Ghost (Swedish band)
Ghost performing in Sweden 2011.
|Also known as||A Group of Nameless Ghouls, Ghost B.C.|
|Genres||Heavy metal, doom metal, stoner rock|
|Labels||Iron Pegasus, Rise Above, Metal Blade, Trooper Ent., Seven Four Ent., Loma Vista|
|Members||Papa Emeritus II
Ghost (also known as Ghost B.C. in the United States) is a Swedish heavy metal band, formed in Linköping in 2008. In 2010 they released a 3-track demo, followed by a 7" vinyl titled "Elizabeth", and eventually their debut full-length album Opus Eponymous. The Grammis-nominated album was widely-praised and increased their popularity significantly. Their second album, and major label debut, Infestissumam was released in 2013 and debuted at number one in their home country.
Ghost are easily recognizable due to their eccentric on-stage presence (five of the group's six members wear hooded robes, while the vocalist appears in a skull mask and a cardinal outfit) and highly secretive nature of their identities, with the members being referred to as "Nameless Ghouls". Musically, the band is often compared to groups such as Black Sabbath, Blue Öyster Cult, Mercyful Fate and Kyuss.
A Nameless Ghoul said that Ghost has its roots in 2006, when the members were in another band together and he played the riff that would become "Stand By Him" to them; "I said that this is probably the most heavy metal riff that has ever existed.", "When the chorus came to me, it haunted my dreams. Every time I picked up the guitar, I ended up playing that progression, and when I fit the words in, it seemed to cry out for a Satanically-oriented lyric." After coming up with the name Ghost, the band decided to build on the imagery, combining their love of horror films and "the traditions of Scandinavian metal." In another interview a Nameless Ghoul explained "Everything started with a bunch of songs. We knew very early that to make this material work we needed to fulfill our dream of putting a horror show together with music.", "We knew it would take a while to get things assembled, get the imagery in order. It ended up being two years of planning before we made the announcement that the band was active. That led to a very fast signing with a record label and our first show."
On October 18, 2010, Ghost released their first studio album, Opus Eponymous. The album was very well-received and was nominated for the 2011 Grammis Award (the Swedish equivalent of the Grammy Award) for "Best Hard Rock" album.
Ghost supported gothic metal band Paradise Lost on their Draconian Times MMXI tour in April 2011. On May 29, Ghost made their United States debut as the final band to perform at the Maryland Deathfest. The band played at the annual Download Festival in the United Kingdom on the Pepsi Max Stage on June 11. Following their performance, Phil Anselmo, lead singer of the band Down, performed wearing a Ghost t-shirt and invited three of Ghost's members to join him on the main stage. Down closed their set with both guitars and drums being played by members of Ghost. Phil changed the song title "Bury Me in Smoke" to "Bury Me in Ghost", prior to Ghost taking the stage.
Ghost took part in the Defenders of The Faith III tour with Trivium, In Flames and Rise to Remain for a string of UK and Europe dates. The band then embarked on their first ever United States tour, 13 Dates of Doom, from January 18, 2012 in New York to February 2 in Los Angeles. Ghost joined Mastodon and Opeth as the opening act on the Heritage Hunter Tour throughout North America during April and May 2012. In an interview in early 2012, a Nameless Ghoul announced that the band had completed writing their second album.
On December 15, 2012, Ghost performed a special show in their hometown of Linköping. There they debuted the new song that was released online for free earlier that day, entitled "Secular Haze", as well as premiering their cover of ABBA's "I'm a Marionette". The same show introduced the successor to the band's frontman, Papa Emeritus, known as Papa Emeritus II; believed to be the same person simply playing a new character. On December 20, they announced their second album, Infestissumam, would be released in spring 2013. It was released in North America by the new record label Loma Vista Recordings in partnership with Republic Records, a division of Universal Music Group, marking Ghost's major label debut. On February 5, 2013, the band announced their name change to "Ghost B.C." in the United States due to legal reasons. Discussing the name change, a Nameless Ghoul said "B.C. is obviously a pun on ‘Before Christ’, but it’s just an amendment. In our world, we’re just gonna be called Ghost, and when we refer to our records, it’s gonna be the Scandinavian version, saying Ghost only, and we are never ever ever ever ever ever gonna call ourselves Ghost B.C. in any way.", concluding with "The B.C. is silent, and as soon as we can, it’s gonna be taken away forever."
