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The Ghost of a Classic - 85%

Jiggy, February 15th, 2013

This is a good album.

Sorry if that's a bit blunt, but I haven't written any musical reviews (as in about music, not reviews explained through the medium of rhythm) for 2 years. In hindsight, interpreting the fruits of Ghost's labour through song and dance would be as entertaining as it would awful. Perhaps next time.

I could forgive you for, upon first glance, seeing this as boring and generic, and to an extent I suppose that's true; the lyrics can be classed as 'Satan and shit' while 'Ghost' is a pretty lame band name. They even throw in some esoteric Latin song titles for an added bonus. But you'd be wrong. The proof is in the pudding as they say, and no sooner do you dive in, you'll sample the delicious riffs on offer and be glad. Glad you bought the album (I hope) ... Seriously though, if you like it, support an up and coming band.

The production is excellent and extraordinarily clean. It really accentuates the two guitarists and they come out sharp and crunchy. There is also excellent use of panning with little motifs and leads being tossed around like sweets in a Catholic Church. The bass has a part to play as well despite the twin guitarists, which is a relief to me as a bassist myself. The vocals (yeah, I’m listing the instruments, and what?) are perfectly suited to the band. Ethereal yet soft and menacing, they really gives the songs some atmosphere. Imagine King Diamond without the falsetto. It's important they got them right, because anything else and I would probably shit myself laughing because the lyrics are corny. Corny as an, er, cornfield.

The mood they produce is a big plus. It sounds...well, evil. A track like Prime Mover is a great example as all instruments have a part to play and fit together like a jigsaw puzzle, albeit a jigsaw with 5 pieces and in the shape of Satan murdering 1000 flaming goatwhores or something (I view the whole Beelzebub thing with a bit of scorn in case you didn't realize. This could probably be gathered from the fact I’m listening to Morrissey while I write this).

Of course, the score is not unblemished. A major gripe? It's not long enough. Okay, 34 minutes is hardly a rip off, but I found myself wanting more. An interesting bonus track that I have heard on Youtube, a cover of the Beatles' Here Comes the Sun, is only available on the Japanese version, but it's inclusion would go some way to solving the issue. I'm not sure why they left it out and bundled it off to Japan like the illegitimate son of a prostitute and a senator. They pull it off well and give a classic their own creepy vibe. Shivers down the spine kind of stuff.

To summarize, I thoroughly enjoyed the album and I’m sure anyone with a decent pair of headphones would too. It looks pretty standard at first glance, but the musicianship more than makes up for anything you may dislike about the style of this outfit. I really look forward to seeing this band maturing and seeing where it takes them. My eyes are peeled, whatever that means, anyway.