Ghost is back, but this time, it’ll be different.
Ghost jumped into the scene in 2010 with their debut, Opus Eponymous (literally, “self-titled work.”) The album was met with critical praise and criticism in equal measure and has been dubbed by many to be “Blue Öyster Cult with Satanism.” While not inaccurate, the cheese factor the band is maligned for is actually the appeal here.
After three successful albums and a covers EP, Ghost came unraveled when some of the Nameless Ghouls (the band) sued Papa Emeritus (Tobias Forge, singer and composer) with the allegation that he was hoarding the proceeds from the band’s record sales and tours, as well as trying to take full control over the band’s creative direction. There is some dispute as to what went down during the tail end of Ghost’s 2017 US tour but the end result was that Ghost was restructured, almost completely. In light of this, the band’s next release quickly became highly anticipated. Just what was in store?
Rest assured, Forge isn’t ready to give up the Ghost just yet.
It would seem that from the shadow of this controversy emerges a new Ghost and a new album, Prequelle. The first change is that Tobias Forge is no longer Papa Emeritus (IV) but instead, Cardinal Copia. This makes one wonder if Ghost will be going back to the past, so to speak. To tease the “new” band, Ghost released two short videos about the Cardinal, styled after 80s B-Movies and laced with all the delicious cheesiness one would expect. Hot on the heels of this dramatic introduction came the first single, Rats.
It’s possible to describe the song in two words: “gleeful abandon.” Rats sounds like the song that would play as the world is coming to an end, but it would be a party number. Tobias’ Mercyful Fate influences have come more to the fore this time around, with the riffs hearkening to the days of old, solid heavy metal. The entire song is also more bombastic than ever before, the keyboards are ever cheesier and the chorus is positively jovial. The entire song is positively vibrating with energy and a sense of end-times fun. The accompanying music video reflects this sublimely, featuring Cardinal Copia, looking like a B-Movie Satanist villain, dancing on the streets of a post-apocalypse (at one point, he is joined by a troupe of undead back-up dancers, too.) The titular rats may be gnawing at corpses, but their bellies are full and the dead don’t mind.
If Rats is an indication of the shape of things to come, then it is very possible that Ghost is preparing to drop an album unlike any that has come before. In this brave new apocalypse, the dead don’t walk the streets… they dance.
Prequelle will be released on June 1st.
4. See the Light
6. Dance Macabre
7. Pro Memoria
8. Witch Image
10. Life Eternal