Known for their extravagant stage appeal, Ghost, a Swedish heavy metal band, will rock Emo’s stage May 1. All group members wear hooded robes. Vocalist, Papa Emeritus, wears skull make-up and dresses as a Roman Catholic Cardinal. Band member identities are highly secretive and their individual names have not been publicly disclosed. Musicians in the group refer to themselves as ‘Nameless Ghouls.’ The group sets off a sort of Satanic vibe that brings up controversy. Ghost has been nominated for the Swedish Grammis Music Awards.
Their first album, Opus Eponymous (2010), was written a few years prior to it’s release. The group created their Satanic theme based on the songs the group had written. One of the Ghouls stated, “Very early on, when the material came together in the project phase before it was actually a band, when it was a logo and a couple of songs, it came together by itself because the material and the lyrics sort of screamed a over-the-top commitment to the dark side. It is hard to make that credible and really eerie. What we thought of when we heard the songs is basically a band that looks the way we do now.” Commenting on the creation of their style and their name, another Ghoul stated, “When we came up with the name Ghost, it seemed only natural to build on the foundation of this heavy imagery. Within that concept we were able to combine our love of horror films and, of course, the traditions of Scandinavian metal.” Their debut album, Opus Eponymous, made Sverigetopplistan Albums Top 60, peaking at spot 50 for 5 weeks. The album was also nominated for a 2011 “Best Hard Rock” Grammis Award. Sweden Rock Magazine named it “the third best album in the past decade” with the first two being The Final Frontier and A Matter of Life and Death by Iron Maiden. By 2013, Ghost had released its second album, Infesissumam, which was named Best Heavy Album of the year by multiple music publications.
The group’s appearance mimics the Roman Catholic Church, but with a reversed image worshiping Satan instead of the Holy Trinity. “The sort of Satanism, or devil-worship, that we want to portray in the confines of Ghost, is a very biblical version of goat worship…We’re playing with the idea of divinity, and we’re using the diabolical symbolisms to set a mindset,” said one of the Ghouls. The Ghoul describes the group’s first album as being “the forthcoming arrival of the Devil, spoken very much in biblical terms, much like the church will say that doomsday is near.” The second album is described as “the presence of the Devil and the presence of the Antichrist.” When the band was in the process of recording, multiple churches denied the group’s request to have their respective choirs sing lyrics on an album. As for album artwork, release dates have been pushed back due to nudity on their album covers. Manufactures denied to produce them. In the U.S. the band’s music is banned from multiple chain-stores, and the band has not been welcomed on any late-night television shows. Ghost’s music is not ‘radio friendly’ in the eyes of mainstream America.
Regardless of the controversy, Ghost will take the stage at Emo’s Austin and rock the night away.
Ghost w/ King Dude tickets: $20.
Thursday, May 1