. Most metal bands downplay the bass, in many albums it is all but inaudible. Not so with this record, many unique mini bass solos are scattered throughout the album. All this amazing musicianship really makes me want to know who the members are. Are they new musicians? Is it a super group made up of members of prominent metal bands? I have heard rumors on the internet that it features members of Watain. Only time will tell.
Each song on this album is amazing. From the classic rock keyboards on "Death Knell" to the subtle genius of the intro to "Ritual", there is not a dull moment. This album is not very long, but that is not a bad thing. Often bands feel the need to include filler to make their albums longer. Ghost only includes the good stuff and I am thankful for that, the result being an album that is highly enjoyable from start to finish.
While they are not exactly reinventing metal, they are doing a damn good job at playing a classic sound. This is one of the best albums I have heard by a band that plays this type of music in a long time. This will appeal to not just fans of metal, but also fans of good old rock and roll. If you haven't checked this band out yet, do yourself a favor and get this album.