Let’s just get this out of the way. This band’s name is freaking stupid.
If I’m to believe them on looks alone, then Ghost is made up of five “Nameless Ghouls” (as the musicians are credited) led by some satanic priest in a red Cardinal’s outfit (covered in inverted crosses … SPOOKY!) and skull makeup. His name is Papa Emeritus, and he sings his “litanies” to a melodic metal backdrop.
Naturally, they are European. Swedish to be exact. This could only come from Europe. And, much like many Euro Metal bands, they are way over-hyped to death.
If I were a teenager, I would be all over this: Over-the-top image, and melodic heavy metal. Ol’ Papa Emeritus (rumor has it that his parents know him as Tobias Forge, and he plays in some band called “Repugnant”. Seriously.) likes to throw his voice into “Satanic” lyrics that pepper the album’s nine tracks. "Satan Prayer" is rather obviously titled, while “Stand By Him” proclaims in its opening lines that “The Devil’s Power is the Greatest One”.
The music is so inoffensive (very prominent keyboards), this could easily be on any rock radio station in America (or anywhere else). "Ritual" practically begs to be all over the airwaves, as well as yet-another-Metal-song about Elizabeth Bathory titled simply, “Elizabeth”.
Think 70’s bands like Blue Oyster Cult. Or early 80’s pioneers Mercyful Fate (without King Diamond, there would be no “Papa Emeritus”, believe it). That’s what you’re getting with Ghost. Musically competent, visually stimulating, but ultimately safe and kind of boring. Without their visual gimmick, this band would fall flatter than, well, something flat.
Go ahead and buy into the Ghost hype. It’s a big world and you can listen to crappy music if you prefer.