I thought for a long time that I would never find a show opener type song that, for me, would top The Hellion/Electric Eye by Judas Priest. The sheer magnificence and the excitement it builds is tough to rival. Then the album Infestissumam with its namesake opening track showed up in my life. This was shortly after experiencing Meliora and realizing how beautifully this music resonates to my core. I loved Meliora so much I purchased and/or borrowed from a friend, all of Ghost's albums up to that point. They went on repeat. One album is in rotation each day now, unless it's a turn on Youtube and let all the videos cycle through sort of day.
Now lets get back to the album that the religious folks in Nashville weren't comfortable with when asked to sing . You remember, right? Belial, Behemoth, Beelzebub......AND the joys of having companies refuse to work with you because the cover art was too much for them? Sometimes I'm embarrassed for my home country. Actually I am most of the time but that's not related to Ghost and my wide world of weird synesthetic experiences. Let's get back on track. Here we go.....
Infestissumam....Released April 10, 2013 via Sonet and Loma Vista
I compare listening to this album to sitting in the middle of a great cathedral as the music swirls and echos around you. My world is awash in shades of red similar to what you would find in a king's crown and robes, misty white, and gold. There's the gold. That glorious gold that appears when I hear him sing. This color scheme follows me throughout the album. Sometimes the white overpowers the red and vice versa, but the gold is a constant .
You already have an idea of how much I like the title track. The next one, "Per Aspera ad Inferi" has a special place in memory for me. When Papa sang "perverted are your wishes and dreams" and locked eyes with me, I completely forgot my name, my mother tongue, a second language, and what planet I was on. Damn you man for being so good at it......carry on.
I won't touch on "Secular Haze" this time around. You got that one in the first installment of this series. I like the live version.
"Jiggolo Har Megiddo" and "Ghuleh/Zombie Queen", red and white respectively. It doesn't suprise me that Jiggolo is red considering the subject matter. Ghuleh is one of those songs that is graceful to my ear. I think I mentioned in the last entry that those tend to appear in silvery grays and/or white. "Year Zero" is the song playing if you ever see me speeding down the highway singing at the top of my lungs. That song is an intense red. It's probably a good thing red is my favorite color. Also, it's "hell Satan". Those who have paid attention know the lyric to which I am referring. It's archaic Swedish. Don't argue spelling and grammar. You didn't write the song. Moving on.....
"Body and Blood" is a fair balance of all three colors. It's also catchy as hell. The guitar work on this one is some of my favorite on the album. "Idolatrine" is a song I wish had existed when I was a child and was dragged to Sunday service at wretchedly early hours. It would've numbed my annoyance at what was being spewed at me, but then this isn't a religious discussion so let us not go there now. "Depth of Satan's Eyes" had lots of red as well. Hear that harmony in your head and imagine yourself cruising down the highway in a red 77 Monte Carlo with a white interior, followed by other red cars. That's what it feels like to me. Yes I'm weird.
Lastly, "Monstrance Clock". Here's another that is graceful as it reaches my ears. There's a definite sense of closure beyond it's place on the track list. I've always thought it is the perfect show closer. It surrounds me in misty white. You can almost see Papa Emeritus lead you into the mist.
Opus Eponymous....Released October 18, 2010 via Rise Above
This was the beginning. The beginning of the theatrics. The beginning of the genius that is Ghost....Okay, fine. The genius started before this, probably right about the time the members of the band were children playing air guitar on a broom at age 3, and certainly in another band, but Ghost is where it took a turn for the dark side. It became heavy imagery and blatantly Satanic lyrics with a substantial dose of humor poured in the mix. Brilliance, in my humble opinion.
"Deus Culpa". That is the organ music you hear flowing from parts unknown as you enter the chapel for the dark mass. Flowing, beautiful but sinister in its presentation, it pushes you to the edge of your seat because you know what's coming is going to knock you on your ass. For me the excitement is tangible, as is the deep green that surrounds me when I hear it.
Then it hits you. That bass line that opens "Con Clavi Con Dio". Especially when you experience it live, it's a swell of sound that makes you jump up (assuming you were actually sitting) and belt out the lyrics along with His Infernal Majesty. "LUCIFER!! WE ARE HERE. FOR YOUR PRAISE. EVIL ONE." I was greatly appreciative of the inclusion of red tones in the stage lighting for this one because that is how I see it in the mind's eye. A great swath of red with Papa's golden voice. (Remember, it literally is golden to me).
"Ritual" and "Elizabeth" are a return to that deep green for me. They are also two of the three songs on this album that are the most "metal" sounding to me. The album itself has a more traditional metal sound thanks to their choice of equipment. I'm inclined to think that this has much to do with why many Ghost fans think Opus is their best work. Perhaps these fans are metal purists and just don't admit it? I have no idea. Whatever the case, this album is sheer brilliance to me, like the rest of Ghost's discography, but Meliora is still my favorite. It is still the best in my opinion.
"Stand by Him". Not gonna lie kids. I fucking love this song. This one and "Ritual" are my favorites on Opus. It's the riff. You know which one. Curiously, this one elicits a visual similar to the tracks on Meliora, those being black, silver, and gold. As an aside to this, I don't dance, but if I were to dance to a Ghost song it would be this one.
"Satan Prayer" and "Death Knell". These two songs have a proven ability to make local missionaries walk away from my doorstep. That is funny to me. Not sorry. Each song was dominated by that deep green, and bright blue respectively. Imagine yourself getting a blanket of each color thrown in your face. Got it? It's actually a little fun isn't it? That is my experience. I'm hoping to be able to explain the bright blue some day. Currently I am completely clueless as to why it showed up. I usually get deeper shades of blue. For those not familiar with Ghost, when you listen to Opus, pay close attention to the lyrics of these two songs. They are a perfect example of that blatantly Satanic, but steeped in humor quality I mentioned before.
"Prime Mover" and "Genesis". Both are that deep green from before. That's cool. If you asked me what color those songs were, I would say green without giving any thought to anomalous sensory feedback. They both also have that graceful quality to my ear. The green behaves in a similar fashion to the silvery gray that I normally get when I hear a more mellow (read: less heavy metal-ish) tune. "Prime Mover" has a distinct sense of forward movement to it. Careful if you play it while driving, because you may do like I did and end up speeding. The guitar work in "Genesis" is catchy and addictive. I once read someone's opinion of how it sounds like classical Spanish guitar. Not sure I agree with that.....at all in point of fact. Admit it. You've listened to it and started singing the guitar parts, too. Don't lie. I know you have.
Someone mentioned....What about "Zenith", "La Mantra Mori", and "Here Comes the Sun". I'll throw those together in another entry coming soon to a Metal Addicts Division near you.