Papa Emeritus and the Ghouls are back! Well, kind-of. After the successful release of “Popestar”, many many tours and a bit of the drama within the band, Ghost gave the fans a treat called “Ceremony and Devotion”, which is the first live album that the band has ever released. Those who have been following them for a while will surely remember the talks of a live album so this release was much anticipated and here it is!
“Ceremony and Devotion” comes with a double disc edition and features the live songs from their US tour last year. Those who have been to ‘rituals’ know the setlist more or less so in this sense, the songs are not that much of a surprise but entertaining nevertheless. Some favorites from the old and the latest records such as “Con Clavi Con Dio”, “Year Zero” and “Cirice” are featured. One surprise is “Elizabeth” though! The band has not played this classic in every ritual and for a long time so it was a nice surprise to see this song in the live album. I also consider C&D kind-of like a best-of of the band. The listener will find the ‘essentials’ of the band’s setlist so this live album will be like an introduction to the Ghost rituals. In this sense, the songs are entertaining and catchy. The listeners will get to hear some funny comments like “clappity clap Frisco” which makes the live CD quite the highlight as well so listen to the album from the beginning to the end to get the full experience.
One thing I always loved in the rituals is Papa’s interaction with the audience, which makes the rituals one of a kind and a great experience. Papa’s funny jokes, his comments and sexual remarks always stay in one’s mind. Sadly, this aspect seemed to lack in this live album. Surely we get to hear some comments and remarks here and there but I expected the live CD to flow a bit more and to sound as a whole; instead, it is cut and edited a bit too much so we get to focus more on the songs one-by-one and less on the whole live experience, which is quite disappointing. Secondly, I am sure we all know that the instruments or the vocals are edited in a live CD so I don’t expect the live CD to sound exactly like the concert itself but as a person who has been to the rituals, Papa’s voice seems to have been edited quite a lot which made me wonder if it was that necessary to edit the album so much. So this aspect was also one of the cons for me. Another question a lot of us probably asked was why the band only decided to release a live album and not a DVD but my guess is that the band didn’t have much time and as most of us know, releasing a DVD is too much of a hassle and work so I guess the DVD has to wait probably. Apart from these aspects, the album itself is quite the ear-candy many of the listeners (new and old Ghost fans) will enjoy. You can also consider C&D as a “thank-you” from the ‘man itself’ to his fans; as I said, many fans waited for a live album so I am sure both sides are quite happy with the result.
It doesn’t matter if you are a new, old fan or just a general rock/metal listener, get the album and add it to your collection. The album comes with many other bundle editions which will make the collectors happy for sure. In the meantime, the band is getting ready to release their 4th full-length record scheduled for the first half of 2018 so let’s all wait and see what they have for us. For now, let’s devour C&D… nemA!