As much as I tried to hate this album, I love this album. There is so much going on with this band from the gimmicky outfits to the illuminated manuscript looking artwork for each track you just want to call this band out for being too goofy. But I can't tear it apart. They own their image and know their brand. While I think their earlier work was much less serious, I think they threw down the unholy chalice on this one. They dug in their hooves and made something that is much more their own and not so referential. I kept forgetting how satanic the lyrics were while listening to this because I was enjoying the various moods and vibes this put me into. It put me in an out of body trance. This is album that I've listened to many times now. It continues to entertain me. It's rare these days to hear an album with no filler or atmospheric transitions. This whole album makes sense. It exists in it's own realm. It feels like it was designed for this generation and a generation twenty years before it. Good job Papa III
Below is a track by track analysis.
Track 1 - Spirit - Eerie old horror film opening vibe to this one. Eye of the tiger riffage and crisp drumming set the table. Since the bands image is so distinct now, I can only picture papa with his arms outstretched like a puppet master over the maddening crowd of hipster dudes in thick rimmed glasses staring up at him like lap dogs.
Track 2 - From the Pinnacle to the Pit - I like the overall vibe of this, has more in common with the 90's sound than the Blue Oyster Cult/Deep Purple vibe I always associated with this band. I'm giving them a lot of credit and I usually don't change my tune on bands that have a very specific sound.
Track 3 - Cirice - This was the first song I really dug before hearing the whole album. It sounds like it could've been written for Sabbath's 13 album.Track 4 Spöksonat - a creepy interlude, like a music box that would be playing in Rosemary's Baby's nursery.
Track 5 - HE IS - Combine the vibe of The Hobbit animated flick, mix it with the soundtrack from Zanado and burn each member of ELO at the stake, that is HE IS. Sounds so much like the 80's I had to check if I was wearing striped socks and still know how to drive. Ghost must have had a bad experience at church camp. I think we are all thankful for it.
Track 8 - Devil Church/ Track 9 - Absolution - straight up Church organ music that dissolves into a groove laden Satanic opus. IF Metallica ever went Prog, this may be what we could expect. Ghost are so good at being evil that all your left to do is sing along to the chorus "Cry for Absolution". The closing solo makes me want to watch episodes of CHIPS and drink orange fanta.
Track 10 - Deus en absentia - Its one of those songs where you find yourself in your khakis and a crisp blue shirt tapping your toes and moving your neck in a fantastic Stevie Wonder sway. Then you realize this song is satanic and you shouldn't be so gleeful. But then you can't help yourself and you take out wads of cash and throw it at the mirror ball that just magically appeared in your living room or den. Somewhere Christopher Cross is burning his yacht.