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Ghost > Phantomime > Reviews > Sweetie
Ghost - Phantomime

Holy Shit! Ghost Will Make This Iron Maiden Band So Famous! - 55%

Sweetie, May 25th, 2023

The third installment of Ghost’s sequence of covers EPs known as Phantomime sees a lot of similar energy that was presented on Popestar without the running pop theme as well as any original cuts. Still, a majority of this does focus on that pop backbone save for the outlier of an Iron Maiden song, adding very little in the realm of surprises outside of it. This means that, as you guessed, all five tracks were made into upbeat tunes that gloss on lots of studio clarity, hard rock distortions, and sugary melodies from Tobias Forge.

Unfortunately, even several listens of what’s meant to be a catchy formula really isn’t sticking at all. Television’s “See No Evil” as well as The Stranglers’ “Hanging On” both yield extremely predictable results, sprucing up tunes that were serviceable enough on their own into something that adds little life, relying solely on that very upbeat feeling, and not much else. I must give credit to this rendition of Genesis’s “Jesus He Knows Me” for at least avoiding the boring template that made up the other two, however it’s still only good because of how catchy it is. The jarring choice of covering “Phantom Of The Opera” was at least interesting, and props for making it fit the rest of the songs nicely thanks to the synth layers, cleaner vocal delivery, and operatic backdrop, but it’s still more or less just pumping a primal monster tune with sugar. We close off with a shot at Tina Turner’s “We Don’t Need Another Hero,” likely my favorite song here. I don’t know the original rendition, but it’s more interesting than anything else largely due to its deep hums that carry the tune into a cannon-fire of a chorus. If there’s one song that’s truly worth seeking out, it’s this.

To put it bluntly, I see Phantomime the way a lot of metalheads see Ghost as a whole. I heavily disagree with that general assessment of the band, since I adore much of their original material. But I can’t say a lot of purpose in this round of covers is really visible, no matter how many times I revisit it. Perhaps in a few years I’ll look back and appreciate the experiment for what it was, like I did with some songs on Popestar that didn’t work for me right away, but ultimately it feels like quasi-metal rewrites of songs that have very basic flavors and hold almost no memorability. Calling this bad would be inaccurate, but I’ll be hard pressed to find a reason to revisit it for a while. If You Have Ghost, you have everything. If you have this, you have nothing.