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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 2 November 2013
Opened packaging, and sleeve had a big dent on the front, looking like some one dug there nail in it, had to return this to amazo n.
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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 5 May 2013
A strange album from a strange band! Ghost is definitly in a league of its own; to say that they are a "metal" band is imho very wrong. While the influences of Mercyful Fate and Blue Oyster Cult are quite evident, and the main subject of the lyrics digs into the heavy metal/ doom/ Sabbath vocabulary, there is also a strong early 80's New wave influence here. I feel like this album-more than its predecessor -showcases strong influences from the like of The Cure, The stranglers and other post-Punk, early New wave bands. And that's not a bad thing, there are many sounds and passages you wouldn't find on a typical heavy metal/ hard rock album. Infestissumam seems to be the work of an open-minded band, musically speaking.
If they attracted attention with their satanic lyrics, religious costums and cult-like attitude, I believe that if they want to get into something bigger and more appealing to a larger audience, they are gonna have to drop or change the act. But maybe they don't want to.
Anyway, this album is a very good offering, adventurous and very efficient. It rocks hard, and yet has that quietness to it that gives it an even scarier sound to it.
Emeritus II never screams or shout, always sings and prays...I guess you don't attract flies with vinegar, a formula largely exploited by B.O.C.

The artwork is very good too, but it would have been nice to be able to get the full artwork available on the Scandinavian edition which features amazing illlustrations to each song; I mean the reason why some people still buy "cd's" is because they still want a physical relation with the object and therefor also appreciate extended booklets...When will the cd industry get that?! Or do they care?

So, all in all, a very good album, very much the following we could have imagined to "Opus eponymous".

Enjoy it, the third one might be a harder pill to swallow.
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on 15 April 2013
Coming a couple of years on from their magnificent Opus Eponymous, Ghost (the BC is silent) return with an arguably more rounded, well produced sophomore effort.

The smoother production and assured songwriting are evident from the off.

Some of my highlights are:

Comes across like the soundtrack to a Satanic Olympics highlight show. A majestically building instrumental, with added devilish choir.

Per Aspera Ad Inferi (to the stars through hell?):

"Unholy is the lust in your eyes
Blasphemous" would not suffice
Perverted are your wishes and dreams
Tanning in Lucifer's beams"

Ok, not the most subtle lyrics, but within the melody of the song, utterly captivating

Secular Haze:
Hypnotic, fairground ride. An amazing vocal performance, easily one of the most immediate songs off the cd

Ghuleh/Zombie Queen:
"Putrefaction, a scent that cursed be"
The way this song starts beautiful and when it switches into Zombie Queen it transforms perfectly into a, bravely executed piece of almost musical theatre. Great use of dynamics throughout and a strong contender for best song on the cd

Year Zero:
"Belial, Behemoth, Beelzebub,
Asmodeus, Satanas, Lucifer"

Ok, so I'd feel pretty daft singing these lyrics out loud (still do though:), the atmospherics of the song and the menacingly, 70s horror vibe (Rosemary's Baby, The Omen) allow this to fester long in the mind. Immediate and catchy. Pop Satanism at it's most awe-inspiring

Monstrance Clock:
"Come together, together as one..."
This is by far my favourite song on the cd. The chorus is perfect, catchy, great lyrics and is added to at the close by a fantastic arrangement for the Satanic choir, who pop up all over this album. This song stayed in my head for days after I first heard it, the catchiness of the chorus and the spooky guitar riff through the verses. Great live version of this on youtube, which is well worth checking out.

All in all then, a couple of weaker tracks, but no fillers and some which I think I will need to take my time over (I'm looking at you Body and Blood), but a strong contender for album of the year. Not a joke band, clearly the songwriting belies nothing but talent and caring for the music. The image maybe not to everyone's taste and the criticism that it sometimes sounds like the soundtrack to an episode of Scooby Doo can't entirely be discounted, but with their strong image, great tunes and world domination beckoning, it truly does seem that the Devil has all the best songs.
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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 27 April 2013
I can't tell you how much I wanted to love this album as much as I did their debut from a couple of years ago, and it has grown on me after 4 or 5 complete runs through but sadly I think this album and me will never be more than just good friends. When a band has such a defined image with their costumes and cool logo there is always that nagging feeling that no matter how fantastic the music is, they have too much of an eye on shifting merch and becoming massive. The music on this album is so watered down that if this had been the first record it would never have appeared in any metal mags. The first thing I thought of when listening to this album wasn't another metal band but an episode of 30 Rock and Tracey Jordans novelty song 'Werewolf Bar Mitzvah' (look it up on YouTube). Overall the album feels hollow and cynical and I fully expect to see the Ghost logo appearing on the lunch boxes and pencil cases of the all the local school kids.
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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 November 2013
Saw them supporting Alice in Chains on Monday night: essentially a pantomime metal band that appeals to adolescents. File next to your King Diamond records.
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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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