Infernal Majesty (Golden Eggs EGG 139)
(79:17) Prime Mover, Jigolo Har Megiddo, Year Zero, If You Have Ghost, Spirit, Mummy Dust, Cirice, Absolution, Rats, Dance Macabre, Life Eternal, Faith, Ritual, Year Zero, Zombie Queen, Majesty, Life Eternal, Dance Macabre
One of the more interesting titles to be released recently from The Golden Eggs label is Infernal Majesty, a collection of live in the studio sessions from the Swedish Metal band Ghost. Ghost is one of the more visually interesting bands in the past ten years with singer and main song writer Tobias Forge taking the guise of several Anti-Christian aliases such as Papa Emeritus I through IV and Cardinal Copia. Adorned with either a mask or striking face makeup and wearing Catholic clergy robes and featuring the band of “nameless ghouls”, his backing band donned in robes and hood covering their faces, the band had a striking image. This has been done to some extent before with bands like France’s Huata and Norway’s Dimmu Borgir who both would take Catholic Mass-like themes into their live performances. Musically speaking Ghost is not as heavy as Huata or Dimmu Borgir, but I’ve always though they sounded more like a modern musical equivalent to Blue Oyster Cult.
The first four tracks come from the BBC 1 Rock Show “Ghost In Session” Maida Vale Studios on November 8, 2013 and features Prime Mover from their debut record Opus Eponymous, Jigolo Har Megiddo and Year Zero from Infestissumam and their cover of Roky Erikson’s If You Have Ghost from their covers EP of the same name. The sound quality is excellent.
The next four tracks also come from BBC 1 Rock Show “Ghost In Session” Maida Vale Studios but a sessions from two years later on December 13, 2015. This session features four songs from their third full length record Meliora. The first song is Spirit and has the cool organ intro, one notices the shift to a heavier mostly riff oriented style on this record, and session featured here. One of the records best songs Cirice would be released as a single, the focus on heavier guitars and keyboards more in key spots in the mix, this record is the one I listen to the most.
Tracks 9 through 12 are the last of BBC 1 Rock Show “Ghost In Session” Maida Vale Studios recordings, this time from February 10, 2019. The four songs are taken from the 2018 Prequelle release, the songs feature the same guitar Hard Rock edge as its predecessor but with a more melodic edge, the music sounds like 80’s LA Hair Metal, Dance Macabre has an almost Dance beat at its core. Life Eternal is a power ballad, done Ghost style of course, while not my cup of tea, it certainly shows “Cardinal Copia” has no fear of being typecast. Faith is the heaviest of the songs of the sessions, and record.
Tracks 13 and 14 come from the Australia Music Feeds Sessions studio located in Sydney, Australia done in 2014. This session has a limited release on cassette on the Hells Headbangers label, Discogs shows this to be an unofficial release. There were three songs done for the session, If You Have Ghost is omitted, Ritual from their debut and Year Zero from the second record are the other two. Great to have a version of Ritual on this set, certainly one of their early classics.
An acoustic performance for satellite radio Sirius XM Octane channel done in fall 2015 features an excellent take on Ghuleh / Zombie Queen, Forge’s kazoo is spot on and this is one of the best performances on this CD.
Track 16 comes from the French TV show Album de la Semaine aka Album of the Week. Majesty from the Meliora record is performed in front of a small audience.
The last two songs, Life Eternal and Dance Macabre come from TV France Session in January 2019, specifically the TV show Quotidien. The band again play before a small studio audience, there was also an interview with Tobias Forge sans makeup.
The packaging is what we expect from Golden Eggs, trifold sleeve adorned with pictures of the many guises of Tobias Forge. An interesting collection of live sessions done for the European markets. The quality on all the individual sessions is excellent and is an excellent overview of the band Ghost. The band has a strong following and this release should appeal to not only fans of Ghost but to Metal enthusiasts as well.