In an age where it is becoming increasingly difficult for metal bands to break free of the underground and find mainstream success, Ghost is one of the few bands seeming to gain popularity. With each new album, the band manages to launch into the next stratosphere of fame. Despite this, I’ve found the band to be wildly inconsistent. The debut had some good tracks, but appeared to be just a hint of things to come, while “Infestissumam” knocked it out of the park completely. The band’s third record, “Meliora”, shows them returning to Earth. Much like the first Ghost album, “Meliora” has a number of enjoyable songs, but it also has some head-scratching moments, as well as some downright boring ones.
The high points on “Meliora” consist primarily of the first half of the album. Whether it is the doom-laden single “Cirice”, or the catchy bounce found in both “Spirit” and “From The Pinnacle To The Pit”, Ghost has done an excellent job of writing material that sticks with you. They are all true to the band’s formula of incorporating Papa Emeritus’ highly restrained and melodic vocals over top of heavier mid-paced riffs. The latter track in particular is perfect for a live setting, as it is easy to sing along to. While the band has hinted towards playing doom metal in the past, “Cirice” is Ghost’s first major example where they show how effective they are at playing this style. After a short instrumental, the band continues the high quality with “He Is”, a song that is much lighter than the earlier tracks (thanks in large part to the extensive use of acoustic guitars), and considerably far away from metal.
From this point, Ghost loses focus a little bit. “Mummy Dust” has a downright frustrating and annoying chorus, while the remaining four tracks on the record are true to Ghost’s sound (even the interlude), but with minimal substance of interest. Gone are the hooks so catchy that they won’t leave your head for hours. The problem with the style of music that Ghost plays is that it is so reliant on strong songwriting that when this isn’t achieved, the result is disappointing. Sure, there’s the occasional enjoyable moment on the second half of the album, but relative to past classics like “Ritual”, “Jigolo Har Megiddo” or even some of the earlier songs on this album, side 2 is a major letdown. Nevertheless, if you like what Ghost does, “Meliora” probably won’t disappoint too much. At the very least, it is worthy of buying for the first few songs, while the latter half is good for the occasional spin.
Be sure to check out and like Ghost on Facebook!
"From The Pinnacle To The Pit"
3.5/5 or 70%.
Written by Scott