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Date: 4/13/16
Venue: Wellmont Theater, Montclair, NJ
Report By: Rich Catino


Returning to the NY/NJ area a little over a year after a successful packed NYC show in 2015, Ghost are back in support of their latest album “Meliora”, and a Grammy win for the song ‘Cirice’. The spooky melancholy, yet metallic and melodic, sounds of Ghost’s formula have also made their way to the garden state and a packed Wellmont. Regardless of their satanic lyrics and singer, Papa Emeritus III dressed as a hellish pope, while this cultish presentation may turn off some metal listeners to other bands, Ghost have crossed over into commercial success. Tonight’s crowd was a mixed bag of the middle aged rocker, to teenagers, young men and women in their 20s, to even a few grammar school kids…heck, I even saw a few in their 60s. Even Papa couldn’t help notice the young generation in the crowd, being respectful to their presence by apologizing, making note of his occasional language and use of the F bomb. It’s all because of Ghost’s winning formula and sharp classy presentation… heavy guitars with melodic leads and vocals, harmonies, singing, an artistic direction, and well dressed band members (in all black with demonic masks) who have an image and look like they play in a metal band.

With a slightly shorter set than last year, cutting two of the acoustic songs made for a tighter show. After two rather lengthy intro tapes (one is enough), ‘Spirit’ and ‘From the Pinnacle to the Pit’ off “Meliora”, ‘Stand By Him’, and ‘Con Clavi Con Dio’ are solid choices to kick things off with upbeat punchy tempos. Keeping with the consistency, singing about the devil and all things to celebrate the dark one and what he calls home, speaking in forked tongue (‘Per Aspera ad Inferi’), ‘Con Clavi Con Dio’ uses the word “Satanas” with melodic guitar leads. The three well-dressed/demon masked ghouls would often come together center stage and jam, rockin out to the riffs and grooves. As I looked at the crowd, once the opening melody began ‘Cirice’ I could see the older metal fans (with Maiden/Sabbath/Priest t-shirts) ready to bang heads and throw devil horns in the air to the infectious classic metal crunch and punch. Single ‘Year Zero’ continues to praise the dark lord and celebrates all the infernal names; Belial, Behemoth, Beelzebub, Asmodeus, Satanas, Lucifer, while ballad ‘He Is’ is a perfectly melodic melody and hook. Before closing out the set with ‘Monstrance Clock’, from the more psychedelia influenced second album “Infestissumam”, ‘Absolution’, ‘Mummy Dust’, and ‘Ritual’ are choice driving rockers this fan highly recommends and a great way to near the night’s end.

Intro tape - Miserere mei, Deus (Gregorio Allegri song)
Intro tape - Masked Ball (Jocelyn Pook song)
From the Pinnacle to the Pit
Stand by Him
Con Clavi Con Dio
Per Aspera ad Inferi
Body and Blood
Year Zero
He Is
Mummy Dust
Ghuleh/Zombie Queen
Monstrance Clock


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