Ghost - Prequelle

Ghost Prequelle
Spinefarm/Loma Vista Recordings
Funnily enough I had a listen to this album when the whole existence of it and its title was under NDA. See, I happened to know someone who had it, but hadn’t signed an NDA, so I could have easily pissed on the band’s and company’s cornflakes and be fine and face no issues. At any rate. I’ve never bothered too much with Ghost, finding them pretty superficial and boring, far too derivative and based on other people’s riffs to make up their own compositions. Riffs from Megadeth’s “Symphony of Destruction”, Slayer’s “South of Heaven” and countless are easy to spot in many of their hits, while their pseudo satanic theme are cringeworthy at best, but thankfully not even them – make that – their “main” guy – that Papa guy, who decided to turn himself into a “copie” just to poke fun at what was expected ie PE IV, seem to take it seriously. I did somewhat find their second effort “Infestissumam” a fair bit more interesting as it did seem to copy more Abba and pop than “metal” resulting in a far more melodic style and “Prequelle” seems to largely be an amalgam of whatever the band/project has been about until now, with a lighter poppier sound, despite the ghastly theme that seems to be running through most of the songs of the album, being death.
“Ashes” is a largely uneventful intro that leads straight to “Rats” the album’s first single, a pastiche of one Sabbath riff with Fortune’s (US-85) keyboards from “Smoke from a Gun” and a few more borrowed melodies – a somewhat cool if not a little derivative solo and inconsequential lyrics about rodents. Well done.
“Faith” is a lot riffier and more interesting, far heavier and more “metal” if you wish. Its solo must be its best portion and even makes up for the fact that its chorus is not that much pronounced.
“See the Light” tries to troll the haters, but between its artistic pretentiousness and faux 70s prog atmosphere it sort of fails to register as a song. Hey Tobias copy some of Dr Z’s sole album and it might actually sound monumental, next time. They had a harpsichord so you could copy that and everyone will find it to be “groundbreaking”.
“Miasma” (Greek for abomination) is a prog inspired instrumental with a peanic riff that’s a little reminiscent of Manowar’s stuff from “TOS”, first track – it’s the interesting keys and solo that seem to save it from slipping into complete obscurity and infamy, but it’s largely a momentum killer.
Dance Macabre” is perfect pop-metal, but it owes too many of its melodies too, to Irish rocker’s Dare debut “Out of the Silence”. You know, most “troo” metalheads denounce hard rock,(but not this writer), so it’s silly to see that all the new-kids seem to fall for repackaged hard rock melodies, just because they’re infectious and catchy. I have to give it to Ghost for not really writing memorable songs, but for managing to cause controversy, with only a few hits and watered down satanic theatrics.
“Pro Memoria” has symphonic and 70s prog aspirations – and I could allude to a very expensive 70s LP that its main melody seems to be lifted directly from… but I can’t be too arsed. It’s cheery but creepy chorus, sounds like something out of a cartoon or something that Army Of Lovers or Right Said Fred could have written, but who am I to judge, with a discography by the first and a few singles by the latter.
“Witch Image” is actually an interesting hard rocker that blooms nicely and feels relatively original and has a “big chorus” without sounding too corny.
“Helvetesfönster” is a rather neat 70s inspired but modern-day aesthetically executed neo-prog instrumental piece. It’s fair, but most ghost fans would probably have their minds blown if they ever did listen to any modern bands that actually thrive on that particular genre.
“Life Eternal” is a bright  soft number, not exactly a ballad, but a softer, melodic song where “Tobias/Cardinal’s” vocals don’t sound as reedy as they did in the past – but still his limited range is evident – despite that fact not being a reason to take the song down with it. But still the multiple harmonies in the ending of the track have been done in the past and so much better by other bands. Cute track but no cigar. Not really.
The deluxe version of the album adds “Avalanche”, which is a rather boring and mundane song that’s heavier but lacks hooks and sees Tobias singing with his “real” voice, along and a cover of Pet Shop Boys’ “It’s a Sin” (a song which also had its fair share of controversy – as it does sounds awfully close to a slowed down version of Cat Steven’s “Wild World” with a few orchestral hits and differences in arrangement.) Oh well, it was something that I half expected, in all honesty.
An album that mixes all of the previous styles of Ghost and tries to capitalize on 80s pop nostalgia, but pilfering a few more popular melodies. Certainly better than similar crap like the Night Crap Orchestra, and I guess OK to strike disco poses too in the bathroom, while wanking in a sock, but metal or serious, noap. Ooops someone slipped the soap!