At the Metal Hammer Awards this weekend, Ghost’s Tobias Forge (a.k.a. Papa Emeritus III) announced that their new album would be finished next spring. The next album from the band will be one of the most-anticipated releases of 2018. Details below.
Occult rockers Ghost just wrapped up their highly successful Popestar 2016 Tour on the USA. The band has just announced a brief run of dates for Scandinavia next spring, including their home-country of Sweden. Continue reading
Occult rock stars Ghost kicked off their current “Popestar US Tour” at the Riverside Municipal Auditorium in Riverside, California on Monday night. You can now watch fan-filmed video of the songs ‘Square Hammer’ and ‘Mummy Dust’ from that show below: Continue reading
Ghost have released another new teaser clip entitled The Summoning VI: The Proceedings Intensify in the wake of the release of their new Popestar EP which debuted at the No. 1 position on Billboard’s Top Rock Albums and Hard Rock Albums. The release is also the first EP to top the Top Rock Albums chart in its 10:year history. You can watch the teaser below: Continue reading
Back when Swedish occult rockers Ghost were just hitting their stride of popularity, Ghost Cult was fortunate enough to interview a Nameless Ghoul. At the time, they dropped an exclusive bit of news on us, that they had the plan for their entire next five years of releases pretty set in stone. Continue reading
1. Ghost – ‘Meliora’ (Spinefarm)
Released on 21st August, Ghost Cult’s Album of the Month for September and now our official Album of the Year, managed, even in a year in which Slayer released a divisive selection and Iron Maiden unveiled a 90 minute double album after a five year hiatus, to dominate conversations, causing arguments and endless discussions about it’s place in their canon and Ghost‘s status in the world of rock and metal.
For a “new” act to take on the established acts for column inches and internet debate is testament to how successful the Satanic vision of the original Nameless Ghoul has been.
The band formed in 2008 with a simple mission to spread the word of Satan through the medium of retrospective rock with the devil’s harmonies carrying and subverting the masses.
“This is the album where Ghost have consolidated the tricks and tropes that drew us into their strange vaudevillian universe to begin with and the album that will hold us there for some time more. Meloria sees Ghost honing all their tricks into one accessible and often infectious package.”
Much as dream follows day, Infestissumam saw a definite evolution and movement on from Opus Eponymous, and so Meliora is a further celebration of the Ghost sound, of their continued exploration of a musical niche, adding rock opera tendencies, even, at times, grinding War Of The Worlds into the feted gristle flowing through their distinctive Satanic mills as 70’s synths flutter, guitar solo sing, and holding it all together into memorable hook-filled hymns is Papa Emeritus III.
You can throw superlatives, or analyse things to the nth degree, or you can enjoy that most special of things – an album filled from top to bottom with great songs.
And more than anything, THAT is why Meliora is the Album of 2015.
Ghost Cult Top 50:
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On the heels of a successful mini unplugged tour to promote the album, Ghost will launch a full US Tour later this month:
Ghost – “Black To The Future Tour” US tour dates
Sept 22: The Fillmore – Washington, DC
Sept 23: Newport Music Hall- Columbus, OH
Sept 25: Stage AE- Pittsburgh, PA
Sept 26: Union Transfer- Philadelphia, PA
Sept 27: Terminal 5- New York, NY
Sept 28: House of Blues- Boston, MA
Sept 30: Metropolis: Montreal, QC
Oct. 01: Sound Academy- Toronto, ON
Oct. 02: The Majestic Theater- Detroit, MI
Oct. 03: The Riviera- Chicago, IL
Oct. 05: Liberty Hall- Lawrence, KS
Oct. 06: The Pageant- St. Louis, MO
Oct. 08: The Civic Auditorium- New Orleans, LA
Oct. 09: The Tabernacle- Atlanta, GA
Oct. 10: Beacham Theatre- Orlando, FL
Oct. 11: The Ritz- Tampa, FL
Oct. 13: House of Blues- Dallas, TX
Oct. 14: Aztec Theater- San Antonio, TX
Oct. 16: Sunshine Theater- Albuquerque, NM
Oct. 17: Sumitt Music Hall- Denver, CO
Oct. 19: Knitting Factory- Boise, ID
Oct. 20: El Corazon- Seattle, WA
Oct. 21: Roseland Theatre- Portland, OR
Oct. 23: Warfield- San Francisco, CA
Oct. 26: The Mayan Theater- Los Angeles, CA
Oct. 27: Knitting Factory- Reno, NV
Oct. 28: The Depot- Salt Lake City, UT
Oct. 30: Northside Park Theater- San Diego, CA
Oct. 31: House of Blues- Las Vegas, NV
Nov. 01: Monster Mash Festival- Phoenix, AZ
Additional dates for the UK have been book. Tickets are on sale now:
Dec 12: Beckett University- Leeds, UK
Dec 14: Rock City – Nottingham, UK
Dec 15: Institute – Birmingham, UK
Dec 16: Academy – Newcastle, UK
Dec 18: ABC – Glasgow, UK
Dec 19: Ritz – Manchester, UK
Dec 20: Academy- Bristol, UK
Dec 21: KOKO – London, UK
It is testimony to how far our favourite Scandinavian Satan botherers, Ghost, have entered the heavy metal consciousness that that much of the internet chatter regarding their latest album of curiously hummable tunes – the enigmatically titled Meloria (Spinefarm) – is magnificently divisive. Meloria, apparently, is proof of another “masterpiece” or, by contrast, it’s proof that they are blowhards and charlatans of the highest order.
