Just a year has passed since the release of “Meliora” (2015)(which you definitely must not miss) and the Swedish metal band returns with a brand new EP called “Popestar” (pretty catchy and fitting if you ask me).
Exactly like their previous EP (If you have Ghost (2013) it consists of 5 songs, mostly covers from the 80’s (good old GHOST) and of course a brand new song, “Square Hammer”. Since it’s an Ep we are talking about and not a full length album, the vocals of Papas Emeritus III are still with us ,which are once again pretty amazing.
But let’s look a little further into the songs:
First and foremost, we have the only original title in the Ep, the “Square Hammer”, which made the internet go crazy the past few days since its unofficial release in a radio show. The snare starts kicking and you hear the catchiest melody in an old jazz organ(took me days to get it out of my head). The guitars join the party and you can now feel the metal tone of the song, making it impossible to forget. Simple but elegant, the chorus is something you will definitely start singing along straightaway. After the second chorus, here’s come the solo. If there was one thing, that could make this song even better(if that’s even possible) it was this solo. As many before me mentioned, it brought memories of a BLUE OYSTER CULT – like sound, which is a huge compliment. You might realize it’s not a classic Ghost song, because of the fast tempo and the funky rhythm, but it’s definitely good.
Then we have “Nocturnal Me”, back to Ghost roots, dark, ambient, giving you the chills. ECHO AND THE BUNNYMEN originally released this song back in 1984, in their album “Ocean Rain”. Set side by side Ghost managed to give a little more depth to the song, a more deep and solid sound while making the title “Nocturnal Me” even more appropriate.
Next in line comes a rather weird Ghost song, no guitars and minimal drums(some drum brushes). Just the dark synth and Papa’s voice. “I Believe”, a song from Simian Mobile Disco in 2007, is another cover that Ghost let their creativity go wild and the improvisation reach some new levels. It was really hard to recognize the original song as Ghost changed it down to the core. The chorus had still the same empowering and enlivening tone in it.
And some EYRYTHMICS could not be absent from this Ep. “Missionary Man” is a Eurythmics song from 1986. This time, Ghost changed a little bit more their main sound and handed out something different, something more appropriate for this song. It might was the first time used solo gospel female vocals and such an a funky tone. Something so pop-like (or maybe Pope-like).
Last but not least, “The Bible”. IMPERIET, the Swedish rock band from the 80’s (yeah, I had no idea either who these guys were) wrote this song back in 1986(2 years before their career ended). Ghost probably decided to honor their country and their fellow musicians by covering this song. Calming, beautiful, with papa’s voice reaching places we can only see from afar and wonder. Comparing it to the original song, not many significant changes were made, but it was a good approach. It was more like a homage than a cover.
Altogether, GHOST reminded to all their fans(and not only) out there, what they are really capable of. They gave us all kinds of songs, from a funky hit to dark ambient atmospheres. Altering their style once again in many ways, managed to do something that could not be characterized as bad(if the word bad is in Ghost’s vocabulary). Personally I would like more original content and a more Ghost-like outro from the Ep. Overall it was a great Ep that I can’t stop playing on repeat.
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