The Ghost Cult Album of the Year for 2015: Ghost – Meliora

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1. Ghost – ‘Meliora’ (Spinefarm)

Released on 21st August, Ghost Cult’s Album of the Month for September and now our official Album of the Year, managed, even in a year in which Slayer released a divisive selection and Iron Maiden unveiled a 90 minute double album after a five year hiatus, to dominate conversations, causing arguments and endless discussions about it’s place in their canon and Ghost‘s status in the world of rock and metal.

For a “new” act to take on the established acts for column inches and internet debate is testament to how successful the Satanic vision of the original Nameless Ghoul has been.

The band formed in 2008 with a simple mission to spread the word of Satan through the medium of retrospective rock with the devil’s harmonies carrying and subverting the masses.

“This is the album where Ghost have consolidated the tricks and tropes that drew us into their strange vaudevillian universe to begin with and the album that will hold us there for some time more. Meloria sees Ghost honing all their tricks into one accessible and often infectious package.”

Read Mat Davies original review here

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Much as dream follows day, Infestissumam saw a definite evolution and movement on from Opus Eponymous, and so Meliora is a further celebration of the Ghost sound, of their continued exploration of a musical niche, adding rock opera tendencies, even, at times, grinding War Of The Worlds into the feted gristle flowing through their distinctive Satanic mills as 70’s synths flutter, guitar solo sing, and holding it all together into memorable hook-filled hymns is Papa Emeritus III.

You can throw superlatives, or analyse things to the nth degree, or you can enjoy that most special of things – an album filled from top to bottom with great songs.

And more than anything, THAT is why Meliora is the Album of 2015.

 

Ghost Cult Top 50:

50-41

40-31

30-21

20-11

10-2

 

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Ancient VVisdom – Sacrificial

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It has only been a couple of years since occult inspired Swedish heavy metal band Ghost BC rocketed out of obscurity and cast their shadow over any similarly aspiring band in occult rock. It seems that Ancient VVisdom have also found themselves under the influence of the Swedish titans with their latest LP, Sacrificial(Magic Bullet). While the music remains largely unaltered from previous work, it’s Nathan Opposition’s vocals that have a distinct twist of Papa Emeritus to them in this release. The harsher edges and ominous harmonies have been replaced by soft reverb-doused phrasing and while the difference may be subtle, it’s unmistakable.

Opening up with an acoustic intro, Ancient VVisdom carry through the distinctly organic sound from older work. Contrasting this, the distorted guitars in Sacrificial lean heavily on chugging for many of the riffs, which although not entirely well integrated does add a satisfying drive that previous albums lacked. Many of the riffs and choruses retain a similar format, however the songs themselves do still seem to offer some surprises with ‘Blood Offering’ and ‘Devils Work’ throwing the listener into some mid-tempo riffing, while ‘I am your Sacrifice’ presents a Megadeth-esque bass intro.

Both enticing and enchanting Sacrificial captures the listener with its satisfying mixture of heaviness and melody. While the sound has certainly taken a stronger step towards the most traditional occult metal style, this record has proved it is certainly not a bad move from the band. With strong riffs, a great mix and catchy vocal melodies, Sacrificial would have the Devil himself tapping away to the odd track.

While it could never be described as a masterpiece, it is a very welcome addition to any car stereo or downtime playlist.

8.0/10

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CAITLIN SMITH