Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Ghost - Meliora (2015)

The Swedish hype phenomenon Ghost has just gone up the ladder of success in an astounding rate. Whether it is because of the secrecy of who the guys really are or because of their cult like act that made them stand out, it is ultimately the music that has kept them on top. Their soft, dark, and groovy style has really captured quite a following for the band, making them one of the strongest forces in this current age of metal music. They also brings something new to the table with every release, which makes them exciting and unpredictable. And even if it is pretty corny that they keep "changing" singers, or popes, they still hold a presence that is hard to match.

So after the riff cavalcade in "Opus Eponymous", and the vocal focused "Infestisumam", Papa Emeritus III decided to go on a different route than what his predecessors went. Well, not really, since "Meliora" actually takes the best from both worlds, mixing some groovy and demonic riffs together with more pop infused melodies. The album is immensely diverse diverse, having a broad range that should please those who liked one of the previous albums, but not the second one. It makes it clear that this is a band that is going for a unique experience every time they present a new chapter to their satanic tale, and it has certainly worked so far.

The musical inspiration is also incredibly immense, ranging from Blue Öyster Cult to Black Sabbath and even ABBA. I find it amazing that they are able to mix all these different elements and turn it into something truly original. You hear the inspiration in the music, but you recognize it as the sound of Ghost, which is just damn impressive.

What is also impressive is that the band can truly capture the listener into a devilish trance that no other band can. Just listen to that fantastic bass line in "From The Pinnacle To The Pit" and you will get hooked immediately. It certainly is my new favourite song from the band, with its simple, but effective, chorus and extra ordinary guitar and bass combo. There are several other highlights in the album, like the heavenly soft "He Is", the epic opener "Spirit", the evil groove in "Mummy Dust", the old school feel in "Absolution" and the nice and steady "Cirice", but none of them come even close to "From The Pinnacle To The Pit". I just really, really love that song.

But even if "Meliora" is Latin and stands for better, there is at least one thing that "Infestisumam" has in advantage over its successor, and that is the lasting impact. "Infestisumam" had a great bunch of songs that together combined into a full on experience that blew me away and has still stuck on with me since the first time I gave it a spin, a feeling I doubt "Meliora" will give me, mostly because the songs just does not stick to my mind as much. Besides from the two interludes, there is no track that I really dislike in the album, but songs like "Deus In Absentia" and "Mummy Dust" just does not have the power or presence to strike me. It really makes the overall album sound a little like it looks, a little muddy.

No matter what, "Meliora" is just another statement that Ghost is one of the leaders in the heavy musical scene right now. The band keeps on progressing and evolving with their constant changes of popes, and does it with the honor. Every Papa brings something fresh to the band, keeping them from being stale and boring. And while "Meliora" may not be entirely better than the amazing "Infestisumam", it is still a album that holds world class standard. The success, and secrecy, may continue.

Songs worthy of recognition: From The Pinnacle To The Pit, Spirit, He Is, Absolution

Rating: 8,5/10 Majesties

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