REVIEW: Ghost – Prequelle (2018 deluxe edition)

GHOST – Prequelle (2018 Loma Vista deluxe edition)

Reviewing an album on one listen is rarely wise, but Ghost can do that to you.  Their fourth, Prequelle, pushes the Ghost sound further into the 80s, while retaining their heavy roots.  Many songs could have been plucked from the year 1986, with that kind of melodic sensibility.  Remember how bands like Accept, Loudness and Kiss sounded around 1986?  Lush backing vocals sound as if assembled with care by Robert John “Mutt” Lange.  Guitar solos are cut from the stone of Mount Kulick.  Ghost leader Tobias Forge has never hid his pop roots, and they are clearly coming further to the fore.

With a bold image and faux-Satanic lyrics, Ghost have established themselves in the upper echelons of metal today.  That will only be cemented further by Prequelle.  In a year that has seen brilliant returns from Judas Priest and Stryper, Ghost complete a trinity of great recent records.  With a deft touch, tracks such as “Rats”, “Faith” and “Miasma” deliver hook after hook after hook.  Ghost never really wimp out, although their melodic skills are sharper than ever.  These songs are written straight out of the textbook, combining heavy and pop influences together in a witch’s brew of addictive audio.  The limits are pushed, with an unexpected sax solo being an album highlight.  They go epic and progressive too, especially on closer “Life Eternal”.

Two instrumentals do not (at all) slow down the love affair.  Two covers at the end of the deluxe edition (Pet Shop Boys and Leonard Cohen) are an interesting coda.  You can make good arguments for only buying the basic 10 song album, because it has a clear beginning, middle and end.  If you’re the kind of person who likes staying for the end credit scenes, or enjoys having dessert, then you should check out the bonus tracks.  “It’s a Sin” has the detectable Pet Shop Boys disco beats and posh swagger.  Tobias Forge’s evil Leonard Cohen impression twists “Avalanche” into something darker and sinister.

However you go for it, make sure you get Prequelle this summer.  The deluxe has a neat 3D cover, if that strikes your fancy.

4.5/5 stars

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34 comments

    1. Well I love Meloria. I think it’s excellent and much better than Uncle Meat gives it credit for. He is an acolyte of the first album in particular. Last year we were driving up to Sausagefest singing “Hear our Satan Prayer, our anti-Nicean creed!”

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        1. Yup Forge knows how to lower the boom …
          For some young kid discovering these guys now is pretty much like someone stumbling across Too Fast For Love or Shout for the very first time!

          Liked by 1 person

        2. Hopefully in 10 or 15 years you are proven correct. It is certainly possible. But Ghost have more going for them musically. The Crue were dirtbags and people loved that too.

          And Papa/Copia is a hilarious frontman. Like stand up comedy between songs almost.

          Liked by 1 person

        3. Yeah Papa/Copia/Tobias or whoever he is does indeed have that knack..
          Kudos on him for finding a niche and going for it. Even though he’s getting sued for it

          Liked by 1 person

        4. Don’t know if you saw the latest Vinnie Vincent drama. He dropped out of a convention and now it’s he said/she said. Although Vinnie’s side makes more sense. (Guy had never organised a convention before)

          Liked by 1 person

        5. Gah…You knew this was coming. Vinnie just has shit ass luck. Quit going to conventions and ramp something up and hit the Bars and tell people your back..
          Vinnie Vincent Invasion was a great band name!
          I’m interested in perhaps getting the book that Bobby Rock has written about the whole VVI thing going down in flames…

          Liked by 1 person

        6. Didn’t know Bobby wrote one. Yeah that oughta be telling.

          It’s funny when you think of these guys making all this money at age 22 or whatever. How smart were you at 22? How smart was I?

          Liked by 1 person

  1. That pretty much sums it up, dude. I love the album however I still hold Meliora as their grand masterpiece.
    My review will show up one of these days but I’m way behind my schedule, something that won’t get better as we leave for Sweden Rock on Wednesday. And when we get home the reviews for that will be my priority.

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  2. Ghost is a band I’ve yet to get into. I read about them, I’ve heard snippets of their tunes but never fully delved into the work. But as I have a penchant for most things 80s, sounds like this might be the album to start with! (PS – Updated my blog Mike, so you might need to re-follow…..if you so wish of course ;) )

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