Imagine if King Diamond & Ray Davies set out to create the most fun doom album since My Dying Bride‘s much acclaimed covers album, Doom Goes Pop. That didn’t actually happen but it fucking should have. Anyway, Ghost‘s debut is a meaty slab of power-pop cum doom metal with tones warmer than my nutsack after a furious session with the latest issue of Reader’s Grans. Male readers should take note, this is the closest one can get to a multiple orgasm without very expensive, experimental surgery & remembering to sit down to piss as it’s the first album ever to feature simultaneous doom-gasms & moog-gasms.
Things begin predictably enough with a funereal church organ intro but any notion that this is a doom-by-numbers exercise are blown away by the bass-driven genius of Con Clavi Con Dio. Hypnotically catchy choruses on Elizabeth & Ritual will be ingrained in your mind long after senile dementia robs you of your name & the correct method to wipe your anus. The former’s chugging guitars are reminiscent of the early Judas Priest colliding with the rhythm section of Witchfinder General. Stand By Him has a chorus Cauldron will be kicking themselves for missing & lyrics about a Witchhammer so it’s probably my new favourite song ever. Outro, Genesis borders on Pink Floyd-ian space rock leaving you with a nice gentle comedown.
Musically, everything is so gloriously understated. The production has a sheen indicative of a painstaking labour of love rather than today’s usual approach of computer calculated levels. Ghost pull off schlocky, tounge-in-cheek satanism with aplomb whilst never stepping over the line into parody. At just over 30 minutes, Opus Eponymous is as short as it is sweet, completely bereft of the filler most bands are content to shove down our throats.
For the full effect, you should probably buy this on vinyl, head back to your brown wallpapered living room, slip into your most comfy bell-bottoms, turn on your favourite lava lamp & get lost in Ghost‘s righteous grooves. For once you can safely believe the hype without worrying that Public Enemy will come fuck up your shit.