(9/10) One thing right away – if you liked Ghost up till now you will like the band even more after having listened to their new longplayer ‘Prequelle’. The fourth album, following the 2015 release ‘Meliora’, is rich in well-crafted soundscapes and catchy melodies. While other bands with a similar approach often drift away into trivial catchiness it’s the excellent songwriting skills that distinguishes Ghost and their sound from the rest.
The short intro’ Ashes’ sets the scene for ‘Prequelle’. It’s a baleful mood that comes with ‘Ashes’ before ‘Rats’ takes it over. The first ‘real’ song on the new record reflects the before mentioned. The melody sticks to your mind immediately and it’s the chorus that is perfectly crafted. What acts as a counterpart is the intonation of ‘rats’ that includes so much contempt. Although there’s a constant sugar-sweet swing connected to the songs it’s the underlying misery that creates the arc of suspense.
‘Faith’ is kept a bit slower in pace and is a good example for the before mentioned. The tune comes with an evil vibe and it’s the sugar sweet harmonies that try to camouflage it. Still there are some moments when things get gloomy, the parts in which evil breaks-through the shiny surface.
One of the best songs on ‘Prequelle’ is an instrumental. ‘Miasma’ is the title of this track, a song that shows Ghost’s great musical craftsmanship. This dark and joyful song in which keyboards, guitars and a hard working rhythm section are all treated equally and add to the entirety. Towards the end it’s a saxophone that adds another aspect to the song. An instrument, that’s rarely used for hard rock and metal fits perfectly and widens Ghost’s sound on ‘Prequelle’.
The album includes with ‘Helvetersfonster’ a second instrumental. This time it’ a more cinematic one with big soundscapes. Calmer and louder moments interact with each other on a constant base before things move on the ‘Life Eternal’, the closer of this new offering by Ghost. It’s again a soulful and touching moment at the end of the album. The tunes slowly builds up without becoming a hard rocking tunes. It’s a great composition that ends an album that can be seen as the best one Ghost delivered up to date.
‘Prequelle’ is an album you can’t escape from. The melodies and hooks catch your attention, if you want it or not. Musical savvy meets and great sense for melodies, together leading to tunes that have an earworm-effect included. ‘Prequelle’ is another excellent album of Cardinal Copia and the Nameless Ghouls, for me even the best to date.
- See the Light
- Dance Macabre
- Pro Memoria
- Witch Image
- Life Eternal
Release Date EU: June 1st, 2018