Ghost – Meliora
I will first say that this album is absolutely fucking fantastic! It’s been in constant rotation on my home player and in my car since the day I purchased it. Basically, I loved everything about it and my only complaint is that it’s a little on the short side, clocking in around 40 to 45 minutes, and it goes by too damn quick. The musicianship is outstanding and the vocals are spot on. You have to love the darker themes, although the lyrics might be a bit much for most people to swallow, the music itself is very uplifting.
Meloria is the latest album by Ghost, and interestingly enough the Satanic aspect is actually toned down quite a lot. Yes, it’s still there, but it’s not nearly as overpowering as on other albums or songs. Unlike Opus Eponymous, this album has far more variation in its tracks, and that really seems to strengthen this album. There’s quieter, soulful, almost country sounding lyrics on ‘He Is’, and Circe had some well placed quieter moments, and some great catchy metal on ‘From the Pinnacle to the pit’. The other songs are all solid too, and it’s nice to see the organ/piano numbers creep into the album here and there. ‘Spirit’ flows exactly like it feels it should, and feels like its perfectly put together and executed. All the other tracks are just as great, but cannot place close to the ones I just mentioned, so they might be a bit less noteworthy, but they’re still very damn good and helps carry across the theme at the band’s roots.
Meliora might also reveal the slight limitations of Ghost’s vocalist, Tobias Forge, who this time is the third incarnation of the satanic pope Papa Emeritus. Part of Ghost’s gimmick is that each Papa Emeritus “dies” and is succeeded by a different Papa Emeritus with every new album, although it is, in fact, the same vocalist.
I also feel that “Cirice” was a wise choice for the first single, a combination of familiar strengths given new life. Again, the contrast of somber acoustic guitars and foreboding strings has been used time and time again, but it’s just the launching pad for the song’s main riff. In metal, it’s very difficult to write a compelling mid-paced song, so that Ghost gets that rare tempo right is enough of an accomplishment. “Majesty”‘s intro nearly could have been lifted straight from Deep Purple’s ‘Perfect Strangers’, it oozes that bluesy swagger that Ghost has never tapped into before.
Their 2013’s Infestissumam, the Swedish nameless ghouls’ major-label debut, was a daring effort which hosted some of the band’s best songs, but it also contained some tracks that didn’t quite come off as planned, thus reducing the potency of the Nick Raskulinecz – a produced record. However, in spite of its unevenness, Ghost’s willingness to take risks to expand their sound was worthy of respect, and their second album charted number 1 in their homeland and their status worldwide grew with every subsequent chime of the monstrance clock.
The music flows super well, the instrumentation is top-notch, and this album really lets the lead singer ebb and flow with the music-he does some of the best singing I’ve heard from him on this album, and he is so in tune with the music that I can see why they won said Grammy despite their satanic leanings and him dressing as the skeleton pope at the show. This is a really solid album that and you should check it out.
The booklet that’s included is full of the most amazing artwork, and the one and only Ghost could have such works of art created for each song. You really have to see it in person to fully assimilate it.
At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter so much anymore whether or not this is truly a metal album or not. Yes, the riffing and the aesthetic are here, but the purposefully accessible lightness and poppy songwriting are as well. It’s anyone’s game as to where Ghost belongs in the fractured maze of modern genre placement. One thing’s for certain, though: like a fine wine, Ghost only strengthen with age, and it’s here, on their third album Meliora, that they prove themselves to be the unequivocal Kings Of The Underworld that they say they are.
Released: August 11, 2015
Label: Loma Vista
Producer: Klas Åhlund
Genre: Hard Rock/Metal, Psychedelic/Progressive Rock
Website: Official Website
Discs: 1 disc
Reviewed by: Guest Reviewer
Our Rating: 4.4 /5
What did you think about this Album? Tell us below.
Or discuss it with us in our Horror Group!
*This post may contain affiliate links, meaning, if you click through and make a purchase or sign up for a program, Grim Magazine may earn a very small commission. This is at no additional cost to you. The small fee goes toward keeping our website free of advertisements and other product banners. It also helps in funding our contests and giveaways, and pay compensation to our content contributors for their reviews, articles, and stories. Please don’t hesitate to use our affiliate links!