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  • Writer's pictureR’nR With Rylo

Spin #22 : Ghost : Opus Eponymous

Musicians on Album: Papa Emeritus 1 (Lead Vocals) and a bunch of Nameless Ghouls. In the liner notes the performers are credited as the band, Ghost.

Ghost : Opus Eponymous Year Released : 2010 Produced by Gene Walker Label: Rise Above Price Range: $50+AUD Speed: 33 1/3 RPM Album Before : N/A Album After : Infestissumam (2013) Further Listening : If You Have Ghost - EP (2013) LP : 1 x Black LP Mood for enjoying: Ghost is a heavy band musically with a clean softer vocalist that can growl or get gruff if he wants too. They provide a (dark) church style feeling whilst listening to this record and do a great job at keeping to their theme. You will be riffing along in the car to these tracks! Great mood lifter! Track Listing:

LP Side A

Deus Culpa - 1:34

Con Clavi Con Dio - 3:33

Ritual - 4:28

Elizabeth - 4:01

Stand By Him - 3:56

Side B Satan Prayer - 4:38

Death Knell - 4:36

Prime Mover - 3:53

Genesis - 4:03

What's in the Sleeve ? 1 x Black LP in a gatefold sleeve. Lyrics are printed in the gatefold (takes a while to get used to the text type).

"'Tis the night of the witch, 'tis the night of the witch tonight and the vengeance is hers for as long as she stands by him" ~ Stand By Him - Side A

Welcome to Spin #22 - Ghost - Opus Eponymous

"If you have Ghost, you have everything" is a common expression amongst fans of Swedish doom band Ghost B.C. or as we now know them simply as Ghost. I'll admit that I have been a 'Ghoul' (fan of this band) since the earlier days and grown with them over the years. Now your mind is probably thinking of bands such as Black Sabbath, Candlemass or Type O Negative but Ghost bring their own flavour to the doom metal/hard rock musical landscape. I've chosen their debut record, 'Opus Eponymous' which funnily enough translates to 'Self-Titled'.

The mystique surrounding this band during the early albums really helped their cult following. Close your eyes and imagine a church from the upside-down in the show Stranger Things. Now picture an old pope, but in his black and red coloured regalia, standing at the altar with messy skull face paint on. This is Papa Emeritus I or affectionately known as 'The First One'. The front man surrounds himself with the rest of the band, called Nameless Ghouls, who are basically trapped souls in costumes who conveniently can play instruments.

There are a few people who look at this band and don't know whether they are creating a persona/theme or actually believe in the occult. This adds another dimension to the band, that I'm sure they love but there is nothing to fear with this band as it is all a very well thought out act.

I've decided to listen to this one late at night with my Sennheiser headphones on so I can turn it up loud and not wake anyone up. I did have an issue the other day with the turntable in the front room not being able to play a record, due to its inability to add weight to the tonearm. Unfortunately, that model has no anti-skate or weight adjustments. The original system in our loungeroom has all these features, so I was able to confirm it was the turntable and not the record that had the issue. I found a really nice turntable that works with the Marshall Woburn II speaker which won't break the bank - (although not required right now, So I will save up for a much later date).


Drop the Needle (of course means place the stylus nicely on your wax):

I place the record on the turntable and confirm it is a 33 1/3RPM LP before hitting start and placing the stylus down on the wax. I like the artwork on this record as it reminds me of two things I love - classic horror movies and music. Ghost have chosen to pay homage to the 1979 miniseries and well known Stephen King book, 'Salem's Lot'. It shows Papa Emeritus I casting his shape over the castle on the hill and is one that would look great in a record frame on the wall.

The haunting sound of the organ comes gradually through the headphones of the first song, 'Deus Culpa', which roughly translates to 'God Blame'. This instrumental tends to make the listener believe that they are sitting in a church waiting patiently for the service to begin. Just like Rob Zombie did with 'Hellbilly Deluxe', Ghost do a great job at creating a sinister listening experience. The theme of this record is all pointing towards the prophecy of an anti-Christ being born into the world.

Whilst listening to this record there is a distinct sound and heaviness coming through the headphones and its awesome. For a debut record it has grabbed my attention again as if I was listening to it for the first time. 'Deus Culpa' tails off into the start of 'Con Clavi Con Dio' and it has a bass line that is on fire. The rough translation of the song title is something alluding to nails and God (crucifixion I presume). I'm not sure if the band had the clear direction that they seem to have in recent records but the choice of song titles are clever - Creation, Beginning etc.

Papa Emeritus I looks scarier than he sounds but his voice seems to draw you into the music the more that you listen to it. I like the feeling that you are mentally watching a show as you listen and being taken along for a journey. "Sathanas, We are one, Out of three, Trinity". I was hoping that the band would include the illustrations that accompany all the other records in their collection but unfortunately the debut doesn't have any. The image on the back cover is pretty cool with gothic writing and mummified bodies (please see photos below).

