As long predicted by Ghost Cult, Ghost introduced Papa Emeritus IV at the final date on the Prequelle World Tour in Mexico City. The new character who will front the band during its next album cycle. No word yet if we have seen the end of Cardinal Copia as he was, but it seems he was promoted to Papa IV. Papa Nihil, Saxophone player live and character in all of Ghost’s recent videos has apparently died or been killed off. Tobias Forge performed as a “new” Papa Emeritus on each of the band’s first three LPs, with each version of Papa replacing the one that came before it. Papa Emeritus III was retired in favor of Cardinal Copia before the release of 2018’s “Prequelle” album. Video footage and photos of the big reveal can be seen below. (Photo above courtesy of Summa Inferno). Tobias Forge performed as a “new” Papa Emeritus on each of the band’s first three LPs, with each version of Papa replacing the one that came before it. Papa Emeritus III was retired in favor of Cardinal Copia before the release of 2018’s “Prequelle” album. Photo above courtesy of Summa Inferno. Continue reading
Ghost continues to invade the collectibles market, first with a Cardinal Copia plushie and the news we broke about Papa Emeritus Funko Pop Vinyl’s coming soon. Now they have partnered with Super7 (Misfits, Slayer, Ozzy Osbourne, Motorhead, Megadeth, King Diamond) for a Papa Emeritus II ReAction Figures. They go on sale next Monday, August 12th! Continue reading
In a leak reported by trade publication Pop Vinyl World, Ghost and Hot Topic have partnered to release an exclusive Funko Pop Vinyl of Papa Emeritus II pop. This news is amazing as Ghost pops have been long rumored to be in the works, with fans making their own incredible tribute pops, and the band has already delved into busts figurines and plush doll of Cardinal Copia. Die-hard fans are already going apeshit over this. Funko is one of the biggest collectible toy companies in the world, having held its IPO last year and becoming a major player in the business. Ghost, on the strength of 2018’s Prequlle album, is finishing their tour with Metallica this summer before their first headline arena tour of the USA this fall.
Keeping the hype train rolling along, Ghost performed at a private event in Chicago last night, playing a short unplugged set and debuting what looks to be the first single off of their new album, ‘Rats’. They performed for the first time with Cardinal Copia (Tobia Forge), their new frontman in the band following the previous leaders Papa Emeritus, Papa Emeritus II, and Papa Emeritus III. Watch this video clip of the band performing a snippet of ‘Cirice’ acoustic. Continue reading
For Part II of our interview with Adam Zaars of Tribulation, Ghost Cult’s Armen Haczmerian touched on a few more topics surrounding the new release, The Children of the Night (Century Media). It will be released in a few different formats. Century Media has also prepared a special box release with extras such as… a pendant with cord. But jokes aside, the band has added a couple of extra tracks to that release.
“There will be two bonus songs on the CD. One of them is ‘Laudanum Dreams’, we had released on our last 7″ we were selling on our last tour in America. The other one is a cover of The Cure’s ‘One Hundred Years’. We like this song and recording it went really well. There are also two demo songs on a 7 inch EP, which is also included in the box release. Also, we might publish another cover we recorded in the future. I can’t reveal anything now, you will find out soon (laughs).”
Signing to one of the biggest players in heavy metal market, Century Media, which is another shift from band’s recent stance on big labels. But Adam offers a firm clarification.
“Century Media has been great so far. To make things clear – we wouldn’t have signed a deal with any label that didn’t put us in full control when it comes to song writing. The reason we signed was purely commercial – to get a better promotion… and so far it seems to be working! We don’t regret not signing to a bigger label before releasing The Formulas of Death. But we’ve always known we’re something else… shape-shifters, I guess”, Adam chooses his words carefully but with confidence. “I think it was the right time for us to show everyone what Tribulation is really about. It was great to work with Invictus and Ajna Offensive, but we can’t stay in one place for too long. So when we got a real chance to show everyone what Tribulation is, we made the decision.”
Tribulation hit the road again in April, before going on European tour with Melechesh and Keep of Kalesin in May. Adam speaks of the band’s touring plans for the next few months.
“We have not many festival dates confirmed as yet, but we’re playing at Tons of Rock in Norway in June. We will be at Temples Festival in Bristol in May, and Hellfest in France a month later as well. We are not planning a UK tour at the moment, but we play at London’s Incineration Fest, and Temples so at least we have two dates in the UK now (laughs).”
