Nobody knows just who the hell Ghost is much less if Opus Eponymous is a fresh debut album or some forgotten classic that just got reissued. Pointless wondering aside, the magic of Ghost, if magic is what makes this Opus Eponymous sparkle, is the band's 70s aesthete that makes them sound like they shared the same practice space with Black Sabbath. The bass lines here are still groovy, the production audibly weak, the drums are merely thudding, and the guitars reeks vintage-ness. Even the singing is a bit too corny to handle, an unholy cross between Ozzy in his youthful prime and almost King Diamond rasps.
The music is also interesting and a bit creepy whenever Satan gets evoked more than 666 times. Christian ears take heed: Ghost are a full-fledged Satanic band, their songs constantly paying homage to the horned one in all his infernal majesty. This doesn't mean Ghost aren't fun, because the creepy vein coursing through the album is almost childish at times, akin to PG-rated proto-black metal.
Oh yes, black metal. There's absolutely none of that here. If Ghost are indeed a contemporary band, then Opus Eponymous can be interpreted as an attempt to go back far back into the roots of extreme metal with an album grounded in the verities of hard rock. Listener take heed, this opus is bristling with hooks, groovy bass lines, and cartoonish lyrics about the big bad mofo lurking south of heaven. Blasphemous? Hardly. Ghost are quite a breath of fresh air in whatever genre they belong to, be it primitive doom or devilish rock n' roll.
The curtains open on Opus Eponymous with a chilling church organ driven overture before the rollicking Con Clavi Con Dio, which is followed by the much darker Ritual, itself supplanted in b-movie camp by the horror story rendered unto song Elizabeth. Nothing beats Satan Prayer though for pure, unadulterated devil worship. By the time a magnificent instrumental titled Genesis bids the listener farewell, Ghost have left quite a lasting impression. For a band that chose to operate in complete anonymity, Ghost has a good chance of attaining lasting cult status with Opus Eponymous.
For a band that chose to operate in complete anonymity, Ghost has a good chance of attaining lasting cult status with Opus Eponymous.
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