Ghost far from being ‘booed’


I’m not exactly a metal head, and I’m not quite a Satanist either (I’ll get to that later), so I’ll be the first to admit that I wasn’t so sure about going to see the band Ghost when I was told by our Arts Editor, Tess Brock, that they needed a photographer (and now journalists, prepare yourselves for the writing skills of a science major) for their show on Oct. 6th, at the Pageant. After a quick YouTube search, however, I think my opinion was swayed just enough towards the “why not?” side. After all, it’s been awhile since I’ve seen a masked band play with their gowned “anti-pope” gear and sing what could only be described as Biblical-themed verses from some sort of apocalyptic Satanist cult. I’m also never one to miss a good live show. And don’t worry, Papa Emeritus and his Faceless Ghouls that make up the band delivered on that promise.

Something about Ghost is absurd enough to be charming. The more I looked into the band before seeing them, the more excited I became for the show. Maybe it’s the fact that they’re completely anonymous and come with a message to send through their music. Even if you don’t agree with it, there’s always something to be said about inspired albums.

Don’t bother looking for who exactly is in front of you dressed in a robe covered in upside down crosses–you won’t find them. And that’s exactly how they want it. The thing is, Ghost becomes a lot easier to digest when you realize that at least fifty percent of the band is built around the showmanship aspect. Part of what makes that possible is the mystery behind their identities; because, when they take off the Faceless Ghoul masks and ridiculous robes, you might be disappointed by the fairly normal looking Swedish men standing there. That, is also part of what’s really stuck with me about this band; One doesn’t have to be a Satan-worshipping metal head during the day to attend the Ghost show. Rather, you just need to take it up for an hour or two, starting as soon as you walk in.

Alright, I may have been procrastinating on discussing their actual music. It can be hard to judge when you’re new to a genre, as was certainly the case this time. To start, don’t go into this album expecting the stereotypical screaming. Old school metal fans will be surprised if they are anticipating what might seem at first to be a Norwegian, black metal band with seizure-inducing tempos, because they’ll instead find clean vocals and Black Sabbath reminiscent mid-paced guitar riffs, which border on bluesy at times (namely the powerful opening riff of their most popular song of the album, “Cirice”). The opening backing track of song one, “Spirit” on their newest album “Meliora”, brings you in with what could only be described as the music one would hear walking into a haunted house. Before long, the clear and simultaneously powerful voice of Papa Emeritus paired with head-banging tight drumbeats will get you hooked until the end. It’s a unique listening experience to say the least.

It seems with this album, Ghost did only what they could do—bring showmanship to vinyl. You don’t need to be front row to get what they’re all about. My advice: Listen to the album with open ears and, better yet, get tickets to a show next time. For an hour and a half out of your life, extend your pinky and index finger and become that metal, head banging, anarchist devil worshipper you never thought you were.

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