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Ghost are a mysterious band from Sweden with anonymous band members that play a mixture of early heavy or doom metal mixed with some psychedelic rock influences and lyrics about demons, occultism and Satanism. Even though the cover and lyrics seem to indicate a harsh album, the band actually plays very smooth metal music with catchy choruses and a strong old school touch. I hear elements of Black Sabbath, Merciful Fate, Angel Witch, Blue Öyster Cult and Iron Butterfly in the band's sound.
The songs are really hypnotizing and create from the organ introduction "Deus culpa" on a dark and eerie atmosphere without being too blackened. The tracks all follow the same structure, they are quite short, they have catchy choruses and mix eerie keyboard sounds with simple riffs and smooth doom vocals. The most interesting track is probably "Death Knell" with its atmospheric keyboard and bell sounds but I must also mention the instrumental “Genesis” that convinces with keyboard sounds, a dominating bass guitar, tribal drums, haunting guitar melodies and smooth acoustic guitars in the very end while the dreamy "Ritual" has the best chorus on the record that won't abandon your mind in the near future.
The album would perfectly fit to an eerie horror movie of the late seventies and as this record works like an almost conceptual score, I highly suggest listening to this album in one shot because you can't really pick out a song and listen to it alone. The band creates an atmosphere that gets more and more intriguing the further you get drowned into this album. They are great artists and don't only concentrate on the music itself but also on the whole image with a mysterious cover artwork, an old fashioned booklet and the mysteries surrounding the band members. Even if they don't reinvent the genre and clearly copy some of their idols, the concept works and the album is truly absorbing and a welcome change of style in my collection. Ghost bring a unique genre somewhere between old doom metal and traditional psychedelic rock back to life that had disappeared for a long time. I hope to see this band develop further and bring out an album with a longer running time and a more unique approach very soon but this debut is promising and leaves me wanting more.