Opus Eponymous

Opus Eponymous

For a bunch of scary Swedes, Ghost’s debut album is quite catchy and melodic. The Stockholm sextet keep their identities shrouded in mystery — their lead singer praises Satan while dressed up like a satanic pope (replete with tall hat and skull make-up) as his band plays in brown hooded robes. “Deus Culpa” opens with church- organ drones before thunderous rhythms hail down over proto-metal riffs – but then this is all contrasted with some of the sunniest vocal harmonies since Blue Öyster Cult. The following “Ritual” contains a catchy melody that borders on guitar-pop akin to the Posies’ “I Can Dream All Day.” Although the slightly tougher sounding “Elizabeth” harkens to lighter moments of early Mercyful Fate, disciples of black metal may have a hard time digesting “Satan Prayer” which plays with such uplifting musicality that you can almost envision them singing, “Unholy ghost overlord and taker of life/ Hear our Satan prayer” with a smile on their faces.

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