A Swedish metal band finds the devil in the details

A Swedish metal band finds the devil in the details

In Hear ThisA.V. Club writers sing the praises of songs they know well—some inspired by a weekly theme and some not, but always songs worth hearing.

I’m not a particularly religious person. Or particularly sympathetic to religion as a whole. Okay, I’ll be honest: I’m a raving, irredeemable, godless humanist. (Not that I believe in humans all that much either, but still.) In any case, when a band releases a song called “Secular Haze,” I take note. And when it’s sung by a creepy Swedish dude wearing corpse paint and a pope’s hat with an inverted cross on it, well, you had me at “hell.”

Ghost B.C. has released such a song. “Secular Haze” is one of the many mini-masterpieces on the Scandinavian metal group’s new full-length, Infestissumam. Opening with ghoulish, gothic organs that imagine a Rosemary’s Baby-themed calliope, “Secular Haze” kicks up a foggy fugue of ’70s hard rock, melodic prog, and black-metal atmosphere. And then, with his fiendish mitre perched on his skull and his vocal cords set on Antichrist-croon, frontman Papa Emeritus II sings of atheistic rapture and occult mystique. It’s like GWAR for lapsed Catholics or dues-paying Satanists—take your pick. Me, I’m too religiously apathetic to even bother worshipping the devil. And anyway, why exert yourself when songs like “Secular Haze” make blasphemy so breezy?

Filed Under: Music

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