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Few bands have maintained a level of intrigue and theatrics the same way Ghost have since their Opus Eponymous. And their 2018 follow-up to Meliora offers a unique take on the Great Plague with added sax appeal.

Prequelle is a perfectly orchestrated heavy metal album that takes you on a ride through the 1600s with Dance Macabre and Witch Image creating a cocktail of Abba with a hint of death.

Rats is the first full-length song packed with a melodic chorus and hard rock riffs but joined by some fancy footwork by Cardinal Copia in the music video – shot in the death-clad streets outside a diner.

The Cardinal’s next step is into the blockbuster Faith. Ghost’s natural talent at fusing metal and theatre is summed up in what is one of the best songs from the record.

While some fans clamoured for harsher vocals – or vocals on all tracks – three instrumentals are key to building an image and atmosphere unique to a band that has grown from the cellar of heavy metal and made its way onto our streets and into our hearts.

Miasma is a snapshot of Ghost’s musical ability. Morphing from a simple melodic mix of guitar and synth, both take turns for solos before a saxophone (yes, sax on a metal record!) brings this belter to an end with a brass bang.

Anybody who hasn’t listened to Ghost is missing out. Bands evolve and take routes others may fear to tread.

But even with a different direction and a morbid take on The Plague of 1665, Tobias Forge and his nameless ghouls have released a record worthy of winning album of the year.

Guy Bell


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