Covering classics is never an easy task. You have to respect the original songs enough not to mess around too much with them and absolutely butcher them, but people also expect you to stamp your own identity to your version, so you really got to find the perfect balance. Fortunately, Ghost and their musicians are masters of their craft and have succeeded at creating 5 more than adequate cover songs of some 80s and 90s classics.
First, we have “See No Evil”, an enjoyable version of the original by Television. It keeps a similar vibe to the original, but the guitar work is absolutely stellar, with great solos and leads. The guitar is what gives this version its true identity. The next song is “Jesus Knows Me”, originally by Genesis. The original is one of those super catchy New Wave classics that everybody knows or has heard at some point. I am happy to report that Ghost manages to refresh it in almost every way, keeping the catchiness and hooks but adding some really heavy chunky riffing in the background.
The next one is “Hanging Around”, originally by The Stranglers, and this one is one of my particular favourite songs from that time. Once again, the guitar shines in Ghost’s version, and Forge’s vocals are full of passion and emotion, but I feel that Ghost strips away that laid-back don’t care attitude of the original and makes it feel a bit rushed or urgent a bit too intense compared to the raw feel of the original. Still an excellent cover, though, I appreciate the changes they made to make it sound different. Also, big kudos for that sneaky and cheeky nod to Metallica in the form of a guitar lick straight from Fade to Black’s opening solo, nice little detail.
The 4th song is “Phantom of the Opera” by Heavy Metal gods Iron Maiden. I like the original, but I always found it a little bit kooky, maybe a product of the rough production of Maiden’s first album. I was very happy to discover that Ghost’s version is astounding. Given this song is like 80% guitar and bass work, Ghost was able to pull some amazing-sounding leads and dual guitars while making the backbone of the song very heavy (as it should be) and enhancing the vocal parts in almost every way. My favourite song of the EP so far. Now, for the 5th and last song, we have Tina Turner’s “We Don’t Need Another Hero”. It is a very ballsy move on Forge’s side to vocally cover a Tina Turner song, but we all know he is a Can-do type of person and would never back down from the challenge. I am happy to report he did a really good job at it. Of course, Turner’s voice has some characteristics that make it extremely challenging to mimic or improve, but Forge does an amazing job at adapting his vocal style and range and creating a more chilled-out Heavy Rock song to close this little fun EP with total class. The thick bass lines and the pompously majestic chorus give this song a really cool vibe in general.
In general, this is a very good EP, totally recommended not only for fans of Ghost or the original artists, but for everyone that enjoys a bit of Heavy Rock done right."
- Roman Ibarra, metal-roos.com.au
|See No Evil|
|Jesus He Knows Me|
|Phantom Of The Opera|
|We Don't Need Another Hero|