Infestissumam (Deluxe Version)
Frontman Papa Emeritus II dresses like a satanic pope and paints his face to resemble a skull. Backed by a band of cloaked, devil-worshipping monks, Ghost B.C. is an intimidating sight to behold. That is, until the band starts playing music. Like its 2010 debut album, Opus Eponymous, Ghost B.C.’s 2013 sophomore full-length is ripe with catchy songs and melodic guitar-pop hooks that have more in common with Blue Öyster Cult than any of those church-burning Norwegian black metal bands. Following the introductory title track (with the aforementioned monks chanting in Latin over a bombastic classic rock backdrop), “Per Aspera Ad Inferi” kicks out some hard-rocking riffs as Papa Emeritus II sings like a young Buck Dharma on BÖC’s 1981 album Fire of Unknown Origin. The anthemic “Year Zero” winds through progressive arrangements driven by galloping rhythms and dramatic swells of choral chanting. The Moody Blues–esque “Idolatrine” sounds authentically '70s. Of the deluxe version’s two bonus tracks, “Secular Haze” stands out with a contrast of dark carnival sounds and near sing-along choruses.