These bands are far more Black Sabbath than they are Metallica or Slayer. It still seems so strange to me that Black Sabbath, the first heavy metal band, seems to have had far less musical influence on the next generation than Judas Priest and their other contemporaries, but I do go on.
Ghost B.C., or simply Ghost (there was a lawsuit), is a metal band from the far away land of brutality and hockey players, Sweden. To call them a theatrical metal band is an understatement. The names and faces of the members remain unknown. Only the singer has a designation more significant than "a nameless ghoul," as the rest are called. If you believe everything you see, Ghost is on their second singer, Papa Emeritus II, but no one but them knows the truth of the situation.
They have a standard line up, guitars, bass, drums, and a keyboard player to go along with Papa Emeritus II (The first was replaced at the beginning of a show, but as no one knows the identities of the members, there is a strong belief that Papa Emeritus and Papa Emeritus II are the same person.) One of the things that makes them stand out musically is their keyboard player. He(?)... We'll go with the Nameless Ghoul who plays keyboards...like King Diamond, the NGWPKBs uses several different sounds on the record. From organ, to harpsichord, to standard keys, and to synthesized sounds. His contribution adds an eerie vibe that is all over the record.
Papa Emeritus II's vocals are haunting. Like the guitars, he never is over the top. It would be appropriate to say that during the entire record, even in the heavier songs, he is singing. Had he been screaming or growling though, the music would lose power and focus. His ethereal vocals fit the character he is playing, the fallen pope.
The guitars are simply background music to the vocals. There are no memorable solos on all twelve tracks (I have the deluxe version from iTunes.) on this album. Even though, this record was crafted in the way it should have been done. I will be looking to when they play in St. Louis. This is a great album if their character driven persona doesn't bother you, but hey, you can't hear the makeup in the music. Make sure you get the Deluxe version with two bonus tracks. The final, "I'm a Marionette," is one of the best songs on the album.
2) Per Aspera Ad Inferi
3) Secular Haze
4) Jigolo Har Megiddo
5) Ghuleh/Zombie Queen
6) Year Zero
7) Body and Blood
9) Depth of Satan's Eyes
10) Monstrances Clock
11) La Mantra Mori (Bonus Track)
12) I'm a Marionette (Bonus Track)