Where has this album been all my life? It's a good thing that I scour the Internet for new music to explore on a regular basis. I leave no stone unturned in my quest to discover cool bands that have been condemned to dwell in obscurity. I fancy myself as a musical pathfinder of sorts. If I wasn't so inquisitive, I wouldn't be familiar with Ghost. God knows I won't be hearing songs like "Satan Prayer" and "Death Knell" on the radio anytime soon. Speaking of omnipotent deities, Ghost is a Satanic band. I can't tell if they're serious about it or not, but it matters none. To me, the infernal overtones of Opus Eponymous add flavor to an already potent body of work.

What do these ghouls sound like? Well, they sound like Mercyful Fate copulating with Blue Oyster Cult. This is music to sacrifice a virgin to. As nefarious as the melodies are, you won't find any death growls or blackened howls here. The vocalist, a chap who chooses to remain nameless, sings in a clean voice that brings King Diamond to mind (sans high notes). If you read other reviews of Opus Eponymous, you'll see the same adjectives being used over and over again. The one that stands out is "catchy." I didn't think that this album would be nearly as catchy as metal journalists proclaim it to be, but guess what? It's fucking catchy!

I hummed the chorus of "Elizabeth" for the better part of an afternoon after hearing it twice. That's what makes Ghost such a deceiving outfit. Sure, they worship goats, but they write accessible pop ditties that you'll never be able to get out of your head. Maybe "pop" isn't the right word. I don't want to scare too many "tr00" metalheads away. This is doomy, riff-driven occult rock that your parents wouldn't be opposed to listening to, provided that they don't have a lyric sheet handy. Hell, just tell them that Ghost is an ironic Christian band.

If I could change one thing about Opus Eponymous, I would make it longer. There are only nine tracks, two of which are instrumentals. The first instrumental is merely a curt piece of pipe organ polyphony, though I do have a weakness for pipe organs (I can see that statement being taken out of context). But that's a minor complaint. This is a badass record. I can't wait to see what Ghost does in the future. If you get a chance to see them live, I would advise buying a ticket or two. The vocalist dresses up as the Catholic zombie that adorns the cover of Opus Eponymous. Hey, I have an idea for a nifty Halloween costume!

1 comment:

  1. Glad you discovered these guys. Even though the year is young, this is a strong contender for best album of 2011 for me.