Long have the metal faithful yearned for the 80s, when metal will once again be "cool" and popular as it was in the days of yore. As if to answer that call, an intriguing Swedish band named Ghost
came along (also known as Ghost
BC). With a debut album rife with Mercyful Fate
and Blue Oyster Cult influences, it was time to strike back and strike back with a vengeance.
It is often a rule that sophomore albums are of significantly superior quality to the debut album: Infestissumam
is most certainly that. Opening with a satanic choir chanting a liturgy to the antichrist, the album's intro flows seemlessly into the second track, "Per Aspera Ad Inferi
", with its crescendo chorus that keeps the momentum of the song - and album - rising up. Side B keeps the anti-papal imagery alive with the hit song "Year Zero
", which just might be this band's very own "Master
of Puppets". Closing out the album is the haunting "Monstrance Clock", which once again brings the choir back to send us away into the darkness of the night (eerily punctuated by a menacing keyboard hook).
Is it a perfect album? One could argue that is the case: but for me, a significant portion of the songs on both sides kind of just blend together in a miasma of BOC-inspired samey-sounding B-sides. Which, of course, is hardly a bad thing, especially when the lion's share of songs are kick-ass. Move over, death metal, Papa Emeritus II and his band of ghouls are heralding the return of classic metal.