By Victor Farinelli
Picture this hippy who is tuned in and dropped-out. He has a huge goofy dog and hangs out with this jock, the jock’s girlfriend, and his girlfriend’s bookish friend. He wears the same green shirt, brown bell bottoms and combat boots every day. He must be high as a kite, because he loves to eat dog treats and thinks his dog actually talks. Not in the normal way that someone talks to their dog and the dog reacts with jumping, whining or rolling over. I mean the dog actually talks back. This dude’s friends seem to be just like fucking Jessica Fletcher in Murder, She Wrote: trouble always seems to follow them wherever they go, and he is too stoned to figure out that he may not want to hang around these squares any longer. ZOINKS!
Now, picture that this cat wears corpse paint, reads Anton LaVey, burns incense ordered from the Temple of the Black Light website, and his dog has three heads. Ghost B.C. has a new album out. (They had to add the “B.C.” because they were getting sued.”) It’s called Infestissumam and it sounds like the soundtrack to this Satanic Shaggy’s life. It really is Evil Scooby Doo music. I don’t mean that in a bad way. I love the music on the first couple of seasons of Scooby Doo. Before they added Scrappy. Scrappy Doo was like jumping the shark. One talking dog is enough. When you add another one that talks like a real person and is a little asshole, you might as well hang it up.
This Swedish monastic order of evil has been all the rage in the metal world since their debut album Opus Eponymous came out in 2010. The rage is well-deserved. They are currently scheduled to play the hipster bonanza Coachella this month and are probably the heaviest band on the bill. I had the opportunity to see them in 2011 at the Hole In The Sky festival in Bergen, Norway. I was awestruck. I was an instant convert to what they were preaching. I drank the Kool-Aid.
Infestissumam is an awesome blend of Split Enz, Elvis Costello, The Beatles’s Abbey Road and Watain’s Sworn to the Dark. Supposedly, singer Papa Emeritus was replaced by Papa Emeritus II. Their voices, however, sound eerily similar. Ghost’s second LP is definitely more dynamic. This release focuses more on the compositions than performing for the black metal crowd. There are many musical elements that continue to demonstrate their signature sound: the melancholy, minor scale melodies, the blatant left-hand path lyrics, and the guitar and keyboard sounds have the same tone as the first album. It is also rumored that Dave Grohl played the drums.
There are subtle differences that make this record a significant step forward. The track “Ghuleh/Zombie Queen” is a good example. The first half is early ‘70's soft-rock material. Then, the second half kicks in, and it is like demonic ska. A “Special” kinda “Madness” for sure this time. Get it... Special... Madness... nevermind. Of course there is metal: King Diamond mixed with Blue Öyster Cult sprinkled with a dash of Danny Elfman. Overall, it is a well-rounded album with catchy tunes, great musicianship, and an incredible ambiance. The highlights for me are “Year Zero, Ghuleh/Zombie Queen” and “Idolatrine.” Really, there is not one throwaway song in the whole package.
So if you are into Luciferian cartoon soundtracks somewhere between soft-rock, ‘80's Brit Pop and Mercyful Fate, then this record is for you. It is one of my current top five records of the year. Check out the red vinyl package that comes with a shirt and lithograph. Far the fuck out!
Victor is a blogger for Tattoo Artist Magazine and can be found at: http://www.facebook.com/victhortheviking.
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