Now's the time when the new releases tend to slow down and everyone looks to the year-end "Best Of" lists to find albums they might have overlooked. That, or just gripe about the content and order of the lists. Anyway, I'm spending the month of December getting stoked for some good new releases in January 2011, and there's nothing I'm more anxious to get my hands on than Ghost—not to be confused with this Ghost, this Ghost, this Ghost, or any of the other dozens of bands named Ghost.

Sweden's Ghost has already released their debut, Opus Eponymous, in Europe—the album, to be released in America through Metal Blade and Rise Above, has drawn a ton of buzz, a thumbs up from Darkthrone's Fenriz, and no shortage of internet message board arguments on whether it is heavy enough (or even metal at all).

Love 'em or hate 'em, their approach to Satanic music is raising eyebrows and getting people talking. The band—all credited as anonymous, they are five hooded musicians and a skull-painted, Mephistophelian bishop for a singer—riffs epic and melodic like old Judas Priest or Scorpions. But it's the vocals that seem to have everyone so up-in-arms—their singer spouts the satanic lyrical dogma of Mercyful Fate with the melodic, harmonic style of a pure pop act like E.L.O. Black metal this is not, just cheesy, devil-worshipin' fun. Stream "Elizabeth" from Opus Eponymous below—whether it puts a smile, frown, or puzzled look on your face, you'll be ready for the next message board tizzy that's sure to erupt.


Ghost - "Elizabeth"