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4.3 out of 5 stars
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4.3 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 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 17 April 2013
Having liked the band since Opus came out I was looking forward to this release with mixed emotions. Would the major label and 'buzz band' status ruin it all? Mostly the answer is no although I don't think this release is as good as, or will have the longevity of Opus it has an immediate and very self aware commercial sound drenched in keyboards with a lot more pop sensibility than I would have expected. There are some very strong tracks here with some really nice retro touches and a nod towards the lush sounds and songwriting of many classic rock (and pop) bands. Opus was a lean, clean, simple rock album with absolutely no filler which certainly can't be said of Infestissumam. There is a major dip in the latter half (especially Body and Blood / Idolatrine) and some songs outstay their welcome just a little too long and are little too repetitive. On the whole it's a great listen but one which I can't see myself returning to as much as I did with Opus.

And now to my main gripe and the reason I've decided to write this review - the mastering. I've only heard the CD version which I own (UK version) and I have to say that on decent headphones this thing is practically unlistenable. It would seem that Ghost are another victim of the ridiculous loudness war which sees many modern releases destroyed by being pushed too far at the mastering stage. This one isn't as bad as the notorious Death Magnetic with much less clipping audible but the lower frequencies are pushed to the point of almost booming distortion at points. I won't listen to this on headphones again and as that's how I listen to most of my music it's a shame (I couldn't even get though the whole album with phones). This CD will now live in the glovebox of my car where the horrible mastering won't be as evident. A real shame because I think Ghost probably recorded a great sounding record before it was committed to CD - hopefully a remaster will appear down the line...
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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 15 April 2013
The songs and performances are fantastic, well worthy of 5 stars. I think the band has evolved in a good way since the (awesome) Opus Eponymous album. Vocals, songwriting and playing has all improved here, in my opinion.
I only gave it three stars because the CD production/mastering is pretty poor, like many other releases this suffers from clipping and digital distortion because its been made to sound so darn loud.

I'm guessing the over-loud master is nothing to do with Ghost themselves, Such a shame, the songs are absolutely superb though.
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on 9 June 2013
Great second album from a great band, seem to suffer as a bit of a novelty act in some people's minds ( I wonder why)
But really should be bigger, great hooks melodies and a tongue in cheek material
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on 15 August 2014
Ok.

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 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 16 April 2013
I suspect any poor reviews on Amazon would focus around Ghost's sound straying away from the traditional ingredients of the heavy metal genre, but to those who are disappointed about Ghost's lack of actual heavy metal, I say this: Ghost is not, and has never been a heavy metal band. Doubtless too, the listener will find constant references to Blue Oyster Cult or Mercyful Fate, but Ghost musically has far more in common with The Beatles and harmonies of The Beach Boys, combined with the theatrical zeal of KISS; 'Infestissumam' straight up is a great - nay astounding - good time stadium-esque rock and roll(er coaster) from start to finish.

Ghost's literal interpretation of Orthodox Satanism (their words, not mine) kicks off unsurprisingly with a choir arrangement for the album's title track through to the soaring chorus of 'Per Aspera Ad Inferi'. Ghost's first single 'Secular Haze' follows, and in the context of the album is a much stronger song and compliments the previous track and The Beatles-esque 'Jigolo Har Megiddo'. The album's standout track 'Ghuleh/Zombie Queen' follows - a slow, beautiful, measured ghoulish ballad that draws the listener into a false sense of security before the completely unexpected highlight of the album: a ripping psychobilly/surf number that sounds somewhere between The Stray Cats or even The Dwarves backing an excellent show stopping chorus the crescendo ending in a riff that's as heavy and weighty as the final stretch of Metallica's 'Call of Cthulu'. Not to be outdone, 'the second single Year Zero' rumbles in with a gravitas all of its own, and could be considered the one track that epitomises Ghost's transformation into one of the most successful rock acts of the decade with its huge 'O Fortuna' choir chorus. Both 'Body and Blood' and 'Idolotrine' are both upbeat tunes with the spooky twist with the addition of the keyboard, which was in danger of being overwhelming during 'Secular Haze'. The final two tracks of the standard edition continue Ghost's penchant for huge chorus', 'Depth of Satan's Eyes' and 'Monstrance Clock', the latter wouldn't be out of place on one of Turbonegro's classic era albums like Apocaplypse Dudes or Scandinavian Leather.

Infestissumam is unashamedly huge, bombastic and cements Sweden's well deserved reputation for top notch music. This roller coaster of an album will divide opinion, but for those with an open mind, Ghost continues to infect the listener with its ghoulish pop n' roll: the songs get under your skin, and they refuge to budge. This band truly deserves the acclaim heaped upon them.

Parting shot: If you really wanted to spread the word of Satan, then big hooks and bigger choruses with the over the top theatrics is pretty much the way to go.
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on 23 August 2014
My hubby bought this for me after we saw them at sonisphere festival. All i can say is wow. I am a catholic so shouldn't really enjoy them as much as i do but hey good music is good music. My favourite of all is year zero. So catchy and gets stuck in your head. Deffinitely worth more than 5 stars in my opinion.
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