Speaking of touring, there were huge controversies on Tribulation’s recent Polish tour with Behemoth, who were the headliner. One show in Poznan was cancelled, and all the supporting bands played in a different (and smaller) club.
“Well, it’s quite bizarre, I’d say. Especially for us, coming from a very secular country like Sweden. It would never happen over here! It was a huge shame, that local government was persuaded by religious fanatics, and managed to get the show cancelled. Those groups of catholics were protesting outside venues on every show. But that was fine! It actually helped the tour (laughs). However, it’s ok to speak your mind up, but if you try censoring, it just turns really ugly.”
Tribulation are destined for success, as their music gather new auditorium, and their style expands further beyond the frames of death metal. But while we can be sure the band will be constantly evolving, Adam does not rule out a return to more vicious and primal variety. Perhaps teaming up with Tobias Forge again, and doing another long-awaited Repugnant record would be an idea?
“Of course! I still listen to the extreme music, so I’m still into it. Tribulation is a journey, it’s something else now, and also at the moment I’m quite busy with the band. But in the future, why not?”
Ghost B.C. has positioned themselves as one of the most interesting – and polarizing – bands in music today. Not at all black metal, but with all of its satanic trappings; candy-coated pop without any the sweetness; gimmicky but presented with a conviction that is admirable. You either love them or hate them, but you know who they are. I have loved the band since the first time I heard ‘Year Zero’. Deny it all you want, but the moment you heard the choral bellows of “Belial, Behemoth, Beelzebub! Asmodeus, Satanas, Lucifer!” You were caught off-guard and they had your attention. I would dare say that those who do not like them have to grudgingly admit this band takes their music as seriously as their image. But can they deliver all of this dichotomy, pomposity and schtick live?
The answer is a resounding YES. Ghost has created a sound that appeals to a broad range of rock fans. The have the melodic sensibility to corral rock/hard rock fans, the horror/punk edge that appeals to the punk rockers, and the lyrical/visual melancholy dripping with keyboards that woos the Goth crowd. Even with that mix, their music still has enough crunch and groove to appeal to many metalheads, especially those who appreciate singing as opposed to the screamers that dominate the genre. The crowd is as undefinable as the music they have come to experience, but one word that could be used is dedication. While the crowd was very respectful of the rockabilly-tinged crooning of Seattle-based opener King Dude, it was clear from the t-shirts, face paint and chatter who the throng was there for.
From the background music, to the lighting, to the incense, to the cathedral-like backdrop complete with stained glass windows, Ghost knows how to set a mood. Much credit has to be given to the attention to detail that makes you feel as if you are part of a satanic church service as much as a show, and that it’s more than just throwing on some face paint and a costume. This band is so 100% committed to their image and its presentation, even a non-fan can respect it.
The Nameless Ghouls filed onstage to the gloom of ‘Masked Ball’, and launched into ‘Infestissumam’. His Unholiness Papa Emeritus II strolled onstage and up to the microphone for ‘Per Aspera ad Inferi’ complete with his Pope-esque robe (with inverted crosses), the mitre (tall pointed pope hat), and the staff bearing the huge Ghost logo on its top. He is striking figure, and all of his movements, gestures, and speech patterns during his between-song commentary shows this man has done his Papal homework. Stoic, never headbanging, never so much as a sway or dance, he really bears himself as the role requires. The front line of Ghouls are quite animated, and interact with each other and the audience more than some reviews would lead you to believe. The band’s musicianship was tight and quite exceptional, able to nail the genre-skipping their songs demand with ease. The fans were screaming along to every word, swaying and dancing, and there was even a pit now and then. The last song performed was ‘Monstrance Clock’, and ended with the band leaving the stage to the crowd’s chanting of the lyric, “Come together, together as a one! Come together for Lucifer’s son!” I have not seen this kind of intense reverence for a band since I saw Neurosis last summer. These folks are INTO IT. And it was a damn good time.
For all of its darkness, it was fun, amazing concert experience. Even if you are not their biggest fan, do not pass up the opportunity to see Ghost live – it will be worth every penny of that ticket.
