Estimated reading time: 3 minute(s)

★★★☆ The first track is arguably the weakest song on this album. It’s a warmup, a tone setter. It’s also a good gatekeeper to the rest of the album: if you can’t stomach the first five minutes, you might miss all the really good parts of this deceptive shower. This is Ghost, returning to the form of their debut album: unabashedly fanboyish of the best parts of the 70s, joyously rockin’, and genuinely epic. This is the kind of music that gives you the smiling sneers. There’s no filler (41 minutes is just about the perfect length for this music), clean production, and riff after glorious riff. And really, the facepaint and church organ and Satanic trappings are only vaguely here (if even noticeable) to get people into the room. Come for the dark, stay for the rock.