Phantomime is an EP of cover songs from pop metal master of celebrity Ghost.
Tobias Forge is the frontman and only permanent member of Ghost. Formed in Sweden in 2006 while Forge was in his twenties, the band has found success and achieved an incredibly high level of fame. The music varies from hard rock / soft metal, especially in the earlier days, to pop-oriented rock that loads in catchy and memorable choruses and hooks – thereby explaining the success. The band is a sight to see live as they always proffer a grand performance that is gratefully received.
Phantomime is an EP of five covers: “See No Evil” by Television, “Jesus He Knows Me” by Genesis, “Hanging Around” by The Stranglers, “Phantom Of The Opera” by Iron Maiden, and “We Don’t Need Another Hero” by Tina Turner. That is a fascinating choice of seemingly unrelated tunes. We’re going to have to track-by-track this one.
“See No Evil” by Television from The Blow-Up (1982). You have instant recall when the track begins if you are old enough to have heard it when it first came out. Television seems like a deep pull, but they did have their moment in the sun, and you can relive it here. Very nicely done with clever fills and great guitar work.
“Jesus He Knows Me” by Genesis from We Can’t Dance (1991). This version is quite urgent and choppy compared to the original. Frantic, you might even call it. Well, it might only be slightly scaled up, truly – it is a quick rush that gives you a flush, both catchy and upsetting. And still relevant.
“Hanging Around” by The Stranglers from Rattus Norvegicus (1977). I am a HUGE fan of Stranglers music from this era, so I am glad to see any attention drawn toward this set of theirs. And I think Rattus Norvegicus is particularly overlooked in the US. The version here is wonderful, preserving the spirit of the keys and adding Forge’s polished vocals. Great guitar, again.
“Phantom Of The Opera” by Iron Maiden from Iron Maiden (1980). This song fucking slaps. They nailed a replicant of the opening riffs and the charging features of the song. Then, using Ghost-like fills, they metaled every aspect. Forge sounds great on this – of course quite different from the original but this really works. The record is worth buying for this track alone.
“We Don’t Need Another Hero” by Tina Turner from Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome soundtrack (1985). I never liked this song very much, but I get why it fits in this EP. If I am in the mood to hear Tina Turner, I wouldn’t choose this song first. Comparing the original to the new version, I am leaning toward Ghost. It is also fairly easy to visualize a Ghost set on stage that is reminiscent of the sets and costumes from the film.
Ghost has done this before – both If You Have Ghost (2013) and Popestar (2016) were EPs where four out of five of the songs were covers. I favor this new one because of the Stranglers and Iron Maiden tunes. Ghost fans are sure to like it. Recommended.
Phantomime is out now and available everywhere in the wide world. Check out Ghost’s official site or Bandcamp for a quick snap at the links below.
Band photo by Wayne Edwards.
Ghost website, https://ghost-official.com/
Bandcamp Phantomime, https://ghost.bandcamp.com/album/phantomime
Loma Vista Recordings, https://bodega.lomavistarecordings.com/
© Wayne Edwards