The spearheads of the newest metal scene Ghost arrive with yet another crushing symphonic ritual of an album, Prequelle! This latest effort by the Swedish experts of shock rock has earned Cardinal Copia (Tobias Forge) and the Ghouls two Grammy nominations for Best Rock Album and Best Rock Song (“Rats”), and rightfully so. The general theme of the record, as is traditional with each Ghost record, describes the unavoidable scar of the Middle Ages that is the Black Plague with such titles like “Rats”, “Dance Macabre”, and “Miasma” to carry this theme right into the listener’s face along with the band’s brutal, heavy sound. The album is certainly a left turn compared to the rest of Ghost’s discography; their usual presence of groovy keyboards has evolved into more of an 80s wave, thus bringing about a refreshed, revitalized element of glam virtually unheard since the 1980s. In the discipline of new albums, Prequelle has proven to be a personal favorite for a metalhead such as myself. Ghost’s ability to uproot sounds unorthodox to heavy rock and toss said sounds into their own stew of originality proves that their creativity should be one that turns the heads of rock fans and the genre’s outsiders alike. The sounds of raw power and testosterone-fueled melodies are alive and well, even in a time when a company like Gibson struggles.