I’m not a Ghost hater. I’ve listened to Opus Eponymous more times than I can count, but my last.fm account attributes 270 scrobbles to the Satanic Swedish sextuplet’s debut. After gushing over the album, I began to anticipate what the band would do next and had apprehensions about what it would sound like.
The band inked a $750,000 record deal, which split the divisive opinions about the band even further apart. This had me half-worried that the album was going to be a dud and half-excited that the band would put a gargantuan chunk of their advance up their nose, write a hybrid of Vol. 4 and Secret Treaties and feature a guest appearance by the man in the cocaine crown, Glenn Hughes.
Well, here we are with Infestissumam before us and the former of my aforementioned suspicions confirmed. The band either got bad coke or just have no excuse for writing an album this dull. The debut featured guitar-driven, riff-oriented spooky music with somewhat perky and uplifting vocals giving way to infectious choruses from Papa Emeritus. This album is the inverse of Opus Eponymous in that the music is bright and perky, while the vocals and lyrics portray the darker elements, save for songs like “Body and Blood” and “Idolatrine.”
One of the most egregious elements of Infestissumam is the drumming. For the first half of the album, the Nameless Ghoul treats his snare drum like the drummer’s equivalent of Chinese water torture and it drives me fucking bonkers. Cut the shit. The drumming is all too predictable and the fills couldn’t be less creative. It’s like the guy has never heard the end to an Iron Maiden song.
I mentioned the guitar-driven asthetics of the debut, which are nowhere to be heard here. The guitars take the back seat and lend the wheel to choirs and keyboards, which, aside from the standout “Year Zero,” neither are used to any substantial effect.
Infestissumam just sounds caught up in trying to recapture the 70s instead letting the music flow organically, much like Graveyard do. “Ghuleh/Zombie Queen” even features a surf rock part, but I’d honestly rather listen to the Ventures or watch The Munsters. I can dig the intent behind this album, but the execution falls too short on nearly every song. They’re simply not as catchy.
I wanted to like this album. I really did. I love the live gimmick. People talk shit about bands with a gimmick and costumes, but I’d rather see a Satanic Pope on stage with some dudes in robes than just a few guys standing there playing their instruments. I wish this album gave me the push to go see them, but instead I’ll just stay home and listen to “Black Juju” by Alice Cooper if I really want to get spooked.
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