Its been many years since a band has experienced so much ridiculous hype regarding their appearance. In fact, you probably have to go as far back as 1999 and the arrival of Slipknot to experience something similar to the furore surrounding Ghost’s unquestionably striking image. The question on everyone’s lips is: who is Papa Emeritus III (and I & II for that matter) and who are the those unidentifiable Nameless Ghouls? The answer – of course – is who gives a fiddlers fuck as long as they continue to make consistently excellent music!
Meliora, Ghost’s 3rd album in 5 years, is a huge step up in quality from their second album Infestissumam and utterly devoid of fat or filler. Opening with the swirling, almost B-Movie sounding keyboard lines of “Spirit“, the first of numerous high points arrive one after the other. “From The Pinnacle To The Pit” opens with a heavy as hell but catchy bass line before the rest of the band join in with a fearsome groove while the excellent semi-acoustic balladry of “He Is” throws a typical curveball before the hypnotic-riffing of “Majesty” and the creepy “Deus In Absentia” – which makes full use of an evil Papal choir to chilling effect – concludes Meliora in suitably melodramatic fashion.
Musically, it would be a stretch to class Ghost as Heavy Metal when they blatantly have more in common with 70’s Hard Rock juggernauts Deep Purple, with a dash of the pomp and theatricality of prime Uriah Heep thrown in for good measure. Ghost simply exist as a 70’s inspired Rock band – with gimmicks – but also the tunes to back ’em up!
Some may be put off by the whole gimmicky nature of Ghost’s appearance but they should leave their preconceptions at the door and hop aboard this ‘ghost train’. Those who don’t are missing out on one of the finest Hard Rock albums of this year. 9/10