Weekly Spins

I’ve Got the Power Metal

There’s nothing like the smell of fresh Satanism in the morning.

Mysterious masked Swedish melodic metal sextet Ghost are playing Montreal this weekend
as part of their first North American tour, reviving ’80s head-banging fury.

Beginning with solemn church organ, their debut Opus Eponymous does what metal did more than 20 years ago. Things often reach a doomful pace, occasionally
conjuring enough groove to warrant a Sabbath reference.

It’s the devil’s gospel put to guitar, and the result is a dark trip into the very strange section of metal where the music actually sounds like devil worship. More than once they break into a chant. With the words “our father who art in hell” they paying homage to their dark lord.

Some may draw the connection to Black Metal, but it’s not the cold, alientating stuff from Norway typically associated with the genre. It’s operatic, epic and with killer guitar leads-really everything you’d look for in metal. The only issue is that everything here has been done before.

And that’s the trick with this satanic subgenre, that, with perhaps the exception of jazz, there has always been this immense pressure be the fastest, most brutal shredder of the bunch, to get those blast beats a few bpm’s higher. But if the mysterious members of Ghost have other-worldy chops, they’re doing a good job of hiding it.

I don’t know how seriously Ghost take themselves, but I’m headbanging along with a smile instead of a scowl. Who knows? Maybe they’re doing the same thing under those masks.

Ghost / Jan. 21 / Corona Theatre (2490 Notre-Dame Rd. W.)