There is probably no one on this planet that has criticized Ghost more than I have. I think they’re incredibly overrated and that for all of their trying to capture old-school vibes, the music just isn’t good. I remember calling their first record the worst of that year and I still stand by that. However, because I am indeed harshly critical of Ghost, it was seen that I would be the one to write this review since I’m not so entranced by them. That said, I did take a totally non-biased listen to their newest opus (see what I did there?), entitled Infestissumam (which according to my handy dandy Google Translate, means “most hostile”). What did I think? Well, it’s miles better than their last record.
If you were expecting any of the sacrilegious overtones to have been subdued after signing a major label deal, then you are incredibly wrong. Just by pressing the play button you have a Latin choir praising the dark lord Satan to wipe out the holy trinity. This record follows much of the same path as the last record, with many of the songs worshiping Satan/zombie queens/etc. The music follows the same path, writing metal that is supposed to be anthemic and sermon-like: when you hear it, you are supposed to feel as if you are going to Satan church. One of the most enjoyable things about the lyrics: they’re difficult. I hate it when a record tries to dumb itself down and the lyrics sound like a goddamn Spin and Say. A lot of this record’s lyrics are, although definitely Satan-worshipping, involve more complex words than typical fare.
Now, unlike the last record, where I hated all of the songs, this record has some songs that are honestly pretty great. Per Aspera Ad Inferi is a phenomenal first song (not counting the intro interlude thing). That death march drumming in the song is very well-fitting with the demonic sermon vibe. Secular Haze, with its whimsical sounding organ dominating the song, is at once sinister and catching. Year Zero is probably my favorite off of the record. I feel as if it catches all of the elements of Ghost in one song: Satan, church, old-school, and great singing. However, there’s also quite a bit of filler here. I knew I should have expected less out of a song called Jigolo Har Megido, however I’d like to be optimistic. This is one of the most simple songs the human brain has ever conceived. It feels almost lazily written. I feel the same about Depths of Satan’s Eyes.
Overall, there are some absolutely golden tracks on here. However, they get mired within much of the filler. It’s hard for me to fully recommend purchasing it because there’s so much filler, but I do recommend it gets a listen. You may like it, and you may not. But definitely listen to it. I can say that there are a few worthwhile tracks on here, which is more than I can say about the last one.
2. Per Aspera Ad Inferi
3. Secular Haze
4. Jigolo Har Megido
5. Ghuleh – Zombie Queen
6. Year Zero
7. Body and Blood
9. Depths of Satan’s Eyes
10. Monstrous Clocks
Genre: Satanic Hard Rock/Metal
Record Label: Loma Vista Recordings
Playing Time: 47 Minutes
Papa Emeritus II – Vocals
Nameless Ghouls – All Other Instruments