January 31, 2023



GHOST – Impera (2022)

Fresh, engaging, original and brilliant!

This is just the kind of record the rock world needs right now. Fresh, original, engaging, head-spinning and pushing the definitions of the genre.

Of course, it’s not Ghost pushing the boundaries of melodic hard rock, but rather Ghost pushing their own style boundaries, which on this occasion, happen to fit into the realm of the melodic rock world.

On the surface, this looks like another gothic, alt-metal, fringe dwelling record from one of Sweden’s more menacing outfits. At its heart though, it is in fact a stadium rock album with a huge dose of 80s anthemic thinking, mixed with a modern moody and at times gothic vibe, with some prog-metal influences.

It is a masterpiece, no question about it. The originality of Ghost’s past sound mixing with a more commercial template is an absolute winner for fans craving something that actually sounds different – that stands out from the pack.

There’s a touch of everything here – 9 tracks and 3 short instrumental passages of anthems, moods and grooves – nothing repeating itself and like all great works of art, just a little nuts at times.

It’s one of the most played records of the year for me already and easily the standout record for originality, captivating lyrics, dark themes and rich harmonies and a production quality to rival the biggest sounding records of the 80s and 90s.

Only gripes – the fadeout for Watcher In The Sky runs over a minute when half that would have been plenty and a 23 second segue is a little pointless. But how about that hook in the bridge to Hunter’s Moon? Wow.

Part Def Leppard, part Motley Crue, part Sisters Of Mercy, part Threshold and part Jim Steinman, this is how rock n roll needs to grow and build an audience in 2022.

If Spillways isn’t my song of the year, it will take a monster track to displace it.