If You Have Ghost (EP)

Written by: EW on 16/12/2013 13:33:18

If there were any doubts to the plane Ghost now inhabit after their megalithic rise of recent years then this "If You Have Ghost" EP screams out the answers. So indicative of a label's attempt to keep the Ghost name (Ghost B.C. if you're Stateside) out there following this year's disappointing "Infestissumam" LP, at four varied covers and one live track it could only be the work of a band on the crest of a wave and with a reputation capable of combining a Satanic oeuvre with an ABBA cover.

To anyone who has seen this theatrical Swedish troupe live - which surely must be everyone by now - Ghost specialise in playing a revival style unlike anyone else out there at present. Like so much of the greatest metal from down the years, the sideline in comedy borne through their image and protestations is done totally straight-faced, with which they have taken on this variety of covers. Roky Erickson's "If You Have Ghost" has been transformed from a punk-tinged track to a moody, uplifting one courtesy of the opening violin strikes which segue into loungey keys backing their typically soft guitar delivery. ABBA's "I'm a Marionette" works better than could be originally imagined - until checking out the original I didn't realise the legendary Swedes (of the 70s Eurovision variety in this case) were capable of introverted tracks like this - as Ghost's slower version, devoid of the orchestral sounds of the original breaks with some interesting guitar leads. "Crucified" (by Army of Lovers) is the track that sounds most like a Ghost original, from the Zeppelin-esque acoustic guitar intro, the bass lead into the chorus and, of course, Papa Emeritus' variable vocal styles. His choral cleans lead the song but it is his King Diamond flecked delivery in the verse which is the highlight of the EP for me.

"Waiting for the Night" is again a slowly developing track, befitting Depeche Mode's creation, which would feel well-placed as an album closing track. I actually prefer this version to the original, though take this as a reflection on both bands concerned. Finally, a live cover of "Secular Haze" is the token gesture from the label to grab the attention of the more narrow-minded section of the fanbase not ready to understand reworkings of non-rock/metal tracks. "If You Have Ghost" could feasibly have been tacked on to the end of "Infestissumam" and will probably be attached with some other release in the future, but knowing the releasing label such tactics are standard for a band on the up like Ghost. Not bad but not great - an interesting sidenote to an interesting band.


Download: Crucified
For The Fans Of: Ghost fanatics
Listen: Facebook

Release date: 20.11.2013
Universal Records

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