Prequelle SPINEFARM / CAROLINE
In the past decade, semi-anonymous doom troupe Ghost have harnessed a lethal combination of pop hooks and heavy metal pageantry to become one of Sweden’s biggest musical exports. Now that the excitement of discovering who’s under the masks has been cast aside – the long-rumoured Tobias Forge was exposed as the frontman in a lawsuit in 2017 – the focus is back on the music with album #4, Prequelle.
Here, Ghost reach new heights of ridiculousness. Now, that doesn’t mean it’s bad – it’s just very, very silly. And that’s really where the charm lies. It’s a little bit like the WWE – you’re either in or you’re out. The fist-in-the-air ‘70s hard rock bop of “Dance Macabre” and its outrageous fret-burning guitar solos stand as a glorious centrepiece for an album that makes sure the listener is never too far away from a triumphant guitarmony or sizzling race to the top of a keyboard. It’s nothing that strays too far from Ghost’s established path of theatrical violence, but Prequelle is a hearty refill for those already drinking from Cardinal Copia’s sacred chalice.