Track Review: Ghost- Square Hammer

Ghost friggin’ rule, can we just agree on that? Last year’s Meliora was one of my favorite albums of 2015, and was a definite return to form after 2013’s decent but slightly disappointing Infestissumam. The anonymous Swedish rockers have developed an appropriately cult-like fanbase in the past few years, of which I am a card-carrying member and have been since I heard their debut record back in 2010. And now they have a new EP called Popestar coming out on Friday, and I couldn’t be happier, because this sample track released from it is one of the band’s best yet! I’m serious, this is up there with “Ritual” and “Cirice” and I will suspect it will be one of the Ghost’s signature anthems in the months to come. The core of the song is pretty standard Ghost fare, riding the guitar/keyboard attack the band have developed over their past two records. Papa Emeritus III stoops over the track with his whispy singing during the verse and a choir-like chant during the chorus. 

 And what a chorus! This is the type of chorus every band wants to write. It’s probably the most massive chorus the band have ever written, maybe only second to “Year Zero” off of Infestissumam. This’ll really put some pep in your step if listening while taking a walk. The best word I can think of to describe this refrain is, ironically, “heavenly”. And that’s the funny part of Ghost’s satire; they are opaquely satanic, let’s make no bones about it, but the melodies they write are so uplifting and catchy that even a hardcore religious person will probably catch themselves humming along at some point. The irony is sort of built into their sound as well. In addition to their base 70s AOR-type sound (the Blue Oyster Cult-ness reaches a sort of peak in this), this track features a big pipe organ backing the chord progression of the chorus, along with some more “horror-movie”-esque keyboards doubling the catchy main riff.

It’s a short song, and doesn’t quite have anything as ambitious as the extended instrumental intro of “Cirice”, but this song is truly a gem among the band’s catalogue regardless, and has the potential to become the band’s signature song.

Popestar comes out on September 16th

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