Ghost Set List:
Per Aspera ad Inferi
Jigolo Har Megiddo
Con Clavi Con Dio
Body and Blood
Here Comes the Sun (Beatles cover)
Depth of Satan’s Eyes
Stand by Him
If You Have Ghosts (Roky Erickson cover)
WORDS: LYNN JORDAN
As we sat in the upstairs bar of Manchester’s Academy, the venue which plays host to Grunge legends Alice In Chains and all-star Seattle outfit Walking Papers, Ghost Cult is greeted by a member of rock’s most mysterious and clandestine coven, namely Ghost. Continue reading
Critics of their latest album, Hail to the King (Warner Bros.), be damned, Avenged Sevenfold went on tour in support of it. They stopped in M. Shadows’ hometown of Boston on October 9th. Deftones and Ghost B.C. were brought along as openers although each group is of headlining potential.
Some audience members were rightly upset when Ghost B.C. ended up taking the stage about fifteen minutes before the show was scheduled to start. Those who arrived at the appointed time missed about two songs in the set. Although the length of time Ghost B.C. got was disappointing, the band made the most of it. Papa Emeritus II appeared glad to witness the faithfulness of the fans who sang along the entire time. The set list leaned towards songs off of their newest album, Infestissumam (Sonnet Records), including ‘Year Zero’ and ‘Monstrance Clock’. ‘Con Clavi Con Dio’ and ‘Ritual’ were played from Opus Eponymous. The set as a whole could be compared to a high mass for metal fans. A fast rising band such as Ghost B.C. deserved a longer set, but they still won that night. Many attendees who had not previously heard the band were purchasing their official merchandise as well as raving about their performance.
Although attendees could agree on the spectacle that was Ghost B.C.’s set, many appeared to be divided by Deftones. At the start, everyone’s energy was turned on by the band. Many went wild headbanging and jumping along to Chino Moreno’s vocals and stage antics. They began by playing one of their more recent hits, ‘Diamond Eyes’. After ‘My Own Summer [Shove It]’, people started to lose their excitement with the band’s music. They appeared to want to hear older songs, but were mostly getting the newer material. It was a peculiar situation considering how much acclaim their last album had received. The band gave it most of their energy. At one point, Moreno went into the audience to sing a few verses. It was strange to see him rein it in to play the guitar for a few mellow songs. Perhaps Moreno should have stuck to moving around like a wild man.
In the waiting period before Avenged Sevenfold took to the stage, there was plenty of buzz. Would the band be able to stick it to the naysayers or would the performance be a disappointment to those who wanted to see them succeed? It was a mix of both. As soon as M. Shadows’ began singing ‘Shepard of Fire’, it was easy to tell that the band did not care about all the negative press they were receiving. It was their show and they were going to act like rockstars if the audience liked it or not. Many did not. Perhaps the best thing about Avenged Sevenfold’s set was that they were the only ones who really made it into a visual performance. Yes Ghost B.C. had their attire, but Avenged Sevenfold had a castle façade that had fire and a skeletal figure waiting inside it. However, their skeleton friend seemed suspiciously reminiscent of Iron Maiden’s beloved Eddie. A bit of a setback considering all the allegations that the band is ripping off more popular metal bands. This seemed to be confirmed when a portion of the audience sang Metallica’s ‘Sad But True’ while the band played ‘This Means War’ and everything still matched perfectly. The band ran into the same problem that Deftones had; most of the older material was ignored until the last half of the set. Many spent the set begging the band to play older songs such as ‘Beast and the Harlot’. It wasn’t until the end of their set that they gave the fans partly what they wanted with ‘Bat Country’. Closer to the end of the set, attendees were subjected to a wholly unnecessary guitar solo and band jam session. Couldn’t it have waited for one of their practice sessions? Evidently not. Many were excited when the group decided to finish their encore with ‘Unholy Confessions’. However, the audience was confused as to why the band decided to play it slower than usual. Maybe it was the band’s way of having the last laugh. After all, their album has sold fantastically and many had still come out to see them despite the negativity surrounding them.
Words: Melissa Campbell
Swedish occult rock/doom formation Ghost is one of the fastest rising stars in the metal firmament. Recently the band released Infestissumam, an album that will undoubtedly cement the reputation of Papa Emeritus II and his Nameless Ghouls even further. On behalf of Ghost Cult Marcus J. West had a little chat with one of the Nameless Ghouls just before the band enters the stage… Continue reading
Since their Opus Eponymous debut dropped three years ago the nameless ghouls have enticed the greats of rock into their diabolical trap with a combination of a lavish stage show and the catchiest tunes Old Nick has given us in years. Yet by 2013 surely we’ve all gone back to our King Diamond and Blue Öyster Cult albums and cooled off. Not likely! Continue reading