Like it or not, Ghost is one of those rare cases where each and every single new release by them creates a buzz among the fans of hard rock/heavy metal on a global scale. After all, since the “Meliora” days, Ghost is the most popular band (the mega bands are excluded, of course). Just a glance at the social media pages is sufficient enough to discover the impact of “Impera” and Ghost on the metal community. Endless conversations about the new record, if it’s worth buying, if Tobias Forge wants to be a pop(e) star, if the new Pope is equally spectacular as Cardinal Copia was and so on…
Personally, I belong to those listeners who are not disappointed by the pop turn in the Ghost sound (especially in the last couple of records). Tobias Forge is a huge talent with a unique knack of penning catchy songs and at the same time retaining his own trademark sound. Just think how hard this is nowadays. “Impera” includes only well-crafted songs with a crystal clear production and thought-provoking lyrics. Yes, there might be a couple of “hit n’ miss” moments in there (like, “Hunter’s Moon” and “Twenties”) but the rest of the tracks are of a high-level quality (“Call Me Little Sunshine”, “Spillways” and “Watcher In The Sky” stand out). Tobias chooses a more commercial sound and leaves behind -for the first time, if you ask me- all the Blue Oyster Cult references.
I know for a fact that all those craving for the raw sound of “Opus Eponymous” will be devastated by “Impera”. But trust me when I am saying that the new Ghost album is really, really good with exceptional tunes. All you need to do is take a good listen at them…I am sure you will revise your opinion.
Highlight: The fabulous cover sleeve is inspired by Aleister Crowley.