Swedish rock band Ghost are one of those rare gems in music: a group with a weird schtick who also have the musical chops to back it up. Heavily influenced by the likes of Metallica and mid-late 80s rock and thrash, band leader Tobias Forge – performing here as Papa Emeritus IV, his fifth nom de plume as band leader – fronts a group of musicians (referred to here as “a group of nameless ghouls”) creating what, for all intents and purposes, could have been lifted straight from 1989.
Intro track “Imperium” sounds like a Metallica off-cut, comprised of nothing but acoustic and lead guitar (think the opening of Master Of Puppets’ “Battery”). First song “Kaisarion” is a little Metallica, a little Iron Maiden, even a little Faith No More when it breaks down. “Spillways” leans into the likes of Poison or Whitesnake.
Do you know what? More than anything this reminded me of Wig Wam’s “Do You Wanna Taste It”, a tongue-in-cheek 80s style rock track recently used as the theme to the series Peacemaker. It made me wonder if there is some in-joke with Ghost that I’m missing because I’m not a big fan of the group.
This was a fun listen; the theatricality of it all is great, the music is well played, and I enjoyed it well enough. But I can’t shake the feeling I’m missing something.
CLTM (Chris Listens To Music) is my attempt to listen to a new album every day; you can follow my efforts on Instagram here (and send recommendations), and if you like what I’m doing, support my efforts by shouting me a cuppa at Buy Me A Coffee.