Have a listen to: "Cirice" and "Mummy Dust"
Ghost – Meliora
Release Date: 21st August 2015
Loma Vista Recordings
Ghost have returned with their third album, ‘Meliora‘. It’s a more contemporary record & their finest effort to date. Ghost ditched some of the Baroque themes of the last record and the Medieval theme’s from it’s predecessor, leaving room for that 70’s hard rocking guitar and harder beats, which, in turn made for heavier songs such as ‘From The Pinnacle To The Pit‘ arguably the bands heaviest song to date next to the follow up track ‘Cirice‘.
Described by one of the bands “Nameless Ghouls” – ‘Meliora‘ is the landscape in which this record takes place. It is a Godless, pre-apocalyptic, future dystopian city and it’s fearful overlord is none other than Papa Emeritus III – younger brother (by three months) to Papa Emeritus II. In a recent copy of Metal Hammer, a nameless ghoul explains that there are several mothers to the many different incarnations of Papa Emeritus, but there is only one big, old and really bad Papa Emeritus, giving us a little hint at what might be yet to come…
The album plays through it’s 10 tracks monumentally well. Even on first listen to this album, I knew I was hooked. Unlike the previous two records, some of the musical themes and styles were slightly too niche for me. With all of that stripped away, we are left with a more visceral record that reflects it’s themes more in it’s lyrics than in it’s melodies. Stand out track, and first single ‘Cirice‘ features an acoustic, Slayer style intro that leads into one of their signature hard rocking riffs and sexy beats. If you haven’t seen the video yet, watch it! It is a high-school talent show gone wrong for the unsuspecting parents. Ghost take the stage led by a child-version of Papa Emeritus, and this kid absolutely kills it in this video. He dons the makeup and robes in an unbelievably cool fashion, and although the wee lad can’t be much more than 12 years old, he still conducts the band and bends the audience to his will with absolute ease.
After ‘Cirice‘ closes we get the minute long ‘Spöksonat‘ which leads into what I would consider the record’s ballad, ‘He Is‘. An immensely catchy track with instantly memorable lyrics:
“We’re standing here in the abyss, and the world is in flames, two star crossed lovers reaching out to the beast with many names”.
My personal favourite track of the record would have to be ‘Mummy Dust‘, Emeritus’ voice just ooze’s dark charisma and conviction as he sings “In god we trust”, whilst the rest of the band create this perfect storm of 70’s prog rock and contemporary metal. This is followed by ‘Majesty‘, a traditional doom song with a wicked swinging chorus. The album closes with ‘Deus in Absentia‘ a majestic and almost celebratory track, and a great close to the end of the record. With the 01:30 of chanting at the end, it sets the mood off perfectly.
Since getting my hands on this record, my feelings haven’t changed since my first play through. It’s an absolutely stellar record; sometimes you hear these great records and you forget about them quite quickly. This one is sure to stay in your mind, love it or hate it. The concept of this record explains itself easily enough, yet still leaves a lot to the imagination. This third Papa Emeritus record isn’t a dramatic departure vocally from the previous incarnations (of course, we understand the rumours of who Papa Emeritus might really be, but that’s not for us to divulge or dignify!), so it’s safe to assume it’s the same guy throughout. So we pay tribute to you, Papa III, and we will definitely be catching you on tour in the UK.