When did this happen? When did the release of a new album from a band seemingly force everyone into Camp A or Camp B- that bands are either geniuses of the highest order or they are all steaming piles of horse manure?
This curious one-upmanship of “my band is more amazing than yours” can only end in a depressing ever-decreasing circle of self righteous stupidity which also belie the facts – not every record released is a classic and not every record you don’t like emanated from the stable yard.
Whatever happened to having, as Geddy Lee once put it, an open mind and an open heart?
Having set this mindset firmly in place, Meloria can be righteously ticked off as a really good album; in parts, exceptionally so. This is the album where Ghost have consolidated the tricks and tropes that drew us into their strange vaudevillian universe to begin with and the album that will hold us there for some time more. It is a lot more focussed than its expansive predecessor, the often brilliant but occasionally uneven Infestissumam (Sonet/Loma Vista) and is much closer in tone and outlook to the band’s debut the brilliant and otherwordly Opus Eponymous (Rise Above).
Earlier this year, in what has now become part of the annual ritual underpinning the Ghost circus, the band replaced – for the second time- the band’s lead singer, Papa Emeritus II, with, yes, you’ve guessed it, Papa Emeritus III. His “younger brother”, apparently. Whether you give a monkeys about this sort of thing is very much a personal choice but the new vocals sound, well, like Ghost. Plus ca change, plus la meme chose.
Aesthetically, Meliora (roughly translated from the Latin as the “search for betterment”) has many 1970s rock influences – there’s a dash of Black Sabbath here, a nod to AC/DC there and it’s all imbued with that occult-lite that they have become renowned for (and which tends to get up the nose of those who take this sort of thing very seriously indeed). Where Infestissumam decided to go on artistic flights of fancy, Meliora is a much more direct affair and one’s response to it will depend on whether one regards classic song structures and tunes a hindrance. This writer doesn’t.
As a consequence, Meloria sees Ghost honing all their tricks into one accessible and often infectious package. The Hammer horror stylised intro to the crunchy guitars of ‘Spirit’ sets the tone well – the drumming sounds uncannily like Bon Jovi’s ‘Lay Your Hands on Me’ which may or may not be a compliment, depending on your world view. ‘From the Pittance to the Pit’ is a ridiculously hummable call and response tune that will be many people’s earworm for some months to come. ‘Cirice’, the lead off song for this album is an absolute corker of a riff with all the expected tropes firmly in place; the faux satanic undercurrents, the impending sense of doom, the inveterate twinkle in the eye.
Elsewhere, the enigmatic string led instrumental of ‘Spoksonat’ and its companion piece, the love letter to Satan of ‘He Is’ are both highly evocative, properly entertaining and ever so slightly spooky, which one suspects was entirely the point.
‘Mummy Dust’ brings the tempo and the direct aggression up a notch or two and ‘Majesty’ will have Angus Young cocking an inquisitive ear in search of the culprit who nicked that riff from his mid 80s period. ‘Devil Church’ is a playful if lightweight instrumental interlude which presages the album’s two strongest cuts – the moody heavy ‘Absolution’ and ‘Deus in Absentia’.
‘Absolution’ could easily have cropped up on Opus Eponymous, it’s all eerie and plaintive piano but with a chorus bigger than Donald Trump’s ego. ‘Deus in Absentia’ sounds like the distillation of all the tricks and lessons of Ghost to date – big chorus, epically styled structure, choir, rolling piano. I suspect that a portion of Beelzebub’s kitchen sink is in there as well. It is completely ridiculous and completely absurd. You will, naturally, love it.
It would be disingenuous to suggest that Meliora is a massive step forward on an artistic level; it patently isn’t. However, it is absolutely a record that has plenty of vim, vigour and occasional flourishes of inspiration. Meloria will not convince the naysayers but will doubtless build the Ghost congregation and, for that alone, we can all praise Papa.
Meloria is an aural pantomime for Edgar Allan Poe fans. And yes, PR guy, you can quote me on that.