Live Review: Ghost B.C. — The El Rey, Los Angeles
Tue, 16 Apr 2013 08:12:51
"The devil's power is the greatest one," carefully crooned
Ghost B.C.'s Papa Emeritus II during "Stand By Him" in front of a sold out Los Angeles crowd at the El Rey last night.
Whether their potency comes from Satan himself or their own impressive songwriting skills, Papa Emeritus II and the Group of Nameless Ghouls possess ability to save rock 'n' roll and become its biggest band. Baptizing hellish imagery in psychedelic pop confections and heavy metal prowess, they managed to transfix the packed venue for almost ninety minutes. It's hard to be sure of the exact time because when you're watching Ghost B.C., you're in their world and it's a devilishly delightful feeling.
The Nameless Ghouls took the stage without so much as a whisper, picking up their instruments and launching into "Infestissumam", the bombastic instrumental opener from their phenomenal second album of the same name. That gave way to "Per Aspera Ad Inferi", which saw Papa's voice rise from the gates of hell beyond heaven. It's brutal bliss as he croons orchestrally over the succinct, staggering riffs and resounding drum beats. From Opus Eponymous, "Con Clavi Dio" rose on the demonic wings of a lyrical guitar solo performed with utter perfection as Papa conducted the heathens in the audience as the feedback bled out. Then, a bouncy bass line ignited a powerful "Prime Mover".
In between, Papa asked, "Do you like your countess bloody? Then good".
"Elizabeth" came to life from her blood-soaked throne exalted by six-string fireworks and a savory satanic refrain. Infestissumam's first single "Secular Haze" swung like a seasick ship from carnival keyboards into a misty chorus worth being swept up in, while the organs on "Stand By Him" could've been plucked from a fifties zombie film. "Satan Prayer" brought the room to its news, however, "Depth of Satan's Eyes", another Infestissumam gem, slipped into psyches with its unforgettable refrain. The opening of "Year Zero" elicited the biggest roar of the evening, while "Ritual" sparked a sing-a-long worthy of a séance.
Everything built up to "Monstrance Clock". It ticked through one of the catchiest hooks you'll hear from any band all year until culminating on one final chant. It's an example of just how irresistible Ghost B.C. is and why they're about to take over.
For everybody who laments rock 'n' roll's demise or yearns for the days of Led Zeppelin or even more recently Nirvana, Ghost B.C. doesn't placate their need for Sabbath-ian gratification. Instead, the Swedish rock saviors hearken back to a limitless mentality and make it their own. As a result, they emerge from the fire and brimstone as everything rock music needs—and more.
Ghost B.C.'s power is actually the greatest one.
Where you there?
See our interview here!
See Philip Anselmo of Down & Pantera, Jonathan Davis of Korn, Travis Stever of Coheed & Cambria and The Davenport Cabinet, M. Shadows of Avenged Sevenfold and more share reflections on Ghost B.C. here!
See Ghost B.C. in our "Faces of 21st Century Metal" piece here!
See our feature on why Papa Emeritus II should be pope here!
See our feature on why Ghost B.C. will save rock 'n' roll here!
See our feature on Ghost B.C. as a game-changer here!
See our review of "Secular Haze" here!