Review: Ceremony and Devotion

Ceremony and Devotion, is the the debut live album from the heavy metal group Ghost. With the band just off what is possibly their best tour yet, fans were practically begging for a live souvenir and here it is.

Ceremony and Devotion, is a live recording from the band on their recent Popestar tour of the United Stated of America. It has an excellent fan favourite set list including songs like Square Hammer, Con Clavi Con Dio, Cirice and Mummy Dust. Each songs sounds very solid with the band coming across well rehearsed. You’ll find each guitar riff thunderous, every guitar solo beautifully smooth and the backing rhythm just as impactful as seeing the show in person.

The sound that Ghost utilises resembles what was found more in the 1970s in terms of heavy metal. The guitars whilst heavy, featured as much melody as it did big striking chords. It isn’t just about making endless noise but more about writing catchy memorable songs. It is this fact which makes Ghost such an interesting live experience.

All of this is quite impressive considering the controversy that occurred before the tour in regards to the entire band line up being replaced before the tour. It is safe to say that in terms of playing, fans will not notice the difference or care due to the extremely professional performance given.

The band’s leader and singer Papa Emeritus III has a strange heavily accented voice that sounds strong and powerful despite his voice’s softer more soothing nature. He doesn’t have a voice as loud and impressive as Rob Halford or Bruce Dickinson but you’ll find that what he does have just fits the music perfectly. That is not to say that his performance is perfect. There are a few notes that break or go out of pitch, but those moments are few and also proves that this is a proper “warts and all” live album.

The overall sound of the record is on the money. The production and final mix sounds really good, much like the last couple of Ghost releases. I do think they could have picked a less echoey environment but that does not hinder the sound at all. The live sound really brings a lot of the power out of the bands set. The guitars sound considerably heavier live, naturally making the bands songs a little bit more “metal.” I do think the band sound better on stage and this record is fine evidence of that.

Ceremony and Devotion, proves (to me at least) that Ghost do not need the visual element of their live show to be highly entertaining. Everything you need is here and then some. The songs are great, the band sound great and the album sounds fantastic when it is cranked up. There is very little else a Ghost fan could ask for?!

Rating : 8 / 10

Where to buy :

Track Listing :

  1. Square Hammer
  2. From the Pinnacle to the Pit
  3. Con Clavi Con Dio
  4. Per Aspera Ad Inferi
  5. Body and Blood
  6. Devil Church
  7. Cirice
  8. Ghuleh/Zombie Queen
  9. Year Zero
  10. Spoksonat
  11. He Is
  12. Mummy Dust
  13. Absolution
  14. Ritual
  15. Monstrance Clock