Ghost (SWE)
Infestissumam


4.0
excellent

Review

by SitarHero CONTRIBUTOR (60 Reviews)
April 9th, 2013 | 363 replies


Release Date: 2013 | Tracklist

Review Summary: The nostalgia trip...to HELL!

The problem with gimmicks is that they have a shelf life. Just ask any of the retro-rock darlings of the class of ’03. The Darkness, Wolfmother and Jet all burst onto the scene by resurrecting the '60s and '70s, both in sound and image, and shot to the top of the charts before falling into obscurity once the nostalgia faded. Fast-forward a decade and you’ll find Ghost B.C. (just Ghost to the non-Americans) taking more or less the same trip, but with a twist: they “worship” Beelzebub, you see.

Infestissumam is filled with all kinds of over-the-top '70s goodness, from baroque bel canto chorales to sunny harmonies to noodly Blackmore-esque guitar leads and the all-important ever-present Moog synthesizer. The music is ripped right out of the Deep Purple playbook, but is accompanied by an affinity for amusingly grotesque satanic imagery in the lyrics, artwork and stage accoutrement of the band. The identity of the band members remains as closely guarded as ever, but, in this post-Black Metal day and age, the gimmick serves more as parody of the tropes of “Satanic Heavy Metal” than full-blown identification with the archetype.

Recording a retro record, even with the Satanic twist, is as limiting as it is refreshing. The '70s inevitably became the '80s and music moved in different directions. Ghost is therefore inherently limited in what they can accomplish through Infestissumam. However, gimmick aside, the band delivers a solid album that is chock-full of catchy vocal, guitar and keyboard melodies threaded through proto-prog-rock song structures.

The one '70s trope that is subverted is the instrumental noodling which, while present, is never excessive. The epic Ghuleh is the longest song on the record at 7 and a half minutes, while most of the other songs are between 4 and 6 minutes long, despite having several instrumental solos. This conciseness in composition makes the album pass faster than one realizes and is quite refreshing for an album of this sort. The album has no real barn-burners in terms of tempo with the possible exception of Per Aspera part 2, which is the most “metallic” song on the album. Most of the songs, such as Jigolo Har Megdido, Idolatrine, Body in Blood, Depths of Satan’s Eyes and Monstrance Clock are built around guitar-and-drum stomps, while Secular Haze is built around a dancing carnival organ piece.

The absolute high-point of the album is without a doubt Year Zero, which features choir interjections, harmonized verses that build perfectly to soaring choruses, and an utterly irresistible disco backbeat. Elsewhere on the album there are moments of brilliance such as the ebb and flow on Ghuleh , the terrifically demented combination of cheery vocals and black-and-white horror movie organ melody on the amusingly titled Idolatrine, and the guitar and keyboard contra-punctuation on the intro of Depths of Satan’s Eyes. While the strongest card the band plays is their talent for writing tunes that evoke their idols while moving just unpredictably enough to be unique, they occasionally band settle too much for idolatry and end up sounding like a Blue-Oyster Cult reunion.

Ultimately, the album, despite its prima facie heavy subject matter, is a bit of light-hearted disposable fun. It’s hard to tell how long the band’s gimmick of Lucifer-worshipping '70s rock will remain novel but, while the novelty lasts, this nostalgia trip is certainly a fun ride.

Highlights:
Year Zero
Ghuleh / Zombie Queen



Recent reviews by this author
The Contortionist Our BonesHe Is Legend White Bat
Destrage The Chosen OneThe Wildhearts Renaissance Men
Solitude Aeturnus Beyond the Crimson HorizonPeriphery Periphery IV: Hail Stan
user ratings (942)
3.6
great
other reviews of this album
1 of

Comments:Add a Comment 
SitarHero
Contributing Reviewer
April 9th 2013


10667 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Well this was fun!



Album stream: http://pitchfork.com/advance/67-infestissumam/

Calc
Contributing Reviewer
April 9th 2013


16248 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

this is ok. I should listen to it again i guess.

SitarHero
Contributing Reviewer
April 9th 2013


10667 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Yeah it's not AOTY material I don't think, but Year Zero kicks ass and the rest of the album is fairly entertaining.

greg84
Emeritus
April 9th 2013


7608 Comments

Album Rating: 3.7

Good review. Pos'd.



The album's quite good, if not spectacular.

Digging: Hawk Eyes - Advice

SitarHero
Contributing Reviewer
April 9th 2013


10667 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

"The album's quite good, if not spectacular."



My thoughts exactly. I was floored when I heard Year Zero and a slightly disappointed by the rest of the album. But it's still pretty entertaining.



And it Satan's just the right amount for me.

SitarHero
Contributing Reviewer
April 9th 2013


10667 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Satan is nothing if not theatrical. The youtube comment pages have some hilarious discussions on whether the band is Black Metal or not.

SitarHero
Contributing Reviewer
April 9th 2013


10667 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Fire and brimstone isn't theatrical?

MeatSalad
April 9th 2013


17438 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

band is silly

SitarHero
Contributing Reviewer
April 9th 2013


10667 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Chill man. I didn't mean to offend your spiritual sensibilities. It was a flippant comment that has nothing to do with "true" Satanism. The fact remains that the common perception of the Judeo-Christian version of Satan is that he's a pretty flamboyant character.

Voivod
Staff Reviewer
April 9th 2013


8433 Comments


Excellent review, pos and thanks for the album stream.

Review should be featured at some point.

Digging: Apparatus - Yonder Yawns the Universe

YankeeDudel
April 9th 2013


9342 Comments


these guys put on a good live show. they're fun and catchy 70s worship. nothing great but they have a niche.

SitarHero
Contributing Reviewer
April 9th 2013


10667 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

"sorry didnt realize i had to be in a fluster to argue in favor of a belief system that i personally do not follow?"



Nah man, it's just hard to tell how serious someone is in a comments section.



"This should be featured at some point."



W00t!

razedtotheground
April 9th 2013


370 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Really digging Monstrance Clock but this has some pretty poor tracks too

Digging: Tool - Fear Inoculum

zxlkho
April 9th 2013


3491 Comments


This band is black metal!!!!!!!!!!!1111 They sing about Satan!11!!!1!!!!

tempest--
April 10th 2013


20633 Comments


Pos'd, can't wait to check this out.

oltnabrick
April 10th 2013


37384 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

aoty



Digging: Leviathan - Verrter

conesmoke
April 10th 2013


6023 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

i've really really liked all 3 songs they pre-released. Will most certainly buy this cd. m/

tempest--
April 10th 2013


20633 Comments


What I love about them is that they have fucking sweet melodies, but it's still heavy and rockin'

a little thing I like to call 'doom pop'

tempest--
April 10th 2013


20633 Comments


yeah it is really but I was trying to be humorous you know??!?!?1?1/!??!?1/

tempest--
April 10th 2013


20633 Comments


JESUS I GUESS YOU CAN'T MAKE JOKES ON SPUTNIK



You have to be logged in to post a comment. Login | Create a Profile





FAQ // STAFF & CONTRIBUTORS // SITE FORUM // CONTACT US

Bands: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z


Site Copyright 2005-2019 Sputnikmusic.com
All Album Reviews Displayed With Permission of Authors | Terms of Use | Privacy Policy