I personally enjoyed Ghost’s 2013 satanic pop offering Infestissumam. However, Meliora is most definitely the album many have been waiting for the mysterious Swedish outfit to deliver since Opus Eponymous started gaining hype. The pop harmonies and hooks are still present (and done really well, if I may add), but they’re beautifully blended with what might be the Nameless Ghouls most monstrous riffs to date, as heard on songs like “From the Pinnacle to the Pit” and “Cirice”. Ghost was always a fun gimmick (even when the image may have overshadowed the music in the past). But with Meliora, Papa Emeritus and the gang created a stellar album that can stand on its own, delivering the playful darkness and heavy rock anthems we’ve come to expect from a band like Ghost.
Key Track: “From the Pinnacle to the Pit”
I’ve always agreed that Royal Thunder is essentially what Black Sabbath would sound like if a hybrid of Janis Joplin and Ann Wilson fronted the band. With Crooked Doors, though, the Atlanta outfit takes its sound to whole new and even stronger level. Even when they trade in the sludge for a more somber acoustic groove (sometimes even letting their country roots shine through), Royal Thunder’s powerful groove are still on full display throughout the album, though best heard on “Time Machine”. Yet despite the band’s top notch instrumental abilities (and without any disrespect to the rest of the band), the true star of Crooked Doors is Miny Parsonz. She puts so much heart and soul into her vocals that it’s hard to hold back tears while hearing songs like “Wake Up” and “Ear On The Fool”. Leave it to Royal Thunder to produce a beautiful album that packs much heaviness into it as it does emotion.
Key Track: “Time Machine”