Review GHOST ‘Impera’

Tobias Forge was gifted to create a formula of success he named Ghost. Ghost isn’t only a band. It is a blend of music, theatric approach and show that works extremely well since 2008. Visual identity and musical direction are greatly harmonized and what fascinates is the ability of Forge to develop the sound of the project with every release while sticking to the basic roots of Ghost.

Sound and optics are equally important for Ghost. When going to a concert one usually says: “I will see … tonight” and the phrase is certainly true when it comes to ‘Papa’ and The Nameless Ghouls. I think that everybody is looking forward to see the stage set and the scenery as much as listening to the songs. In a way Forge adopted the ‘Phantom of the Opera’-principles and translated them into a melodic rock context.

Now, when listening to a new album, the music is the decisive factor since everything is stripped down to the songs. ‘Impera’ is the title of the new Ghost album and puts Papa Emeritus IV into the forefront.

The first song that has been unveiled from the new album is ‘Hunter’s Moon’. The song is a part of the movie soundtrack ‘Halloween Kills’ and it isn’t the strongest song on the album. The chorus has a resistance to unfold its beauty while the verse reflects the typical Ghost hooklines. ‘Call Me Little Sunshine’ was the second single, a pounding rock song that is certainly better than a lot of songs one gets offered these days and at the same time sounds a bit standardized. And to round it off, there is the theatric ‘Twenities’ with its creepy mood and a song structure that doesn’t make it easy to find a way to connect. It’s a grower that needs some time.

As a contrast, the album starts rocking and very melodic. The perfectly rocking ‘Kaisarion’, following the intro ‘Imperium’, is an excellent start into the album. These melody lines are crafted for eternity and come with earworm-power. A lot of ‘80s AOR echoes with ‘Spillways’ and catchiness is what characterizes ‘Griftwood’ too. It’s hard to resist the melodies on ‘Impera’ and the closer ‘Respite on the Spital Fields’ doesn’t change this impression.

The new Ghost album includes all the trademarks Forge has foreseen for his musical endeavor. Melodies, enriched by some layers and progressive sprinkles, that’s Ghost in 2022. ‘Impera’ includes everything a well-crafted melodic rock album could ask for. Musical perfection is what listeners get which also means that some edges are missing. Listening to the album gives the impression that things were planned to detail and a bit more space for heart and soul would have made a really good album even better.

Rating: 8 out of 10.

Tracklist:

  1. Imperium
  2. Kaisarion
  3. Spillways
  4. Call Me Little Sunshine
  5. Hunter’s Moon
  6. Watcher In The Sky
  7. Dominion
  8. Twenties
  9. Darkness At The Heart Of My Love
  10. Grift Wood
  11. Bite Of Passage
  12. Respite On The Spital Fields

Label: Loma Vista Recordings

Genre: Rock

Release Date EU: March 11th, 2022

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