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Concert Reviews:
Ghost delivers good, clean Satanic fun at Saint Andrew's

@graffonmusic, Facebook.com/Gary Graff on Music

Posted: Saturday, May 18, 2013

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DETROIT -- Ghost B.C. could not have picked a better time for its first show ever in Detroit.

The Swedish sextet's masked, cowled look and its cheeky, Satan-glorifying songs made its 85-minute concert Friday night, May 17, at Saint Andrews Hall was a perfect fit alongside the Motor City Comic Con taking place during the weekend in Novi. Even in the costumes that assure their anonymity, the six Ghost members -- Papal-cloaked, skull-faced frontman Papa Emeritus II and five Nameless Ghouls -- would not have looked out of place roaming around the Suburban Collection Showplace.

and it's likely some of their fans at Saint Andrews, including a few in full make-up, did double duty at both events.

The Ghost-ly experience was nothing less than a hoot, a hard-rocking Satanic High Mass during which the band members' tongues could be seen firmly lodged in their masked cheeks. The sensitive might have been unnerved by the testimonials of "Satan Prayer" or "Year Zero," but any real concerns could be quickly mitigated by a look at the rapturously entertained smiles by those chanting along to the "Monstrance Clock" refrain "Come together, together as one/Come together for Lucifer's son."

It was just another devilishly fun horror movie, but in musical guise.

But the key is that Ghost's music (the B.C. is an add-on to avoid copyright issues in the U.S.) is several cuts above the usual blood 'n' guts fare served up by the death metal world. Evenly dividing the 14-song set between its two albums -- 2010's "Opus Eponymous" and this year's "Infestissumam" -- the Ghoul crew played an artful mix of metal, progressive rock, hooky riffs and moments, such as "Body and Blood," that traipsed the edge of pop. Ghost filled its songs with plenty of tightly executed dynamics, and songs such as "Death Knell," "Secular Haze" and "Ghuleh/Zombie Queen" have the making of future hard rock classics.

Ghost is, of course, a cult favorite at the moment. But Friday's concert demonstrated that if a mass popularity is indeed in the group's future, Papa Emeritus and company will be more than ready for it.

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