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A Blend Brewed for All Metal Fans - 95%

SetAbominae6, April 11th, 2013

When I first bought this album, I was expecting doom metal, as that is what the store categorized the genre, and me, being a huge doom metal fan, was interested in the cover art and expected something....Pentagram-ish, I suppose. I dunno. I feel sometimes that album artwork speaks to me, and it is true that that is how I have discovered so many of my favorite albums throughout my heavy metal listening years, but this is all besides the point.

In one way, you could say I got what I expected, but, as it is with most really good bands, you cannot classify their genre within a general term like "Doom Metal," or "Black Metal," or "Pop," etc. Ghost draws influences from many different genres, and upon first listen most tend to think Witchfinder General and Mercyful Fate had an influence on this band. While they did indeed, the band have said themselves their main influence comes from a cocktail comprised of a heavy tequila a la "The Doors" and a dark margarita mix of death metal. Not exactly in those terms, but you get the idea. What makes this release so unique is the blend of sounds they have created. Songs like "Ritual" and " " have a definitive '80s-styled pop-like influence. It is almost humorous as you listen along to Papa Emeritus' lyrics in the aforementioned song. Such evil lyrical content, but his soft, piercing bellowing contrasts it so much. But it works for Ghost. On the other hand, I can see why people would not like this band, and why people would question their place on the archives. Actually, that last statement I take back - the '70s heavy metal sound is definitely the most prevalent genre looming over this album. Why question it? It's all about Satan! Influences from metal range from '70s-inspired Black Sabbath/Blue Oyster Cult riffs and piano passages to the evil lyrical themes from bands such as "Morbid Angel" and "Mercyful Fate".

Highlights on the album include the aforementioned pop-driven "Ritual", the crushingly-heavy "Stand By Him", the epic and mysterious-esque of "Death Knell", and an outstanding closing instrumental entitled "Genesis", leaving us all craving for more God damned Satan-inspired '70s-tuned metal. What makes the band even more mystique is their attire and anonymity, influenced by bands such as KISS. The formula has worked countless times before, and it works for Ghost as well.

Any metal fan should be proud to own this album.