• Steve Jenkins

Download Festival Feature Artist: Ghost Albums Ranked Best To Worst

Ghost are one of the most polarising bands in the world right now, not just in the metal scene either. They are a theatrical force that has taken what they do to new extremes, and their fan-base seems to be growing rapidly. They are without a doubt one of the must-see bands that you should check out at Download Festival Australia in Sydney and Melbourne.

First formed in 2006, five of the group's six members are known as the 'Nameless Ghouls,' dressed in virtually identical, face-concealing costumes, while frontman Tobias Forge played Papa Emeritus, a kind of demonic anti-pope. Over the course of their career, they’ve released three acclaimed albums, combining their taste for theatricality with the sludgy riffs of Black Sabbath and the power of Judas Priest. Along the way, they’ve also picked up a Grammy and become a band who can fill arenas all over the world.

The band has also faced some difficulties along the way, especially in the lead up to their latest album. Frontman, Forge, had always vowed to keep his identity a secret, but it became public knowledge when he was sued by former Ghost members Simon Söderberg, Mauro Rubino, Martin Hjertstedt, and Henrik Palm as part of a royalties dispute and named in court documents.

The four, who left Ghost in 2016, accused Forge, of withholding information and royalties, while Forge said in response that as far as he was convinced Ghost was a solo project and the other members just nameless session players.

The repercussions of that fallout are felt strongly on new album Prequelle. As well as boasting a new line-up, Papa Emeritus is no more and instead, we have Cardinal Copia. A new demon in black cardinal’s robes who Forge will portray for the next five years. You can watch him being introduced below:

Now that you're familiar with Ghost, let us delve into their discovery and rank the bands albums from best to worst. And to those who say Ghost isn't "Metal", I can tell you that as someone who listens to bands such as Black Sabbath, Led Zeppelin, and Metallica to Cannibal Corpse, Lamb Of God and Slayer, every time they enter the arena. if you are a true metal head, then you know metal is an experience. It isn't how fast you play or how long your hair is. You feel it with the fans, the music and the overall atmosphere. Ghost gives you that feeling. It's an experience, not just a song.

4, Infestissumam (2013)

Whilst the second Ghost album had a few great tracks on it, there was something that was just a little bit off. This is when the band still had the "B.C" title added to their name, and people were just sort of finding out about this intriguing and relatively new group. It’s something to do with the sextet’s aggressive embrace of their middle of the road, pop influenced tendencies on tracks like “Secular Haze,” “Body and Soul” and “Jigolo Har Megido." At the expense of at least mildly metallic extensions of their original vision like “Per Aspera Ad Inferi” and “Depth of Satan's Eyes.” But they get points for trying something new.

3. Prequelle (2018)

While Prequelle has its misses, there is more good than bad with this album, and those good moments are excellent and damn catchy. This is a band coming into global domination so the process is bound to have its hitches at times. Yet, it doesn't do much to detract from Ghost and their characterisation. Forge and his bandmates are wildly exciting and this is another step towards rock supremacy.

2. Meliora (2015)

After what was considered a bit of an odd direction for the band with the 2013 release, Infestissumam, Ghost came back to their senses and reconnected their classic hard-rock roots on 2015’s far more focused and musically satisfying Meliora. This album would get many comparisons to Blue Oyster Cult, but they also showed their prog-rock colours, as well as genuine metallic minor keys, power chords and church organs that they band are now known for. Ghost went for a more accessible album with Meliora, namely with the progressive-pop-doom hybrid that Ghost have crafted on on this album, with the occult aesthetic running in parallel to the music, this is a resounding victory for the Swedish sextet and is arguably one of the band's strongest albums to date.

1, Opus Eponymous (2010)

Ghost’s debut full-length turned the metal world by storm, as it checked every fundamental box associated with the genre: Satanic lyrics, catchy guitar riffs, ghoulish visuals, everything except for the "heavy" part. Instead of belting out “Hail Satan!,” Papa Emeritus sweetly crooned to his “Elizabeth” then quietly said his “Satan Prayer.” And rather than bulldozing with deafening distortion, the nameless Ghouls plucked tender melodies at the start of “Ritual,” punched lush keys on “Stand By Him” and layered golden harmonies on “Con Clavi Con Dio” and other tracks. Astonishingly fresh, to say the least, ‘Opus Eponymous’ justifiably catapulted Ghost out of the underground. A twisted yet amazing album that will lure you in with its excellent sound, old school references and homages to 70's hard rock and it's soaring vocals. This album is great for those who are seeking something different that feels familiar.

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