Myth: you can't credibly make devil-symphatizing music without sounding incredibly heavy, ugly, depressing and incomprehensible. Myth busted: introducing GHOST.
I love screwing around with genre specifications and I love bands who successfully combine different styles of music. By far the most interesting discovery in doing this is the Swedish band named Ghost. I've never come across anything like this. They combine black metal themes with slightly progressive, seventies rock sounds. Singing about the devil with clean, beautiful vocals and hippie sounds! Hell yeah. Satanic rock, anti-gospel, that's what it is. The band say they are messengers of Satan, so they don't even reveal their names or faces because that would be irrelevant.. Totally agreed.. They wear these catholicism inspired .. ermm.. devil munk outfits, when they play, which is awesome. It is almost a religious seremony, so why not.. Scary motherfuckers.
(Btw, they'll be playing at the Tuska festival next summer in Helsinki.)
Considering that they're from Sweden, I can't help but ponder whether there are dudes from other, maybe bigger, Swedish metal bands. It seems that often metal musicians have needs to play in many different bands to express their varying musical needs. Hmm. At least I don't recognize the singer's voice.
When it comes to this kind of classic heavy rock I admit that I have not listened to many other classic rock/metal bands than Black Sabbath and the occasional Led Zeppelin. Mostly this is because I need something in music that I can relate to. Music that was made decades before I was born just doesn't talk to me (unless I find something special in it that does. Like Ozzy, he speaks to me..). I guess that's one of the things that makes Ghost interesting for me: they sound "old", but they're a band of the 2010's, nevertheless.
Overview of Opus Eponymous:
+ Creating heaviness through lyrical themes and athmosphere.
+ Awesome singer: a low male voice is not always needed to sound good and evil.
+ Skilled compositions.
- Some songs are rather bland in their sounds: I think this is where my affection for heaviness is shown.
I do think that for myself Ghost is an excellent way of moving into a less-heavier direction in music. I've proudly stated for years that I have a wide taste in music, but recently I've realized that I just listen to heavier and heavier music all the time and find it hard to see anything good in bands that are not metal. In this, Ghost is good because they are heavy, but not as much musically as lyrically. They don't annoy me, in other words.. I'd say that the lyrics have a great significance in Ghost. If they'd sing about romance and love, they might not sound as good.
I leave you with Ritual, a Ghost masterpiece. Enjoy.