Ghost
Meliora

I am not a hater of Ghost. I happen to love their prior albums, actually.  A lot of people jumped on the hateorade train thinking that Ghost were just an elaborate hoax of a band.  I’m not one of those.  I mean, how can a classic metalhead slag a band that has influences ranging from Mercyful Fate and Blue Oyster Cult to Metallica, and mixes them with Alice Cooper‘s shock-rock theatrics?  I have seen the band live 2x, and they crush it every time.  Extremely entertaining.

Their 3rd album, Meliora, feels incredibly rushed though.  I was so looking forward to this album, thinking, how they could possibly top tunes like “Year Zero” or “Elizabeth”?  The answer is that they can’t – well, not on this album.  It’s not a complete wash though, so I will go through the positives first, before I rip this a new a-hole.

Album opener “Spirit” is pure classic Ghost, getting into the galloping power metal speed territory that the band flirts with on some of their tunes.  “He Is”, “Mummy Dust” and “Deus in Absentia” are also all great songs, I will say.  Memorable choruses, riffs, and song arrangements.  In many ways, parts of this album come across a little heavier/riff-oriented than their previous albums.  The production is top notch, and the digipak packaging is exceptional, with lyrics and memorable drawings, just like on the last album.

Now for the not-so-good.  The rest of the album seems like a bunch of songs that were not even good enough for B-sides on their previous 2 albums.  Really, they are mediocre at best. They still retain  Ghost‘s memorable aspects, but they’re kind of boring as well.  I was expecting the band to use more heavier chants and choruses, ideas which had started to become fully realized on the second Ghost album, but that is not the case here.  In fact, the songs are more streamlined and fairly one-dimensional.  Ghost needs to go in the direction I suggested, as well as becoming more theatrical, and not toning that aspect down. I really feel this would further their sound and make them even more interesting.  The band also throws 2 filler tracks onto Meliora, making this actually an 8 track album. The fillers, while interesting in their ambience, could have been included on an EP with better tunes.

Meliora is more of a grower, but it is rushed.  They should have taken a little longer to think this album out before releasing it.  Disappointing.

 

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Frank Rini
September 30th, 2015

Comments

  1. Commented by: gabaghoul

    Very fair review and sad to say, I have to agree with you.

    “Spirit” and “Cirice” are fine Ghost tunes, and “He Is” is inspired and perverse (I expect most metalheads to skip it, but it’s my favorite track). You’re right though, there’s nothing here that matches the theater and intensity of “Year Zero” or the surprising genre-blending of “Ghuleh/Zombie Queen” (surf rock!). And still nothing near as catchy as “Ritual.”

    I think the few tracks that sound more ‘metal,’ like “Mummy Dust” and “From the Pinnacle to the Pit” are the worst on the album, they sound forced and inauthentic to me. One-dimensional is right.


  2. Commented by: Nick Taxidermy

    i like this record, but Mummy Dust is an embarrassment.


  3. Commented by: Frini

    Thanks for reading guys! Album is still pretty good, just pales in comparison to their previous 2 albums. Ghost can do much Better! \m/


  4. Commented by: Dimaension X

    I loved their first album, thought the 2nd album just wasn’t all that good (the production dropped the guitars very low in the mix), and though the guitars are back up front where they below on this 3rd album, it’s just okay. Some of the songs are VERY good, but the rest of the album just peters out. I think the “schtick” is just over.


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