One of the most well known live songs for the band would have to be the next song, 'Ritual'. Catchy guitar riff sucks you in again until around the 30 second point and *drop* hit hit hit bang bang {insert dark riff here}. The pressing is pretty flawless right now and the artwork on the label is of the Cross + G (Grucifix).

I like the lyrics of this song and a thought just came into my mind. For some reason I wish that Ghost would cover a Placebo song, as I just think it could work. Kate Bush's 'Running Up That Hill' song seems to be the flavour of the month and this was previously covered by Placebo - maybe a match made in heaven for Ghost. Check out this cover here and also tell me what songs Ghost should add to their covers in the comments section below. I like the lyrics on 'Ritual', "On this night of ritual. Evoking our master, to procreate the unholy bastard". There is a creepy voiceover before the song ramps up again with the heaviness and riffing.

Not to be outdone is the next song, 'Elizabeth' (pronounced whilst singing E-Lies-a-beth). I first heard the next two songs before knowing who or what this band was. I just remember that the music was heavy and the vocals were angelic. If you don't pay attention to the lyrics and have not seen what the band looks like, then you'd be forgiven for not knowing what you do now. Side A is racing by and I like the midpoint of this song where Papa gets a little bit gruffer with his vocals before the Nameless Ghouls jam out together. I don't know how these musicians can see what they are playing with outfits on and dark lighting - so talented. Reminds me of a King Diamond/Mercyful Fate style of vocals and storytelling. I like the use of organ in the ending of this song, as it adds so much if you are a visual person like me.

This next song and last on Side A is called 'Stand By Him' and it's my favourite on the album. Papa Emeritus once said when asked about this song - "Probably the heaviest riff ever written". He had this riff in his head playing over and over and he just couldn't stop playing it. Finally, he got the song formulated in his mind and it was the catalyst for Ghost. I think it is the intro on drums leading into the heavy riff that makes this one so memorable, "A temptress smitten by the blackest force. A vicar bitten blind in intercourse". I didn't get to hear them play this song live at Download Festival in Sydney 2019, but they still rocked! Another song to check out would be 'Absolution' off their third album Meliora - it's my favourite track of theirs.

Time to lift the tonearm and press stop on the turntable as its time for Side B!

If you want more Ghost lore, then look no further than on Reddit. These are some of the nicest people you will meet on there constantly talking and appreciating this band. If you are a fan or newcomer, they won't judge you and most of them will be happy to explain the layered history of the band. So by now the stylus is working its way across the grooves and the punchy drums and humming sound of 'Satan Prayer' comes through my headphones nicely. This song has a lot of stop-start that works well with the lyrics. It has a chorus that builds up before hitting the dark riffs again in the verse. You can really visualise a massive group of cloaked people chanting this 'prayer'. Just before the 3 minute mark on this one there is a sexy guitar solo before Papa comes at you again with "hear our Satan prayer, our anti-Nicene creed". The ending of this track comes through so cleanly in my headphones before the sound of a storm and rain begins.

It's a bit timely as it is pouring outside at the moment. The sounds of 'Death Knell' starts with the drums being hit in a way that puts the listener into a trance. Papa asks you, "Say, can you hear the chimes?". It is so quiet at that moment that I turned up the volume even more and realised I had it on a level that wasn't healthy for my ears. But metal music trumps hearing right? just kidding, look after your hearing. Side B continues where Side A left off really and the flow of this record has been really well thought out. The ending of this song sounds like it came straight out of a Nightmare on Elm Street or another 80's horror movie, as there are chimes and sounds everywhere.

A lighter sound comes through the headphones with the last song on the album (not including instrumental), 'Prime Mover'. It builds the tension before the Nameless Ghouls lose themselves in their instruments at the minute mark. Papa hits some vocal highs on this song and then there is the creepy fast speaking like someone has been possessed. Not sure if they would play this song live in their current set-up but I think it is a strong album ender.

The last piece of music is and instrumental called 'Genesis'. Sounds slightly sped up with riffing throughout. Makes you want to flip the LP over and play Side A again honestly. It just fades off into the nothingness and dead wax after some really nice sounding guitar work and also reminded me of Tool's Fear Inoculum at one point. I find a lot of their albums close with this style of song, where it makes you want more and more. I won't ruin anything about this band for you if you are a newcomer but a word of warning - make sure you research carefully if you don't want any spoilers as there is a lot that has happened between this debut and their latest album, Impera.

Ghost have only been around since 2010 but they are one of the biggest bands in the world currently. This is one band that I will take Night Kat Kiz along to see as they are incredibly good live and have only improved since their stellar debut album. Seeing them for a smaller festival set a few years ago made me realise that we need to see a standalone show and do as Papa commands.

Make sure to get involved below in the comments or on our social pages and tell me your favourite Ghost track. Better yet, let us know who is your favourite Papa! Thanks for everyone who is having guesses on the MWSP that drops at 4.50PM each and every Wednesday.

Until our next Spin, Be Kind to Nameless Ghouls and Be Kind to your Wax!

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