Monday, April 8, 2013
Ghost : " Infestissumam"
O.k I liked Ghost's first album, but it eventually wore thin as most novelties do. The guitar sound was a little bland in it's attempt to replicate a retro sound and for all the reviews trying to proclaim it was the second coming of King Diamond, the vocals were a little weak and couldn't hold a single candle to the altar of Merciful Fate or even the King's solo work which is stronger vocally up til say the Spider's Lullaby.You are talking about comparing someone who struggles to reach a meager head voice against some one who has an upper range that knocks the steeple of most cathedrals, a very weak imitation the only thing he got right was the mid range moaning croon. But with the new album the Blue Oyster Cult influence comes comes through and there's barely a shadow of King Diamond.
I skipped over the melodramatic intro piece so we are just going to take it up from the first real song " Per Aspera Ad Inferni" very mid pace middle of the road piece of seventies rock, right from the first few notes you can tell it's benefiting from a much better production value. The keys take a better placement in the mix , the bass line also gives it some heft though I'm not sure I would really qualify this song as metal.
The Keyboards take on a more Door like psychedelic circus feel on "Secular Haze". The vocals very mid range and all signs of the mournful croon smoothed out, this could almost be a Porcupine Tree song. There is a more more progressive feel here, the bass player is killing it and has the only performance that's really shining so far so this song works as a whole, There is a dramatic shift in tone by the next song " Jigolo Har Megiddo" which has a cheerful bounce to it that negates any occultic darkness they might have to get them over where their lack of heaviness fall short. This would be an upbeat happy song if it was on a Queens of the Stoneage album so here it feels like a total misstep.
Some one ordered extra cheese with this album as the next song about an incubus is a piano ballad that at best heads into Emerson Lake and Palmer territory. The keyboards which had been the albums stronger suit to this point really weigh it down in a flaccid state. Mid way through the guitar builds into a sixties surf rock thing.While picking up the pacing is an improvement it doesn't win me totally over on this one.
I guess Stevie Nicks counts as occult rock because " Year Zero" feels like "Edge of Seventeen" the song's sense of movement compensates for its lack of punch.Then comes "Body and Blood" whose the first few chords like an Alice Cooper b-side from the drunken disco years. It pretty bland affair. Are they not aware of who their audience has been up until this point? I think most metal heads are going to be hard pressed to take this one seriously.
I mean i'm really baffled by the time it rolls around to the gleeful frolic of "Idolatrine" which has a Sesame Street melody. I think they must really be going for a Muppet audience on this and have been on a steady diet of Queens of the Stoneages happier moments. At this point I'm really suffering through this one. "Depth of Satan's Eyes" is the first thing on here that really has any kinship to the first album.It's fitting all the references to shit this song has as its pretty much describing the bulk of the album.
On the closer I can hear some Alice Cooper influence in the theatrical nature. The lyrics are pretty godawful. It does have a darker creep to it than what happened earlier in the album. The guitars are pretty weak throughout. The vocal melody doesnt bring anything to thye table and to be honest i miss when he was at least reaching for his pitiful falsetto as it was at least a change from this monotonous collect of half hearted melodies.
I have to around this down to a 3 as I feel it really wasted my time and I can't wait to delete it from my Itunes, its been a while since I have been this disappointed by something, not that I had very high expectations but happy devil ballads is pretty fucking rough.