Their stage is a cathedral that God himself has deserted in the face of the arrival of the macabre Papa Emeritus, now the fourth in the line-up, and his frightening ghouls. Because not even the divine can grasp, classify or stop the Swedes of Ghost, who are determined to spread a lightless catechism of plagues and eternal torment.
For 15 years since 2006, the band have kept their identity a secret, but their heavy, committed riffs and unstoppable, liturgy-sprinkled melodies are the kind of truth that metal fans and Satan worshippers love. Add to this a bewitching pop sound, and you get a mix that goes far beyond the genre and expands the band's audience with every occult appearance.
Because it's on stage that Ghost really comes into its own. The band, endorsed by Metallica, creates a universe where hope has no place, civilizations disappear and the Antichrist reigns supreme. Disguised as an anti-pope in glittering robes and tiara, Tobias Forge blesses his followers with a censer before letting his guttural voice roar. All around him, as he returns in tails or sequined suit, chaos takes place with millimetric precision. Goules clash and invective as much as guitars, bass rumbles and drums rage. Behind the make-up, a destructive charm is at work.
In this intensely melodic fracas, the Devil is obviously invoked. But if religion is a source of inspiration for Ghost, the band also puts a dark filter on the world's issues: proud nations, glorified stupidity, rulers as low as the underworld... It's society as a whole that's doomed to plunge into their flames.
In 2006, in Linköping, Sweden, the Devil slowly made his way among mortals. It wasn't until 2010 that he finally revealed himself to the world with Ghost and his debut album, Opus Eponymous. The ensuing tour unveils their end-of-the-world ambience, and has the audience in agreement from the very first chords. Ghost is the metal band the world has been waiting for, the one whose universe and audacity will cross the boundaries of the genre.
If Ghost quickly brought America and Sweden under their satanic ministry, it was with Meliora, their third album, that they converted the French public. Having never made it into the top 200, the band rocketed to 17th place in the French charts and caught the eye of Canal +, who invited them to play on their show "L'album de la semaine". Such was their success that Papa Emeritus added two dates to their tour, already marked by a diabolical appearance at Rock en Seine.
Quand quatre goules musiciennes attaquent leur leader, on n’est pas loin de finir dans un bain de sang. Pour de sombres histoires d’argent, elles quittent la formation et l’identité de tous est révélée à un public qui suspectait déjà Tobias Forge depuis longtemps. Mais les enfers se nourrissent de conflits et Ghost reprend le chemin des studios et des scènes sans faillir, avec une armée de goules toutes fraîches. L’année suivante, ils signent le magnifique Prequelle et assurent en 2019 la première partie de Metallica dans toute l’Europe.
Their fifth album, Impera, explores the vices of civilization with surgical precision. Not metal enough for some of the band's detractors, the numbers speak for themselves. Number 2 on the Billboard charts, number 1 in Germany and Sweden, and number 5 in France. There's no doubt about it, Ghost's pontiff has not finished preaching his faith and shining his dark light on the world's stages.
This band is unclassifiable. Ghost intrigues, bewitches and fascinates. How could it be otherwise from a band inspired by the best of Stanley Kubrick, cultivating mystery about the identity of its members, whose music skilfully blends church choir, liturgy, pop and rock. Not since Alice Cooper has a band taken communion with its audience to such a level.
Since their debut, Ghost have been an event on stage. We find ourselves in the midst of anarchy controlled with perfect dexterity and technique. In the midst of a flamboyant church whose pope, as the devil's right-hand man, blows a metal that sometimes almost makes you want to dance. It's heavy stuff, very heavy stuff, and their undeniable success proves it: Ghost is on the way to becoming a legend.
If Tobias Forge, the band's singer, founder and boss, can be accused of many evils, his inability to put together a show calibrated to the millimeter is not one of them. From 9pm to 10:45pm, spectators were treated to a grandiose spectacle, not only musical but also visual. As the master of ceremonies himself said in one of his many speeches, "Welcome to the show tonight. All that's left to do is let yourself be guided...