Look, we could waste lifetimes pedantically trying to fence in “metal” in all its constantly shifting forms and definitions — and it would be a waste, I promise — but as a dude who thinks about this shit a lot, I gotta say this, just this once: The music currently being made by Ghost B.C. is not metal. It borrows heavily from the imagery of metal (specifically occult Satanism) and once in a while throws in a guitar tone that you might also find on a King Diamond record (or a Ke$ha record, or a Meat Loaf record), but what you’re hearing here is retro-psychedelia, prog-based pop, Broadway rock. It’s not metal! That’s not to say someone who likes metal can’t like Ghost B.C. — I like Ghost B.C.! — but Ghost B.C. is not metal. And I know, who cares, these genre tags are reductive and atavistic, especially in our post-long tail era of micro-classification, etc. BUT SOMEHOW Ghost B.C. are like the popular face of metal in 2013 — well, blog-metal, anyway — and they’ve been its face for two years now, and that’s totally insane! It’s like Jethro Tull winning the Best Metal Album Grammy in 1988. The ridiculous part is not that they won, or that they beat out Metallica’s And Justice For All, it’s that they were ever in that category in the first place! Anyway, just had to get that off my chest. That said, I really like Ghost B.C.’s Infestissumam — it’s better than their debut, 2010’s Opus Eponymous, because it takes all the cartoony conceits and posturing to new levels, and commits to them via increasingly weird music. Not metal. You can stream the album over at Pitchfork now. I recommend it.