Ghost – Impera (Album Review)

Release Date: March 11 - Loma Vista Recordings

Ghost - Impera

Swedish theatrical rock act Ghost are back with another slab of ritualistic, metal tinged rock songs that once again challenge the listener, especially those who fell under their early spells of Black Sabbath induced music. This one is not going to be for everyone as Papa Emeritus and his Group Of Nameless Ghouls wreck havoc on the conventions of what is deemed rock, metal and pop. It’s all of the above to be quite frank but over the years it’s pretty clear the pop sensibilities that give throwback to their 70’s influences is becoming more and more apparent.


Where the previous album “Prequelle” in 2018 set out to blend a real concoction of different genres pushing the band’s sound further into other territories, it’s this album in “Impera” that finally settles on being predominantly pop rock focused with the occasional nod to their more heavier stylings. Longtime fans will obviously remember their more classic rock sound found in their earlier albums and while some of that is still retained thematically in the sound and upfront in certain songs like the brilliant “Watcher In The Sky“, the majority definitely has a real melodic, pop hook driven quality to it. The question then becomes, is it any good?

Ghost fans who understand what the band are going for may still be all in for it, it’s still an interesting and fun album to listen to and while it won’t get heads banging all the way through, there is a certain progressiveness to it all which makes it stand out. Take the opening track “Kaisarion” for example which screams classic prog rock, a ball of energy and a groove beat that may remind you a little of Journey and Rush, all wrapped in an oddly familar 80’s vibe which runs through out the album. Then things move onto “Spillways” with a strong vintage pop sound and there is Ghost in a nutshell, a juxtaposed positioning of the two sides of Ghost that, at least from some perspective gives contrast to what Ghost is all about in musical terms.

The themes running through the album seem to walk the listener through a bit of historical context that appear to lead the way to today’s world, highlighting the rise and fall of empires and such while also giving focus to societies own fallacies. One would think not much has changed over the hundreds of years if you listen closely and maybe to some extent there’s truth to it, but it’s a thought played out well in the 12 songs on offer.

Call Me Little Sunshine” was the lead single on Impera’s announcement and a good representation of the overall album. A haunting song full of pop melodies and featuring the line “you will never walk alone, you can always reach me” that is memorable as the rest of the song. The heavier stuff comes in the form of tracks like “Hunter’s Moon” and the aforementioned “Watcher In The Sky” as well as the theatrical “Twenties” which has all the signature Ghost elements we know them for.

A few interludes interspersed throughout for that real album feel and the epic “Respite On The Spitalfields” bringing things to a close and Ghost present us with yet another colorful album that further evolves their sound to new boundaries. “Impera” won’t be for everyone but it surely will find a new audience as the band slowly approaches that arena status.



Call Me Little Sunshine
Hunter’s Moon
Watcher In The Sky
Darkness At The Heart Of My Love
Grift Wood
Bite Of Passage
Respite On The Spital Fields

Release Year: 2022
Label: Loma Vista Recordings
Category: Album
Country: Sweden

Reviewed by Andrew Massie