Released on June 1, 2018 (Loma Vista)
Ghost is a band that has become the darling of mainstream rock critics as the great heavy metal band of the modern generation. The band has been extremely polarizing in the metal community because the band took heavy visual influence from theatrical metal bands without taking any musical influence from said bands. Genre wise, Ghost has been more of an indie rock band than anything remotely resembling any kind of hard rock or metal. Despite being proclaimed as our generation’s great new metal band, Ghost‘s only similarities to metal came from the image and lyrical content.
When I was approached to do a podcast episode on the new Ghost album, Prequelle, I expected it to be similar to their previous efforts and was not expecting much. The band’s previous material has all been slow, plodding, lacking melody and containing some of the worst guitar tone I’ve ever heard. I had written them off as style over substance, much in the same that many musicians write off KISS.
However, when I listened to the new Ghost album, I was shocked. The album contained excellent guitar tone, catchy riffs, rippin’ solos, melodic vocals and anthemic choruses. It reminded me of one of my favorite bands of all time, Crashdïet, and to my surprise I discovered that the musical leader of Ghost, Tobias Forge, used to play in Crashdïet under the stage name of Mary Goore.
Folks, this isn’t the Ghost that all of your hipster friends tried to force on you. This is a New Wave of Swedish Sleaze album with songs that would have fit in perfectly on Generation Wild. Ghost have ditched the poor instrumentation and weak songwriting of the past to create a piece of music that fans of Sleaze Roxx will love.
The album contains three songs that purely capture the Crashdïet sound: “Rats,” “Faith” and “Dance Macabre.” “Rats” is a conventional rock single. “Faith” is a slightly heavier riff rocker and “Dance Macabre” is a bouncy tune driven by fantastic bass playing. Any of those three songs would fit into a Crashdïet playlist seamlessly, taking the visual aspect of the band out.
As far as the other tunes on the album, Ghost tends to fall more into the kind of balladry you’d find with contemporary power metal, though with a few interesting musical choices including the best saxophone solo I’ve heard on a release this year. The band’s lyrics are improved from previous efforts, but still play into the Black Sabbath “ooh isn’t Satan scary” schtick. While the previous Ghost albums aped much of their sound from the modern American indie scene, this album feels much more at home with the melodic rock and metal of their home nation of Sweden.
Admittedly, this album sounds less unique than the band’s previous efforts, but with the improved songwriting and instrumentation, this is an album I can wholeheartedly recommend to Sleaze Roxx readers.
Ghost have finally delivered a good album. Is the band still overrated? Absolutely. But at the end of the day, this is a solid rock album that fans of New Wave of Swedish Sleaze should greatly enjoy.
04. See The Light
06. Dance Macabre
07. Pro Memoria
08. Witch Image
10. Life Eternal
Tobias Forge – vocals
Nameless Ghouls – guitar, bass, drums, keyboards
Papa Nihil – saxophone
Ghoulettes – keyboards
Reviewed by Greg Troyan of Lipstick for Sleaze Roxx, June 2018
Ghost‘s “Rats” video:
Directed by Roboshobo[MESSAGE FROM THE CLERGY]We wish to inform you Ghost’s new album Prequelle is available now. Purchase a copy online or at a store near y…