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4.4 out of 5 stars55
4.4 out of 5 stars
Format: Audio CD|Change
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on 18 May 2013
I'd heard a lot of reviews of this album which repeatedly stated 2 things:
1. It's not as good as 'Opus'.
2. It suffered from a terrible over compressed 'brick wall' mastering process (producing a loud sound but with audible digital distortion and loss of nearly all dynamics)

To the first point, I have to be controversial and say I actual prefer this album to their first!
I guess it depends what you like about Ghost's sound as to which you would prefer. People seem to spend FAR TO MUCH time deciding how 'metal' something is as a level of quality. I personally find that to judge Ghost on how 'metal' they are is to completely miss the point. Ghost are a refreshing escape from the factory line rotation of formulaic metal 'products' around. They exist on their own as a unique and brilliant oddity. (Until, that is all the inevitable clone bands start emerging on the back of their success ;)

Anyway.. Point 2.
It sounds better on vinyl!!!
That sounds like a typically hipster, audiophile bore thing to say, but it's true.
Forget for a minute the constant debate of whether vinyl generally sounds 'warmer' or has more 'soul' than digital, there is in this case another important factor.
It's mentioned in reviews everywhere that this album has suffered what's become known as a 'Death Magnetic' master, where in an effort to make the record sound as loud as possible, all the dynamics and 'life' has been squashed out of it leaving a distorted chunk of a sound.
So why is the vinyl version going to be any better?
Because the physical 'limitations' of vinyl, when done properly, music has to mastered to a completely different standard than digital. Mastering engineers who know what they're doing have to approach a vinyl master in a different way and are forced to leave far more 'headroom' for the intended dynamics of the original recording to shine through. Also because vinyl records are unlikely to be played on radio, tv or online playlists, they don't have the same need to compete in a 'loudness war' with other releases.

So if you are going to buy this album and have a record deck around the place, do yourself a favour and get it on vinyl. Not coz it's cooler (obviously it is though ;) but because it really does sound better!
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on 21 May 2013
Ghost have become well known lately for their peculiar mix of satanic imagery and surprisingly soft hard rock (if that makes any sense). The first album, Opus Eonymous, was an excellent debut with a nice 70's rock feel and incredibly catchy hooks. Therefore this album was highly anticipated by myself and many other metal/rock fans in my neighbourhood. The first thing you notice is that this album is even softer and more pleasant than the first one. While OE had it's share of groovy sabbath-like riffs this one has amped up the keyboards and vocal harmonies. I know many people who think this album is just a little too soft and I know where they're comming from. However soft doesn't mean bad in my book. The songs are still ungodly catchy and well composed and the band are still competent even if not very flashy musicians. This album is also a lot more experimental the debut with Year Zero having an almost disco sounding beat and the circus organ on Secular Haze. The peak of the album is also the most ambitious track. Ghuleh/ Zombie Queen is a remarkable showoff in epic balladery in the vein of Guns N' Roses' November Rain. Yes I just made that comparrison. This album takes alot of chances and it's great to see the band expand their horizon like this even if the album doesn't have the same staying power as the first one. Still with this album Ghost show that they may have much more up their sleave.
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on 15 August 2014

I think people who criticise the mastering/ production/ whatever are kind of missing the point.

To my mind the production is designed to contribute to the overall feel of the album and to give it a seperate identity and feel from the first one.

To my ears this is an album that stands head and shoulders above anything I have heard in the last 2 decades. The songwriting and craft involved is absolutely incredible. No 2 songs sound alike, and yet no other band could have made any of them.

There is no weak track on this album.

The vocals are outstanding.

Look beyond the clearly tongue in cheek imagery and enjoy a rare work of unique genius.
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on 19 July 2013
Only really bought this for the last track ("Monstrance Clock". They closed the set on the Sunday at Download with it, and i was humming it to myself for the rest of the day).... and was quite impressed with it.
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on 31 August 2013
If satanic zombie-popes with hooded 'nameless ghouls' are your thing, then Ghost definitely is.
Not for the religious or god-fearing.
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on 6 May 2013
Pre-ordered this having bought Opus Eponymous previously, another great album with incredible vocals. Looking forward to their next release, hopefully there won't be long to wait.
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on 22 October 2013
Great album however i would recommend the deluxe version wich comes in a jewel case with artwork includind lyrics and artwork and two bonus tracks!
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on 3 July 2013
I would have to say i dont think this is as masterful as their debut but its still a clinker of an album filled with haunting, catchy cuts of culty doomy poppy melodies and over the top lyrics that make me smile more than anything else.
One or two tracks dont quite fit in my loaf hence the four star rating but ghost are the boys at the minute. Their download 2013 appearance was very pleasing for me personally as it was the first time i had seen them live, i hope it isnt the last. Big things await.
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on 15 December 2013
Its a weird one. I'm not entirely sure what to make of it, but its quite enjoyable!

Kind of a King Diamond/Hell pantomime type metal haha. Its quite cheesy, but is still good.

Its hard to explain what Ghost actually do, but its kind of organ driven metal songs with hymn style vocals... Its quite weird, very different but pretty interesting, and quite enjoyable. Id recommend you listen to a few tracks first before you buy, wont be everyone's cup of tea.
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on 28 November 2013
Ghost are such a refreshing change from all the other heavy bands. They have something for everyone and their songs pay tribute to all styles of the past masters.Blue Oyster Cult,Sabbath Metallica,Megadeth.I am a huge Sabbath fan so the combination of latin and riff based metal works for me and is very powerful. This is my favourite album by far in the last year. Can stop playing it and smiling, great stuff.
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