After seeing Ghost perform at Download Festival in 2012, one might be forgiven for thinking they’re just an outfit based on a gimmick. However, over the past few years, they’ve developed a cult following and released two moderately successful albums. With their latest EP, they bring us a raft of covers that range from ABBA to Depeche Mode, so there’s no doubt that the band are happy to broaden their horizons beyond their particular brand of heavy metal.
The first track, ‘If You Have Ghosts’, is a cover of a Roky Erickson song, and it sounds like a godsend because it fits perfectly with the band’s ethos and style. Opening with soft and tantalizing orchestral bursts, and then descending into the sickeningly catchy verses and sublime guitar solo that transcends even the darkest of spirits. The guitars are crisp and the vocals from Papa Emeritus II are perfectly delivered without any sinister undertones (a bit of light relief from their usual material), and it’s a fantastic opener.
The same can’t really be said for the second track and ABBA cover, ‘I’m A Marionette’, which is a track lacking in any real excitement, unfortunately. It’s the sort of track that’ll pass you by quite quickly, although the drums on the track do sound pulsating and that’s probably due to Dave Grohl decided to step in on the track.
The EP as a whole is actually a keeper, it may surprise you how cohesive and mainstream Ghost can sound. It even features a live version of ‘Secular Haze’, which gives an insight into how demonstrably this band are nuts.
It really is an EP worth listening to. The covers feel slightly hit and miss but generally it brings us Ghost as a more accessible band than most would expect, and that can’t be anything but a good thing.
Written by Greg Spencer