To listen to Ghost’s third studio album, Meliora, is to ask oneself these questions. In their combination of influences lies the decidedly metal satanic aesthetic of black metal, the hazy riffing of 70’s rock, and synth-infused modern pop rock. It’s not a particularly “metal-sounding” mix, but Ghost has certainly found their niche within the community and stuck with it. If nothing else, they’re a much needed break from the genre’s march towards neverending, all-encompassing brutality, softness slashing a swath through slams to supply a stream of slightly-sappy 70’s-style songwriting. Are they, despite the nature of their music, a metal band? That’s something that must be left to the discretion of a listener willing to play more hard and fast with the ideals of the genre and prune metal’s family tree, as it were. But, no matter where they fall, do they write some damn good, jammin’ tunes? Abso-fucking-lutely.
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