Review: Prequelle

Prequelle is the fourth full length studio album from the Swedish cult band, Ghost. With their fan base quickly growing in numbers, this record has become quite the talk online. It has a lot to live up to and I am happy to say that it does the job.

The album starts off in true Ghost form with a short but creepy introduction titled, Ashes. This track immediately transitions into the band’s first single and album highlight, Rats. The song has a solid hard rock beat, an excellent blend of riffs, harmonising guitars and a chorus that sounds remarkably like the legendary glam rock band Sweet, who much like Ghost were a heavier more creative band than their reputation suggests.

Those who were fearing that Ghost were ditching their reasonably heavy sound for more pop leaning rock music will absolutely adore the massive sound on Faith. This song has a great groove and feels similar to Cirice. I hope the band plays this one live. Then we move onto See The Light, which is a great song. This here is a great example of how to develop your sound. It still features the heavy guitars of the previous song, but utilises a dance pop sound in the verse. It is very tastefully done and provides an excellent contrast to the band’s previous material.

Miasma is a good up beat instrumental. It features some nice lead guitar work and a catchy synthesizer keyboard solo. There is even a saxophone solo at the end of the song, hopefully played by the legendary Papa Zero. It’s certainly a nice change of pace for Ghost and works as a great intro to the modern pop rock classic, Dance Macabre. This song is one of those buggers that will dig deepest areas of your brain and torment you forever. The hook in this song is absolutely perfect and sits up there with fantastic tracks like Rock You Like A Hurricane and Breaking The Law. It is simple but is executed perfectly. Perhaps the most memorable song that Ghost has released (I didn’t say the best before you get your knickers in a twist) and may even be the break through they need to reach a bigger audience becoming a big name band in the process.

The album switches gears once again and this time we get a ballad called, Pro Memoria. Equipped with some catchy lyrics and some nice piano playing, this song gives the album a nice breather. It’s a nice catchy tune and the lyrics stick out to the point that I could see it being a great sing a long for fans. The album continues to rock and roll with Witch Image. A good simple rock song, not too dissimilar to the ’70s rock gods of old. Interestingly enough, we end up on another piano driven instrumental Helvetesfonster. It starts off slow, rather like the previous ballad but builds up into some interesting rhythmic changes and bursts into some heavy guitar and another synthesizer solo. Once the solo dissipates, the tempo slows down and acoustic guitars come out. The song ends on a rather atmospheric sombre note. I really liked this instrumental. It felt more complex than all the songs before it and like this entire album, adds something new to the bands sound.

Funnily enough, Prequelle finishes off with the most lacking song on them all. Life Eternal is a rather good song, but it does nothing new or interesting like the songs before it. It is just another rock ballad and is perhaps the weakest link which is a shame. I feel that had it been before Helvetesfonster, the album would have had a more memorable ending. Despite this gripe, I still enjoyed the song and I have no doubts the fans will enjoy it too.

It is clear that Ghost have expanded their sound and have done a damn good job of it. The band’s sound still remains true to their previous records. The guitars sound heavy, the drums and bass have a satisfying powerful vibe to them. The vocals from Cardinal Copia are surprisingly similar to that of Papa Emeritus III, who in turn sounded a lot like his predecessors. If I didn’t know better, I would have said they were the same person. I like the addition of the keyboards, they add some interesting textures to the music through out and would love to hear more of this on the groups future albums.

I personally think the record is great. I love the new varied sound the band have utilised and it is a very smart commercial move. The band have dug themselves out of a big hole, now avoiding the trap of using the same sounds and tones one too many times. They have adapted and produced another great record. The added bonus is that they have perfectly added pop sensibilities to their songs, this opens up the bands fan base to a whole new group of people. I can see Prequelle taking the band to bigger venues across the world and I think they deserve it.

Rating : 9 / 10

Where to buy :

Track Listing :

  1. Ashes
  2. Rats
  3. Faith
  4. See the Light
  5. Miasma
  6. Dance Macabre
  7. Pro Memoria
  8. Witch Image
  9. Helvetesfonster
  10. Life Eternal