A Bard’s Eye View: Looking at Meliora


Looking at Meliora

Ghost’s newest release

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Ghost is one of those bands that comes seemingly from out of nowhere and surprises the world.  Their third release, Meliora, is a new entry into their discography.  Their second album charted #28 on the Billboard 200 and this one will likely fare even better once the album sales information comes in. The Swedish band has quietly becoming more and more successful.

How?

That’s a fantastic question.  My brother-in-law asked me what the appeal was, especially within the metal community.  Ghost does not hit particularly hard, they’re not performing insane blast beats and rocking out chromatic solos.  They only use clean vocals and sound like a modern day Deep Purple meets Blue Oyster Cult.

Some would argue that they are simply gimmicky and the general populace is intrigued by such gimmickry.  The entire band is completely anonymous, their names are not allowed to be released.  The lead singer, Papa Eremitus III (formerly Papa Eremitus II and Papa Eremitus on previous releases) reprises his role as a demon faced pope with the inverted cross on his hat.   The “Nameless Ghouls” play the rest of instruments.

Though not super familiar with their previous work, I can tell you that their live performance was very good.  I saw them open in 2011 for Opeth and Mastodon and it was a theatrical experience.  Hearing them play a cover of “Here Comes the Sun” by the Beatles was a pleasant surprise.  I found myself singing along not realizing that I already knew the song.  They’ll be in town next month and I look forward to hearing their newest stuff live.

August 21, 2015, Meliora was released and though it doesn’t seem to have the same technical prowess and musicianship found in the previous two albums, I found it more enjoyable than the previous two.  Spirit begins sounding like an alien abduction is about to occur before some crashing drums accompany a pleasant guitar riff introducing a sound that really foreshadows what’s to come in the album.  The bassline that begins From the Pinnacle to the Pit is reminiscent of their first album.  From what I’ve gathered from those I’ve spoken to, this is the album favorite.  Cirice is probably the most doomy song on the album, taking riffs that pay homage to the days of Black Sabbath.  The fifth song, He Is, has almost a folkish feel to it.  It’s one of my favorites on the album.  Mummy Dust may be the heaviest song on the album, the style of the guitar is very similar to Corrosion of Conformity’s style of playing.  Majesty is the third single released on the album so far and with good reason, it seems to fit the way Cirice and From the Pinnacle to the Pit play on the album.  There is a lot of good piano that races along with the guitarwork in Absolution.

No doubt I’ll be telling you all about how great their show is here in October.  I haven’t decided on next week’s topic so for now, it’s a surprise!  See you next week.

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