Seven Inches of Satanic Panic is the grooviest Ghost release, comprised of just 2 songs sitting around 7 minutes long in total. It has a convincingly authentic vintage 60’s hippie feel through the artwork, song style, and song & album titles. This release is also unique in the way that it’s being released as a re-release of Papa Nihil’s time fronting Ghost in the 1960’s. We also could only hear the first song, “Kiss the Go-Goat” by way of a new Chapter video Ghost typically releases to announce any developments in the band.
Going into the artwork a bit, there is a “hidden” goat inside a mushroom shape, with tentacles surrounding Papa, whose mitre is flowing with the sun and sky above in really groovy, neon colors like yellows, oranges, blues/greens, and pinks. The white border of the mushroom shape looks like different skulls and bones to me. I really love this vibe and only wish we had a full length version with at least 8 other songs! The artwork is absolutely perfect for a 60’s version of Ghost!
Now that it’s the one year anniversary of Seven Inches of Satanic Panic, I want to say that I’m so happy they released this, and would only change the amount of songs they put on it! I hope The Director, Tobias Forge, looks into developing a full album of this “era” of Ghost. It does give in to the clichés of them being called a “Scooby Doo” band, but I exponentially love the Blue Oyster Cult and almost Beach Boys vibe of these songs. This, until the album hopefully drops in December 2020, is the most recent release of theirs and it’s very uplifting and was very timely amidst the pandemic. The melodies during “Mary on a Cross” in particular have been highlights of my days during this time, personally.
“KISS THE GO-GOAT” (Song and Music Video)
Papa Nihil, unimpressed with Cardinal Copia, is speaking to Sister Imperator because he wants another chance to “re-release” HIS Ghost era music. She tells him to not have her remind him of “What happened last time.” as the song starts to play. We see a flashback to them both young in the 60’s and Ghost is performing the song at the Whisky a Go-Go, on the bill with Spooky Tooth and Teri Reid. “Kiss the Go-Goat” is extremely catchy from the first hit of the drum. The listener is vulnerable to a stimulating dynamic to the drums and keyboards in particular until Papa Nihil starts to sing. Papa Nihil looks like a cross between Ceasare from Cabinet of Dr. Caligari and the album cover for Bela Lugosi’s Dead, especially with the way he is moving his body on stage. The ghouls are in crude masks, indicating the struggle of being able to get quality masks in that period, and as a struggling local band in Los Angeles. Sister Imperator is pregnant, looking on Papa from the balcony.
I love the angles, cuts, looks, it is so 60’s and authentic to watch, like it was a music video you would question if you missed. Forge loves to use this effect, as he did back for the Secular Haze music video. He totally had me too since I was a younger kid getting into a lot of older music! I love how Papa’s using his higher register to really go into the “Whoooaaa” effect between the lyrics. The keyboard and guitar solos are so ear-catching and juicy too, and they even complimented each other interchangingly beautiful. Charles Manson is referenced when they show different shots of L.A. Sister Imperator goes crazy on a girl that slowly invaded her balcony space and continued to smoke near her. When she looks back to the stage, Papa is kissing a girl in the front row at the end of the song. This is what made Sister Imperator be so hard on Papa Nihil and when it cuts back to the present day she says, “Don’t even try to question why I left you, you should be happy that I’m here now! And believe me, I know what I’m doing!” This is when Papa finally convinces her to release the single for the 50th anniversary.
“MARY ON A CROSS”
Listening to this song thoroughly for about a year now, I can truly say this song is inspiring and has been able to lift my spirits during this rough year 2020 has been…It has a beautiful melody in a hippie style, that’s just absolutely gorgeous. The melody is so fluid through all the instruments, it’s so rich and vibrant throughout the song. There are amazing side melodies, such as how the keyboard does a mini solo in the middle of the song. The crooning vocals are such a callback to that older 50’s-60’s style of singing Elvis Presley was famous for. The keyboards are marvelously mesmerizing and the copious versatility with the vocal harmonies is nearly endless. It’s a mellow, happy, and almost genuinely authentic 60’s style song. It’s so fresh and feels familiar, but it isn’t, and that’s part of the beauty of Ghost’s music. There’s a soft underlying but higher octave melody I believe are the keyboards that is the most hypnotizing part of “Mary on a Cross”. Papa goes a capella in his lower register and it’s simply male vocal perfection. His voice is so stunning in this tone and without any instruments to cover it! “Mary on a Cross” is the most enriching and refreshing
sounding song for me of theirs. The ending is so strong vocally and musically; it’s a subtle but a quick ending song too which I felt summed up the E.P. brilliantly. This song is my favorite on the album and I hope it’s in a regular rotation when concerts and shows resume again!