I’ll start right from the top. Ghost have managed to do the impossible. They have brought the absolute best of the 80’s sound into a modern day album and created a masterpiece.
It’s not contrived, it doesn’t sound dated or forced like many other ‘80’s’ albums. It sounds like the biggest album of the year from a stadium filling behemoth of a band that makes you think it’s 1987 all over again.
Keyboards, duelling guitars, vocal harmonies, an intoxicating frontman, big choruses. It is all here, yet it’s still Ghost. The satanic and religious content still prevalent throughout the album, it’s just nicely wrapped up in a MTV friendly sound that makes you hit repeat over and over again.
The sonic jump from previous album, the fantastic Prequelle, is quite a leap however while Spillways is best described as metal pop layered with harmonies and subtle background solos, the content is still very much what you expect from a band that is not scared to use shock tactics.
Even the heavier tracks such as Call Me Little Sunshine, Watcher In The Sky and recently dropped single Twenties – with its Strauss like orchestration of horns and heavy guitar riffing – are stunning in their delivery of an infectious sonic sound that leaves you wanting to listen to it again.
Tobias Forge has an unique vocal sound that you wouldn’t normally associate with Satanic metal bands, and maybe that’s the Devils greatest trick after all, however where his voice is angelic is on a ballad and he delivers on Darkness At The Heart Of My Love. The greatest compliment I can give is no one since Type O Negative has matched that passion, intense melancholy sound that reaches deep into your soul that Ghost do.
Finishing with the epic and grandiose Respite On The Spitalfields, with a shuffling riff, wailing solo and powerful uplift, is just brilliant. A tale of chasing a hero to find out they are fake is equally ironic as it is superb.
This album sounds like it has been found deep in a vault, under a church somewhere in Northern Europe. Hidden away due to its evil messages, when it’s played we are all brought under it’s spell. Hey, the Devil has all the best tunes anyway and this Ghost album is a perfect album to add to his collection.
Album Review By Iain McCallum