Release Date: Apr 16, 2013
Record label: Loma Vista Recordings
Genre(s): Pop/Rock, Alternative Metal, Heavy Metal, Hard Rock, Doom Metal, Stoner Metal, Power Metal, Scandinavian Metal
The Swedish metallers raised eyebrows with their Lucifer-loving lyrics, Blue Öyster Cult choruses and their frontman's infernal pope get-up, but on their second LP they embrace something even more unholy: prog. The songs are knotty and complicated; the multivalenced "Jigolo Har Megiddo" feels like it's set not in hell but in Kansas. The results are intricately plotted, if not as instantly bewitching.
While there is a world of difference between the theatrical and distinctly cartoonish world that Ghost inhabit and the shadowy occult realm that superficially informs their visual and lyrical shtick, the fact that a band that proclaims their allegiance to Beelzebub now lurks on the fringes of mainstream success is cause for great cheer in these times of sanitised corporate rock. As with their 2010 debut, Infestissumam softens the impact of Satan's slashing talons via choruses of disarming sweetness and simplicity, and riffs that owe more to Blue Oyster Cult than Bathory or Behemoth. In terms of evolution, Ghost embrace the melodramatic keyboard swirls and pompous arrangements of prog rock far more this time around; A somewhat risky step when glory beckons, butone that suits them.
Ghost B.C. are probably the most ridiculous heavy metal band in recent memory, living up to every sludgy, sacrilegious stereotype associated with the genre and then some. Every single aspect of the band -- from aesthetic to sound design -- seems directly intended to reawaken every metal-head's early-adolescent fever dreams of Satanic horsemen riding atop black storm clouds, bursting through the gates of Valhalla whilst pillaging the innocent and laying waste to the weak.
For a great number of heavy metal fans, the career trajectory of Linkoping, Sweden's Ghost (or Ghost B.C. if you live in North America), has been one of the most exciting things to witness in quite some time. In the span of a few short years, Papa Emeritus and his band of "Nameless Ghouls" have gone from being the talk of the metal underground, earning their cred with approval from folks like Fenriz of Darkthrone, to playing ABBA covers with Dave Grohl on drums and selling custom sex toys for hundreds of dollars.
Ghost's 2010 debut, the divisive Opus Eponymous, presented the heavy metal community with a conundrum. On the one hand, the willfully anonymous Swedish rockers were well versed in the dark pageantry of the genre, but while their fondness for the occult was indeed extreme, the music lacked the viscera of its unholy convictions. Released in 2013, Infestissumam, which translated from Latin means hostile, is just as apocalyptic and musically adventurous as its predecessor, offering up ten new Beelzebub-approved singalongs that reside somewhere between Gothenburg and Broadway.
It's been impossible to ignore Swedish heavy metal juggernauts Ghost, as their dark star has been in ascent since the release of their widely praised and Grammis-nominated debut record, Opus Eponymous, in late 2010. Known for their intensely theatrical live performances and the anonymity of the members (frontman and vocalist Papa Emeritus II performs dressed as an undead cardinal, while the rest of the band are hooded and cloaked, referred to collectively as Nameless Ghouls), Ghost have drawn comparisons to Mercyful Fate, Witchfinder General and even Blue Öyster Cult. Recently forced to change their name to Ghost B.C.
GHOST B.C. play the Opera House May 6. See listing. Rating: NNN Since Ghost's masterpiece of a debut album came out in 2010, the Swedish doom metal band has had its ups (global success, signing to a major label) and downs (forced to add "B.C." to their name in North America, album delays after U.S ….
Back when the artist-formerly-known-as Ghost released their debut Opus Eponymous on Rise Above in 2010, this mysterious group automatically acquired a wealth of critical acclaim. The praise afforded was not just based on the refreshing music of this Swedish ensemble, but the band’s alluring Satanic aesthetics. The identities of the musicians, or “Nameless Ghouls”, were hidden by black hoods and led by a masked pontiff, Papa Emeritus, who possessed a sickly sweet voice that emitted ‘60s/’70s-inspired pop melodies on top of the Ghouls’ proto-metal riffs.
It’s difficult not to pull for Ghost B.C.: During the last few years, the mysterious Swedish metal outfit formerly known as Ghost have cultivated a sterling, alluring persona of subversion and symbolism. Their leader is a papal parody named Papa Emeritus II, who comes cloaked in inverted crosses and a sinister skeletal mask. He's flanked by five Nameless Ghouls dressed in matching black uniforms that suggest Darth Vader using the force to infiltrate and overrun the Catholic Church.
Metal bands have been singing about Satan since the dawn of the genre. At this point, it’s not entirely original. But what if you dress up in black pope robes, vow to remain anonymous, and then sing about Satan? That’s what the members of Ghost B.C. did, and now they’ve got a major label contract and the ears of the entire metal community.