One of Sweden’s finest current musical exports, Ghost (known as Ghost B.C. in the U.S.), has a new EP out If You Have Ghost that follows up on the band’s sophomore album Infestissumam which was released earlier this year.
The 5-song EP, produced by Dave Grohl, continues to expand on the eerie, satanic synth-driven metal sound which has propelled Ghost to fame since their debut back in 2010. Here, Ghost tackles four covers giving them all their unique musical approach and sound, and then concludes with a live version of “Secular Haze”. Two of the covers were available via different Infestissumam releases, though it is nice to have them in one collection.
The lead track, “If You Have Ghosts,” is a cover of a song by Roky Erickson (13th Floor Elevators) that lends itself very well to the Ghost sound, with Dave Grohl providing rhythm guitar on the track. That the song name coincides with the band’s name is nice touch.
Next up is “I’m a Marionette,” which was previously released on the deluxe version of Infestissumam. The song was originally written by ABBA, and Grohl sits in on drums for this track.
“Crucified” is the next song and is a cover of Army of Lovers. Here, the original lyrics take on a much more sinister or perhaps ironic tone (depending on your take) given the band’s nature and their black-mass stylized live performances.
The final cover on the track is “Waiting for the Night,” which was originally by Depeche Mode. Again the drear and doom of the original translates extremely well from Depeche Mode to Ghost, and may be the standout track on the album. This track was originally released on the Japanese deluxe version of Infestissumam, and Grohl returns to provide drums on this track as well.
The final track is a live version of “Secular Haze.” The track is a little incongruous to the EP, given the recording has a lot of background noise and distortion compared to the clean studio recordings of the other four, and has a jarring start against the fade out of “Waiting for the Night.” As a standalone track it’s solid, but doesn’t mesh well as incorporated here.
Overall, If You Have Ghost is a must have addition for any fan of Ghost. The tracks continue right along with the ethereal metal sound of Infestissumam, and succeed so well that the two should be listened to back-to-back with any given opportunity. Having Dave Grohl as part of this collection is great, as Ghost needs as much exposure as possible, and the Grohl seal-of-approval might help to bring them to a wider audience.
If you aren’t familiar with Ghost, but are familiar with some of the original tracks here and looking for a new band to try out via familiar material, give this EP a shot. It’s a very accurate introduction to the Ghost sound.