ALBUM REVIEW: Ceremony and Devotion – Ghost

Following their rapid rise to fame over recent years, GHOST have released their first live album, Ceremony and Devotion. The album contains recordings from their latest visit to the USA as part of the Popestar Tour, and includes their huge hit Square Hammer.

The record begins with the aforementioned track, starting moments before the band step foot on stage at the end of their pre-gig ritual. The sound is exceptional, with the recording being crystal clear, and Papa Emeritus III showcasing his vocal talents on the live stage. It also captures the feel of the show too, and the whole essence gives the sense that you’re stood among the crowd witnessing the performance.

One thing that really stands out from this live album is that there isn’t any evidence of editing in it; normally with most live albums there are parts cut out and the tracks tend to jump from one to the other. This isn’t the case though with GHOST, with all the tracks flowing together continuously, which helps to add to the atmosphere mentioned before.

While there are plenty of videos online of shows and different songs being performed live, this is the first time that fans have been able to listen to a GHOST gig if they are yet to experience it for themselves, and the band have chosen an exceptional show to highlight their live performances. In a way this record could be classed as a “best of so far” album for the band, as most shows showcase the band’s most famous tracks, as well as material from the latest record. Here, Ceremony and Devotion includes hits like From The Pinnacle To the Pit, Con Clavi Con Dio, Monstrance Clock, and Cirice to name just a few.

There isn’t a lot more to be said about the record in all fairness – it doesn’t contain any brand new material, unless you’re a relatively new fan of the band and haven’t heard some of the band’s older albums, and the newest track on the record has been available for over a year now.

Live recordings of tracks, never mind an entire album, can be very hit and miss. Depending on the venue, crowd, and overall sound of the band, the recordings can either be exceptional, or extremely poor. It’s also very hard to record live tracks as anything can happen during the band’s set, which can massively affect the quality of the recording, and it can be a bit unpredictable at times too. Ceremony and Devotion though is one of the better live albums that have been produced in recent years, as it captures all the good points of a live GHOST performance, and the recordings themselves all have an excellent overall sound quality.

Rating: 8/10

Ceremony and Devotion - Ghost

Ceremony and Devotion is out now via Spinefarm Records.

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