It’s been a while since I wrote an album review. Quite frankly, I’m enjoying the hiatus. I’m listening to a ton of new music and enjoying the fact that I don’t have to write about it and dissect its intricacies. But I had to come back to say a few words about one of my favourite albums of the year so far.
I adore Ghost. I have loved everything they’ve done, from their first EP, to the jaw-droopingly awesome debut Opus Eponymous, and the more laid-back, satanic-pop Infestissumam. But like many others, I’ve been apprehensive about Infestissumam’s follow-up. Could Ghost pull off something that showed they were more than just a gimmick band with a few good tunes? Was the untimely death of Papa Emeritus II just a distraction from a lacklustre third release?
I should have kept the faith. I’m back to worshipping at the altar of Ghost.
Meliora (Latin for “better” – which is both a mark of the album’s quality and the name of the Dirigire city in my Engine Ward series) is the band’s best album to date. It’s everything a Ghost record should be; dark, 60s riffs, layered keyboards, loud ritualistic drumming, and vocals dripping with saccharine charm. There are more lyrics that are both clever and fun, and a heavy dose of satanic atmosphere. Ghost are the Blue Oyster Cult if their parents had never hugged them.
After the classically keyboard-rich opener, “Spirit”, the band launch into “From the Pinnacle to the Pit”, the best song they’ve written to date. It is a behemoth, dripping with dark, catchy choruses and soaring guitar hooks. I also love “He Is”, “Cirice”, and the thundering closer, “Deus In Absentia”. But there isn’t a single weak song on this album, so don’t go skipping around or you’ll risk missing the awesome riffs of “Mummy Dust”, or the chilling melody of “Absolution.”
Every song sticks in your head. You’ll find yourself playing this album on constant repeat. It is so addictive. Why? The perfect combination of mood, riff, atmosphere, and melody. Ghost may have a satanic schtick, but they pull it off only because they are superb songwriters and consummate performers.
My one and only complaint about Meliora is that it is far too short. Clocking in at just over 40 minutes, this album just seems to be over way too soon. I demand more Satanic ditties and Blue Oyster Cult riffage, thank you!
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