Ghost – Prequelle
Released: June 1st, 2018
Cardinal Copia // Vocals
Nameless Ghoul // Guitar
Nameless Ghoul // Bass
Nameless Ghoul // Drums
Nameless Ghoul // Piano
Ghost are one of those bands you either love or hate. They inspire scorn from certain fringes of the metal community, meanwhile they receive adoration and praise from millions, including James Hetfield himself. The new album Prequelle comes in the wake of a very public lawsuit from the former, not so Nameless Ghouls and off the back of the unmasking of their lead singer.
So it’s a joy to tell you. None of this has harmed the quality of their musical output.
‘Ashes’ opens the album.
Greeting you with the creepy, eerie tones of children singing ‘Ring Around the Rosie’ while beautiful synth danced playfully around their ominous voices, before reaching the crescendo.
The glorious lead single ‘Rats’ introduces the theme of The Great Plague proper. Easily one of the definitive tracks on the album. It’s a perfectly balanced example of everything Ghost does so well. Exaggeratedly theatrical and overblown to oblivion. It’s a total fucking banger. If only to outdo themselves, the next song ‘Faith’ ramps up the theatricality and heaviness, harkening back to the first album but filtered through the pomp of their later work. It’s a well-oiled occult rock jam, destined to be sainted by the Vatican itself.
Just to throw off your expectations, the band slap you in the face with the slow-burn heaviness and catchy as fuck ‘See The Light’. Bombarding you with piano and a slather of 80’s cheesiness, in lesser hands, this just simply wouldn’t work. But in the hands of Cardinal Copia and his Nameless Ghouls, it’s a lighters in the air moment, especially when the synth hits your ears at the three minute mark and warps you into the stratosphere.
Midway into the album, ‘Miasma’ becomes the jam band freak-out you never knew you needed in your life. Dazzling with synth and a heightened sense of atmosphere. It’s divine in all the right ways and a great way to cap off the first half of this dramatic opus.
The second half of the album begins with the rock and roll swagger of ‘Dance Macabre’.
Infectiously cheesy, it’s got everything from solos to gang choruses ripped straight from your dad’s favourite 80’s hair metal band. It’s the perfect opener to the more mellow and yet more daring second half of this album. Subsequently ‘Pro Memoria’ opens with violin, before the Copia hits the piano keys and begins whispering his sweet ode to his glorious master Lucifer. It’s quite honestly, epic as fuck and will result in you seriously considering Satanism. Okay, not really, but maybe.
If only to throw you off your game once more. Ghost introduce folk rock elements into their gothic arsenal in the sonic shape of ‘Witch Image’. Heavier than the previous two tracks, its big goth rock choruses are going to propel this band onto a whole other level and are sure to be massive crowd pleasers for their fans.
‘Life Eternal’ ends the album with a quintessential 80’s piano ballad as Cardinal Copia sings to his sweet love and reaches deep into your soul. The song reaches a climax with guitars and ghostly voices singing before leaving only Copia and his voice, pulling you down into the abyss.
Prequelle will see Ghost ascend to new heights. By honing everything they have done so well in their career, they’ve become the best version of themselves. Lawsuits and unmasking be damned. Just bang your head and soak up that glorious occult rock cheese. It’ll be good for your health. I promise.
Ghost – Prequelle tracklisting
4. See the Light
6. Dance Macabre
7. Pro Memoria
8. Witch Image
10. Life Eternal