Mystery, it’s a strange thing to behold. We all want to peek at what’s behind the curtain but what happens when we get to look beyond the veil. Do you either want to become part of it or does the wonder fade and you become desensitized? It happens.
The music world is no different; we all want to know more about our favourite bands or singers. Yet isn’t there something nice about not knowing everything, not having a literal encyclopedia on hand to find out what they had for dinner.
So when a band emerges that gives virtually nothing away and even the members are shrouded in masks and all black, it asks so many questions but answers so few.
Ghost, love them or hate them, their meteoric ascension from unknowns to cult heroes is truly remarkable. With their new album `Prequelle` ready for imminent release, the band has gone through some changes although they could change members every show or swap instruments and you’d be none the wiser. The only change and yet only constant is band leader Tobias Forge. Each album he changes persona, whether its been one of the Papa incarnations or for `Prequelle` Cardinal Copia, Tobias has envisioned the band to remain constant and unrestrained knows no bounds.
All of the bands past efforts have been a little different and `Prequelle` is certainly no different. Opening the album with the creepy rendition of `Ashes`, a nursery rhyme well known for its connotations towards the plague that swept Europe, it’s inclusion to the album gives away a overarching theme regarding lyrical concepts on the album.
`Rats’, yes it was the first single and one that doesn’t quite give the full game away for `Prequelle`, yet it reveals the overall tonality of the album. It’s bouncy, catchy and infectious, `Rats’ delivers the hallmark dark concepts that Ghost consistently manifests yet mixes that darkness with crunchy guitars and sing-along choruses, think ABBA meets Satan.
`See the Light’ is another perfect example of what Ghost can do. It mixes, very simple easy to follow musical progressions and Tobias vocals are again very accessible. However, what it gives you in pop styled sensibilities; it’s the songs lyrical concepts that delve you back into the world of the Macabre. The way in which Tobias almost gives away that this is a romantic song, all about finding a loved one, however in true Ghost fashion, he takes it away with one fell swoop with lyrics on how `Everyday you fill me with hate, I grow stronger’. Perhaps not quite the song you want to hear on Radio 1.
Before I finish the review, the instrumentals on the album are just pure magic. One to speak of is `Miamsa’ is simply spell binding; now personally, I find some instrumentals to be too long winded and quite self indulgent. Yet, `Miasma’ is short and to the point, the solo to the end is breath taking and then the Saxophone, yes there’s a Sax in there too, just completes the package with a enchanting touch.
Whatever your preconceived notions about Ghost, they’ve always upped the ante. They aren’t really a Metal band, classic rock meets ABBA. `Prequelle` is the next stage in the evolution and what they are trying to achieve on it is simply astonishing. All of the songs are very upbeat, has very catchy easy to sing choruses yet still remains within the realms of the Ghost Satanic cult. Imagine ABBA meeting Queen at an Anton LeVay party. This one maybe Ghosts most diverse album, yet what we really have here is an album that could launch Ghost into the stratosphere. `Prequelle’ is quite possibly album of the year contender.
10/10 – A Satanic Rock Opera, an album of the year contender with ease!
Stand out tracks:
`Rats’, `Miasma’ and `Dance Macabre’
4. See the Light
6. Dance Macabre
7. Pro Memoria
8. Witch Image
10. Life Eternal