If you’ve at all been following the rock/metal scene over the last few years, then the Swedish occult rock band, Ghost, will hardly sound new to you. Ever since 2015’s Meliora, they’ve been talked about, praised, dismissed and then lauded again. Last year’s Prequelle – a concept album of sorts based around the plague – was up for several awards and even nominated for Grammys.
And now Ghost have released their latest piece; two new tracks packed with religious imagery and influences from as far back as the 60s. Kiss The Go-Goat / Mary On A Cross promises somewhat of a new direction with Ghost, and it’s just as lascivious as ever.
The A-side of the new single, Kiss The Go-Goat, is a rock anthem complete with Latin, Satanic rituals and everything else you could want from the band at this point. The track begins with trademark guitar and drums, only with an undeniable 70’s feel. Even the music video to it features a young Papa Nihil with nameless ghouls in the background, simple silver masks covering their faces. There’s a strong Blue Oyster Cult vibe here, and I love it. ‘Hey baby! Kiss the goat!’ another guise of singer Tobias Forge roars, telling the tale of a girl who turns to satanic rituals and gets nothing from it.
The song is awesome, with a chorus that’s explosive and second only to Popestar’s ‘Square Hammer’. ‘He’s the guy you wanna do, but you know that it takes two, luckily he wants to do you, too.’ is a line straight out of Infestissumam’s outtake catalogue, and it sounds great. We get our fix of Latin (the phrase ‘osculum obscenum’ being the supposed ‘Shameful Kiss’ witches would give to Satan, only they’d kiss his ass, and not his lips. Why? Because Satan, probably) before shattering into another great solo of Ghost’s. ‘Kiss The Go-Goat’ is an unexpectedly simple rocker, but by no means is a throwaway track. Ghost are back once more, and we bow to them.
‘Mary On A Cross’ has such an 80s vibe it might as well be ‘Dance Macabre’s younger sister. The opening riff is simple but headbang-worthy. It’s also just a beautiful song; two young lovers speeding through the night air and high tension. ‘And the truth of the matter is, I never let you go…’ is a haunting line, bringing us to a chorus that’s melodic and bittersweet. There’s already all kinds of theories as to what this one’s about, but regardless it makes a chilling piece. This song rocks in a live setting, too, reaching a crescendo with Forge’s bewilderingly piercing notes.
Overall, these two new tracks from the spooky Swedes are awesome, as all of Ghost is, marking a new direction in their sound. It’s a sound I’m sure we can all appreciate, each of Forge’s musical influences popping up in one way or another throughout. They’re shedding their old Satanic skin for something fresher, and something newer.
‘And I see nothing wrong with that…’