They've got me hooked. On par with Virus' The Black Flux and Marilyn Manson's Antichrist Superstar. All beautiful albums with a consistent theme throughout, and disruptive to preexisting metal norms.
And if that crappy review has any influence over the interwebs, I feel it's my duty as a Free Thinker to insert my counter-influence.
SCUMFEAST METAL 666 totally rips on Ghost. Just hates them. With a passion. Because it sounds like 70's-style Blue Oyster Cult. "...and that's being nice," he says. Yeah, real tough, tough guy.
Well, let's just test this theory out. Here's the first suggestion YouTube generates when searching BOC:
Okay, wow, it's really similar to Ghost. Okay, SCUMFEAST METAL 666 is right about this one thing. Opus Eponymous sounds a lot like it came from the 1970s, and is similar to Blue Oyster Cult. BIG DEAL. Every band sounds like some other band; that's nothing new.
I venture to argue that there are enough dissimilarities between Don't Fear the Reaper and every song on Opus Eponymous to logically warrant only a light comparison. The mood and tone of the instruments are similar, but only that. Ghost's production is more advanced, and their overall sound are quite different.
Sometimes, to me, OE is a tad boring. But that's only my opinion, and fleeting at that. Sometimes those slower parts that I think are boring one day will speak directly to me another day.
Momentary whims are not enough to build an album review with, which is exactly what SCUMFEAST METAL 666 did. It reads like he wrote it in five minutes, didn't reread it, and hit 'Post.'
Probably thinks he's all clever and sticking it to the man and stuff.
His tone reads as that of an uneducated, fat, angry, slovenly WOW nerd who's never had a girlfriend. The very first sentence of his review makes little sense, and he used 'that' instead of 'than.' I thought a prerequisite to being an album reviewer is a grasp on grammar and the altitude of alliteration.
By the way, my daughter has been wanting to listen to this song a lot lately:
See, this is the appeal of Ghost: it's music that even kids can like. My first daughter is going on three years of age. She likes Frosty the Snowman and The Itsy Bitsy Spider and This Little Light of Mine and The ABCs, and The Beatles' Yellow Submarine, Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds, Penny Lane, Nowhere Man and Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band, Yes' Roundabout and Neil Young's American Stars and Bars.
Okay, she has eclectic taste in music for a 2-yr-old. Nonetheless, she retains affinity for all the usual 2-yr-old-marketed stuff, too. Yo Gabba Gabba, Go Diego Go!, Baby Einstein, and all their associated musics.
My point? Even kids, with typical kid tastes, like Ghost. I can play the album at home and my two girls don't mind it. Lucy is really into Stand by Him, the vid above. She doesn't know what the lyrics mean, and I'm not going to tell her. It's so cute to hear her singing the chorus.
My wife also likes the album, or tolerates it without strenuous effort. And she's primarily a Tori Amos kinda gal. As such, she appreciates the freakier side of things, and can get into it when a band is doing something original and creative, whether dark or not.
I could tell Ghost started to stick with her before I purchased the cd. I think her first reaction was, "This sounds really 70s."
Kids like it! Wives like it! It's a feel-good church service for Satan! Who's ever done this before? It's awesome!
My mom is going to HATE this album.
The first track on Opus Eponymous is a solo organ, quiet and reserved, but calmly happy, and basically doing nothing special--and that's what's so great about it.
It's exactly like a church service might begin: churchgoers are shuffling in, finding seats, saying their hellos, and then quieting down respectfully, preparing to be somber and engage in the worship of a humbling higher power, feeling elation at the prospect of it all.
So what Ghost does is turn this upside-down--as if you're seeing the almost-mirror-image, evil version of that same church service, perhaps from a parallel universe. Maybe a better way of describing it would be that they replace all Christianity for old-school Satanism (I say that because, as I understand it, today's Satanism says, Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the law, not "obey Satan").
And this all got me thinking--it's a particularly powerful message, because it's not thrown in your face with anger like so much of the shitty metal out there. An album full of the same screaming vocalist gets old so quickly. Ghost has got a guy singing with a really normal-sounding voice--mid-range, clear vocals. He's really good at harmonizing with himself, too. It reminds me of Layne Staley and Alice in Chains' better days.
Anyway, Ghost's message, though simple, is a concept no band has expressed in this particular way. So poppy; classic rock-like; uplifting, like a humble church service that really moves you to your very soul, and feels warm and good.
And that got me thinking--if Christians are allowed to do this, why can't Ghost? How can any Christians say that Ghost has not just as much right to do this as Muslims or Hindus?
When you consider the religious and free-speech implications of what Ghost is doing, amid this veneer of "smooth metal," a genre I just made up, it's all pretty crazy.