Ghost | Seven Inches of Satanic Panic | Album Review
Loma Vista Records
Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
In conjunction with a new chapter of their ongoing webisode series, Ghost “re-released” an EP titled, Seven Inches of Satanic Panic. Regarding the fictionalized lore and ongoing story of the band, the webisode established that the two tracks, “Kiss the Go-Goat” and “Mary on a Cross,” were recorded in the 60s by the band’s original front man, Papa Nihil. The psychedelic rock sound captured in these two musical masterpieces makes it feel like this EP is indeed a portal into an alternative past.
The first track, “Kiss the Go-Goat” follows the story of a young woman falling in love with the devil and being encouraged to kiss the goat, a possible reference to Baphomet, who is a deity often related to Satanism that is depicted to have a human body and a goat head. The transition in tone and beat between the ominous chanting of, “Satan / Lucifer / Osculum obscenum (Translation: dark kiss)” at the end of the chorus into the upbeat and funk infused refrain that follows makes the song an instant earworm that will take up residence in the brain for days. If the essence of the Satanic Panic craze was harnessed into a song it would be “Kiss the Go-Goat.”
“Mary on a Cross” continues with that feeling and takes it one step further by adding an underlying cult vibe with the lyrics throughout the song. “If you choose to run away with me / I will tickle you internally / And I see nothing wrong with that.” It is very Charles Manson meets The Beatles. If the listener were to close their eyes and let the music take over it would be easy to picture oneself cruising down the dusty highways of southern California, which was a hotbed for Satanic activities during the 1960s. The second line of the chorus, “Mary on a / Mary on a cross,” sounds like a reference to marijuana, which has been connected to the Devil since the early 1930s.
Seven Inches of Satanic Panic not only replicates the sounds of the 1960s, but also plays on all of the misguided fear of the time in a tongue in cheek way that makes both of the songs juggernauts in Ghost’s discography.