2022 Best of Metal: #14 Ghost-Impera

Release date: 3/11/2022

Origin: Linkoping, Sweden

Personnel: Papa Emeritus IV-vox, Nameless Ghouls-guitar, bass, keys and drums

I don’t really understand why these dudes (or dude) are so divisive. If you strip away all of the theatrics, costumes and over-the-top concept, you’re basically left with Blue Oyster Cult. I’ll admit that I didn’t really see them reaching the heights they have managed over such a short period of time. I figured that the overt Satanic themes running through their lyrics would have left these guys a little more than a cherished cult band. But, for whatever reason, the public at large has embraced the whole package. Hell, ten years ago, I remember seeing them open for Mastodon and Opeth at a dingy little club in San Antonio. Now, they are headlining arenas that hold more than 10,000 people. Impera feels a bit like a righting of the ship for Ghost. I was a huge fan of Opus Eponyous and Infestissuman, both of which felt like damn-near perfect albums. Their follow-ups, Meliora and Prequelle, felt a bit aimless. I believe the band had a bit of a lack of focus upon their new found stardom and the massive turnover in the ranks of Nameless Ghouls. This new album isn’t exactly on the heavy side, but it is simply chock full of imminently catchy and danceable tunes. I’ll be honest that there is part of me that wants to join the cool kids in heaping scorn on these guys because they aren’t Trve Metal, but dammit, good is good. These guys are fun and they seem to have found their songwriting footing again.

4.5 flip flops out of 5

The list so far:

14. Ghost-Impera
15. Jungle Rot-A Call To Arms
16. High Command-Eclipse of the Dual Moons
17. Soilwork-Overgivenheten
18. Messa-Close
19. Ty Tabor-Shades
20. Lamb of God-Omens

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