REVIEW: Ghost “Infestissumam”/CBC Sgt. Pepper Farmhouse Ale

THE RECORD: Ghost B.C. Infestissumam 2013 Loma Vista Recordings

File:Ghost - infestissumam cover.jpg

The Ghost abides. Sure, some people might seem skeptical of a band that is mostly anonymous and wears hooded clergy-style robes on stage. Maybe it’s a gimmick, maybe it’s campy, but I love the ridiculousness of it. After Opus Eponymous came out in 2011, I wondered how the band would top it. Luckily I did not have to wait long, and 2013 has brought Ghost’s second full-length record, Infestissumam.

The title and first track starts off almost as a Gregorian chant, with a choir of vocals that would not sound strange in a large gothic cathedral. Soon, the wail of guitars comes in and the familiarity of the previous record comes in.

Carnival-sounding organs are found on several tracks on this record, including track two, “Per Aspera Ad Inferi” and the single “Secular Haze”.

In some ways, Infestissumam is not as heavy as Ghost’s previous record, but it’s definitely not any less awesome. I get a psychedelic vibe from it, which is especially prominent on the 7+ minute rocker “Gheleh/Zombie Queen”. Reminds me of a few obscure, experimental records from the 60s I probably have floating around somewhere.

and of course, there’s plenty of Satanic references to be found on this record. Single “Year Zero” namechecks a variety of monikers for the Dark Lord himself with the opening lines,

“Belial, Behemoth, Beelzebub,
Asmodeus, Satanas, Lucifer”

The video for this song is pretty awesome, albeit not safe for work. It features some interesting and artistic shots, as well as a good amount of nudity. I actually had trouble finding an uncensored version on Youtube, so you can check it out on Metal Insider after the jump below.

>year zeroI love that the band maintains their anonymity as well, with the band members only known as Nameless Ghouls and dressed in robes, and the lead singer going by the name of Papa Emeritus II and donning pope regalia. Papa even campaigned for Pope this year. I voted for him, of course, and the “Clergy” thanked me for my participation in the papal enclave. Speaking of the Clergy, their Facebook posts are worth checking out as well, specifically the way they thank audiences (“Children of ____”) for a great show (“worship”).

All in all, Ghost continues to be an incredibly fun band to listen to, and this record does not disappoint for sure.

THE BREW: Cambridge Brewing Company Sgt. Pepper- Cambridge, MA

What a crazy beer. I tried this for the first time last week and was blown away by it. The first taste is entirely different from the taste that you get after you’ve been sitting on it for awhile. The initial taste is refreshing and lightly malty.The flavor you get at the end of the bottle or pint is downright spicy, verging on uncomfortable depending on your tolerance for that sort of thing. It pours a dark amber-gold out of the bottle and has a very dry mouthfeel.

This beer is brewed with four different types of peppercorns; black, green, white, and pink. All of those different peppers have very specific flavors on their own. When added to the pot of Pilsner, CaraVienne, and Rye malts, with Magnum and Spalter hops, it produces a very unique result.

THE PAIRING:

Like Ghost, some might think this beer is taking flavors a bit too far, and perhaps a gimmick. However, also like Ghost, this beer manages to pull it off because it is well done. This is a great example of the farmhouse style, and for someone like myself who is fairly picky about saisons (and metal to be honest), I think it is a great one.

I suppose I could go out on a limb and say that the spicy heat from the pink peppercorns on the finish is similar to the fire and brimstone of Beelzebub’s backyard, but I won’t.

Plus, the label on the bottle automatically makes a it a wonderful pairing with a record. It has a turntable surrounded by psychedelic orange and pink flowers on it, which is sounds the setting of where I’ll be playing the copy of Infestissimum that came in the mail recently! On blood red translucent vinyl, of course.

Ghost had added additional tour dates for the summer, including one in Connecticut, which will take place Saturday, July 27 at the Webster Theater in Hartford. An added bonus? Skeletonwitch will be opening up for them! Click here for tickets.

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