Ghost B.C. - Infestissumam

Ghost B.C.
Loma Vista/Universal Republic
Ghost now renamed into Ghost BC, but essentially the same “spirit” even if their emeritus Pope, was upgraded to the second incarnation, continue their “trip” into goat knows what?! What is it that they set out to do in the first place anyway?! A relatively unknown bunch of hooded and masked fellas, led by a guy donning some Papal regalia, was surely going to raise a few eyebrows and cause a bit of public outcry, but I suppose with all the recent re-occurring scandals of  the Catholic church rearing their ugly head once more, the timing wasn’t too right for a “Blasphemous-Charlatans hunt” hence them specters got off the hook, rather easily…
The continue to praise all things unholy and satanic, in a very unique and bizarre way that while in the first album was very akin to 70s occult rock on this, sophomore effort of theirs, certainly seems to drift wildly towards art prog rock of the same decade, mixed with some acidic influences... that create a ghoulish and nightmarish atmosphere that is quite unique, but is also intentionally very ironic and mocking, perhaps even veering into self-parody at times (especially if one takes a look at the titles).
Infestissumam” is an invocation to the son of Satan, The Antichrist, “The Great Threat”... sung as a psalm and segueing right into
Per Aspera Ad Inferi” a rather interesting if not slightly mellow soft rock oratorio with its obligatory “latin” chorus adding some extra charm…
Secular Haze” sounded completely out of place and odd as a single to me at first, but it manages well to play the role of a new “Ritual”. It’s the new single for the band. A pompous, delirious, slightly demented poppy number that sounds like Alice Cooper and BOC on LSD if it makes any sense!
Jigolo Har Megiddo” changes the setting quite a bit, with its prevalent arty keys and slight folk roots. One could find influences of bands like the Cream, The Beatles and other such bands.
Ghuleh/Zombie Queen” is two discreet tracks that seem to intertwine at some point, becoming one for some reason... that I suppose is revealed... “Ghuleh” is a soft prog rock hymn to a “succubus”, before she’s resurrected… complete with its spaced out keys solo – and “Zombie Queen” which initially, has a “Queen” meets “The Ramones” (at some graveyard – out of tune, quality) concludes this little suite, well with the “succubus” getting back to life... can’t say that it isn’t an interesting piece too...
Year Zero” is also another catchy if not so – ridiculously over the top song, (with an even more over the top video with ridiculous – even comical nudity) that is sure to cause outrage and…
After all those the rather plain rhythm of the rather poppy “Body and Blood” makes it sound rather plain. A song that scandalously mocks the holy communion and annotates it with scatological details.
Idolatrine” too seems to be another, pomp pop number this time, but, if I were to offer any comparisons that would be favorable, that would be misguiding, since the track itself is plagued by monotony, hence it falls prey to its creators inability to manage to offer more “variation”…
Depth of Satan’s Eyes” after long makes things a bit “darker” with a bit of a half riff and while it has the oddest chorus it also has the weirdest effect, leaving the listened feeling uneasy, which is GREAT!
Monstrance Clock” is an overambitious and at 8 minutes obviously, long winded epic, that is simply too slow and just not interesting enough… and fails to really capture the imagination in the way the band might have hoped.
Now the “jewel case” that seems to be the Deluxe edition in this case – over the “plain” digipack that doesn’t even feature a booklet, has two extra songs that are however not mentioned at the tracklisting – but are “hidden bonuses”.
La Mantra Mori” is a bit of a hypnotic pop rock tune that has a very repetitive tune set to some acoustics and then there’s a rather dramatic take on ABBA’s “I’m a Marionette ” that’s quite psychotic and has such a cold performance that really fits the lyrics quite better than the original even… if that’s possible… I never thought I’d say that as I think Papa is quite the challenged singer vocally that barely gets away with most of his performances being marginal. But here he excels! He feels it, or rather he doesn’t which is what the “role” is all about!
All in all, I keep on reading heaps on praise about Ghost and about this album. It’s certainly better than “Opus Eponymous” make no mistake. It’s also far worse than it at the same time, as it’s watered down. Depends on how you look at it. Ghost are not a metal band. They never were, they’ll never will be.
They’re metalheads that perform a weird amalgam of rock based sounds in praise of Satan... some sort of a bizarre pop rock doom. I mean Death SS, did the same and started in the mid-70s and were a lot more theatrical and a lot more seriously into the occult but never EVER got that sort of recognition... WHY? It doesn’t sound quite right to me…
Don’t get me wrong. I find that what Ghost do is “cute” and “fun” in a “I’ll rip your guts out and eat your eyes” way – but at the same time, it’s just a trend, really. All this 70s occult rock love and vinyl collection by hipsters who don’t have any other vinyls... is a bit of a joke and that jackass from Darkthrone is partially to blame about that. Ghost happened to be at the forefront of this and more power to them for that. That’s irrelevant. It’s not their fault that people like them, but people who just like this one band, are seemingly just missing out a million others and if Ghost are the new messiahs and not just a fancy passing curio/trend, with a few nice albums, behind them, and a few grossly overpriced 7”, then sorry but we’re seriously $#%$%#%$#%!