The goals of Ghost are simple. The mysterious Swedish six piece are looking to spread the message of “unholy gospel” by tricking mankind into believing the end is ultimately a good thing via the popular rock music medium. While they are not the first, nor the last group of metal musicians from Scandinavia setting out to share the message of Satan, they may very well have the best chance of breaking out of the metal underground and into the American consciousness.
The band’s debut album Opus Eponymous is a daringly fascinating combination of Satanic rock music merged with an unthinkable pop sensibility. Ghost is black metal at its most original and deceiving apex. Where many mortals would shy away from the sinister and very non-commercial sounds of Black Metal, Ghost comes at you sounding like the bastard child of King Diamond and Blue Öyster Cult. The group’s combination of pulsating riffs and lush vocal harmonies are specifically designed to penetrate your mind and stay stuck in your head for days at a time. Hell, these guys have managed to make The Beatles uplifting classic Here Comes The Sun and turn it into the soundtrack of the underworld.
Check out the video for Ritual below:
The band is fronted by vocalist Papa Emeritus, a towering figure who looks a lot like the Pope. That is of course if the Pope was a devil worshiping black metal superstar. Further adding to the mystery that is Ghost, the remaining band members (2 guitarists, bassist, keys and drums) are known only as the Nameless Ghouls. Covered by medieval cloaks, their name and appearance are unknown to the general public thus allowing the listener to focus on the messages found within the lyrics.
With successful appearances on the 2011 European Festival Circuit, many of metals top stars have jumped aboard the Ghost bandwagon. Metallica front man James Hetfield was interviewed by a Swedish media agency decked out in a Ghost shirt while speaking very highly of the group. Phil Anselmo took the love a step further by inviting a few of the Nameless Ghouls out on stage to close out Down’s 2011 Download Festival set. Also decked out in a Ghost T-shirt, Anselmo even went as far as changing the name of the song from Bury Me In Smoke to Bury Me In Ghost.
For those who missed Ghost on their just completed inaugural trek of America you are in luck. Papa Emeritus and the Nameless Ghouls are set to return this spring serving as the opening act for the just announced Opeth/Mastodon co-headline tour. For more on Ghost, make sure to check out their official website.