“Opus Eponymous” by Ghost

Artist: Ghost
Title: “Opus Eponymous”
Label: Metal Blade Records
Release Date: 1/18/2011
Genre: Heavy Metal
Rating: 4/5

Okay so this band is something that I have heard rumblings about for a few months and just am a little late to the game in giving some scoped out thoughts on. They are called GHOST and are six masked and mysterious figures. The musicians are all wearing long robes and a single expressionless mask along with it. These masks are the same, unlike what we find going on in Slipknot. Their identities are secret and they are referred to as The Nameless Ghouls. Chilling, right? Well, you’d better hold that thought until you see their infernal leader, a garish sort named Papa Emeritus. His face is the only unique one and oh yeah, he wears the vestments of the Pope. It’s said that the band is from Sweden and this album first was released over there on Rise Above records but over here it’s on Metal Blade Records and is really something else. I’ll discuss a few key tracks and leave some surprises. The album is entitled “Opus Eponymous” which is Latin for “self-titled”.

The album begins with an eerie, organ instrumental piece called “Deus Culpa” which is Latin for “God Fault”. I’m starting to sense a theme here with all the Latin and fear I will need to go to Confession after listening to this one. “Con Clavi Con Dio” is the first real “song” on the album and begins with the proclamation of “Lucifer, we are here!!!” so clearly the band is hot on the subject matter of the Great Abyss but instead of hearing throttling Black Metal styled instrumentation and vocal lines, this was more of a Hard Rock with a Metal sense and a very clear, melodic vocal. The song is the band lining out their allegiance to Satan and how they plan to serve him with music. Since its early in the release I’m going to say that the rest of it will follow suit. “Ritual” continues the blasphemy and speaks of human sacrifices and cites its own little prayer that begins with “Our Father who art in Hell, unhallowed be thy name”. It’s quite sacrilegious in lyrical content but catchy as…dare I say it……Hell. LOL.

When the album got to “Elizabeth” I felt that I had found my favorite tune on the album and this one is singing about the Countess Bathory and her grim practices as she sought immortality. Yeah, it’s pretty safe to say that Ghost is all about the horrific and the profane so if you are easily offended by the lyrical imagery that they are putting fourth you might want to pass on this one. “Stand By Him” is also a solid track but I am done with my recanting what I enjoyed about the album and will leave the remaining tracks to your own discovery. The musicianship is solid from beginning to end and after a couple of listens I think you will be singing along like I was doing. The album cover is an homage to the “Salem’s Lot” movie poster which I liked. In the place of the vampire we find a ghoulish image of Papa Emeritus rising over a cathedral. The interiors look like old texts which I felt added to the magic of the secret identities. Not knowing what the band looks like in real life harkens back to the early years of KISS when the world around us was curious. Of course, with a band like this one who knows how much sleuthing will actually be done.

I know that I must catch this band as soon as I know that they are returning to my area since its likely photographer guy gold and I’m already a fan of what I am hearing on the record. One has to imagine that they are just as good in the live sense. So, who do you think is under all the getups? It could be anyone to be honest and who knows if they are actually even Swedish. How funny would it be if this was the great King Diamond under the main man mask with a pickup group of talented players. Don’t laugh because with the King being absent from the public eye of touring for the past few years, it would make sense to hide under the costume of something different to work out one’s vocals and have fun with other music at the same time. Maybe it will come to light eventually but in all honesty, I don’t care who is under there. I love a good mystery every now and again. Check this one out though as a high recommendation. I am now among the growing acolytes and want more.

Track Listing:
1. Deus Culpa
2. Con Clavi Con Dio
3. Ritual
4. Elizabeth
5. Stand By Him
6. Satan Prayer
7. Death Knell
8. Prime Mover
9. Genesis

Official Website: http://www.ghost-official.com/

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