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Ghost only have five albums to their name — and all of them are great. However, unlike with many other bands' fanbases, there is no unified consensus about which one of their records is the absolute best of the bunch. Some people ride or die for the early material, while others claim that mastermind Tobias Forge and his co-conspirators has only gotten better as their experiments have become grander in sound and scope.
That being the case, we asked our readers to sound off on what they consider to be the Swedish occult-rock troupe's single greatest LP. They came through with votes as passionate and divergent as we expected. Below, are all five Ghost albums ranked, from worst to best.
We were actually surprised to see Infestissumam rank at the bottom here, given our readers named it the second best album of the 2010s just a few years prior. But we get where present-day Ghost listeners are coming from. The band's second album was a pretty drastic pivot from the classic doom-and-gloom of Opus Eponymous, introducing elements of surf rock and Seventies pop into their formula, but not genre-bending quite as hard as they would on its follow-ups. Still, "Secular Haze" and "Year Zero" are all-timers.
We named it the best album of 2022. It won Favorite Rock Album at this year's AMAs. Its single, "Call Me Little Sunshine," is nominated for a 2023 Grammy. And its resounding success launched Ghost into rock's arena tier. We get why some of the OG Ghost fans still haven't fully come around to Impera, which is the band's grandest, glammiest, most cinematic and, yes, least heavy album to date. All we can say is, spend a little more time with it. It's a grower.
Ghost's first album is, for many of the band's most metal-loving fans, the only Ghost album worth listening to. That's absurd, of course, but there is a certain magic captured on these recordings that listeners who like their shit hard and heavy might not hear on subsequent releases. Opus Eponymous presented the fully-formed idea of Ghost right out the gate; campy, catchy and uniquely playful, drawing faithfully from Eighties doom while simultaneously na-na-na-boo-booing old-school metal's scowly purists. It still holds up great.
The last two albums ranked here were extremely close in the vote tallies, which goes to show that Ghost's discography is so strong that they don't have an obvious standout. Prequelle marked a monumental step forward for them, though. Not only did Forge reveal himself as the mastermind behind the project during this era, but he tackled the (unknowingly prescient) concept of plague times across an ambitious sprawl of music that traversed bellowing anthems, heart-thumping ballads, epic instrumentals and poppy earworms.
Again, the votes were incredibly close, but Meliora pulled ahead to claim the No. 1 spot. It's an interesting pick. Arriving in 2015, it was the last Ghost album of the era when the band were still a mysterious, anonymous collective and not an arena-conquering, Grammy-winning force who'd soon rack up legions of TikTok fans. Still, none of that could've been achieved without Meliora's slew of hits — "Cirice" (which would earn a Grammy), "From the Pinnacle to the Pit" and "He Is," to name a few — and the bold sonic leaps the band took, and landed, throughout this record. Who knows how Ghost fans will feel about it for tomorrow, but today, Meliora is numero uno.