On March 12, fans could access a new song online entitled "Year Zero" if they promoted the band on Facebook, by endorsing its frontman to be elected the next Pope of the Catholic Church. Infestissumam was originally scheduled to be released on April 9 in the US, however, the band could not find a manufacturer for the CD in the United States. They were turned down by four US CD manufacturers due to controversial artwork for the deluxe edition of the album, which was described as "basically a 16th century illustration of an orgy". Rather than delay the album longer, the band decided to use the artwork from the regular edition for the US pressings of the deluxe edition and announced the new date of April 16. All European copies and the US vinyl versions do include the controversial artwork as "Vinyl manufacturers don't have a problem with the artwork. Neither does Europe." Ghost began their Haze Over North America tour on April 12 at the Coachella Festival, and it will take them to over twenty dates in the US and Canada until May 18.
- Papa Emeritus II (formerly known as Papa Emeritus) – vocals
- Nameless Ghouls – all instrumentalists; lead guitarist , bassist , keyboardist , drummer , rhythm guitarist
Anonymity is a major characteristic of Ghost; the members have not publicly revealed their names and the group's five instrumentalists, referred to as "Nameless Ghouls", wear hooded robes covering their faces, while the vocalist, Papa Emeritus, wore a mask with skull features painted on it. More recently, Papa Emeritus II wears a combination of a prosthetic face and face paint. The Nameless Ghouls represent the five elements; fire, water, wind, earth and ether, whose alchemical symbols currently adorn their robes, with each Ghoul's black robe highlighting a different one of the five symbols in white. According to the band, Papa Emeritus is "supposed to be the star", described by a Nameless Ghoul as "It's sort of like Eddie for Iron Maiden, except we have our Eddie singing." Speaking of their anonymity, a Nameless Ghoul said "On a day-to-day basis when we are home, it can be slightly irritating at times when you have to justify what you are doing. Some of us in the band have experienced people telling us we have to quit our jobs. It's hard to justify quitting your job because you're pursuing a musical career, but nobody knows what band you're in [laughs]." But added "On the positive side, you can be released of a lot of the negative aspect of being semi-famous or recognized", "I prefer being my own individual and doing things with my friends. Fortunately, I'm doing this with a lot of my friends and whenever we choose to step outside of the bubble, we can easily do so."
The Swedish Performing Rights Society is rumored to have Tobias Forge, vocalist of Swedish bands Subvision and Repugnant and former guitarist for Crashdïet (using the alias Mary Goore in the latter two), credited with songs as "A Ghoul Writer". All of the band's songs are credited to "A Ghoul Writer", causing people to believe Forge is Papa Emeritus. Ghost has stated they will not comment on any rumors of their identities. However, in an interview, when asked if he (Papa) was the "Ghoul Writer", Papa Emeritus said he was not.
- Demo 2010 (2010, demo)
- "NamelessGhoul comments on We are Ghost: Papa Emeritus II and the Nameless Ghouls. AMA.". April 15, 2013.
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- "GHOST On New Album: We Wanted It To Sound 'Like A Real Expensive Record Done In 1978'". Blabbermouth.net. 2012-12-23. Retrieved 2013-04-09.
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- "Ghost: ‘We Are Never Ever Ever Ever Ever Ever Gonna Call Ourselves Ghost B.C.’". Loudwire. 2013-04-09. Retrieved 2013-04-10.
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- "Ghost Frontman's Identity Revealed Tobias Forge". metalinsider.net. Retrieved 2012-03-08.[unreliable source]
- "Show No Mercy: Ghost B.C.". Pitchfork Media. 2013-04-12. Retrieved 2013-04-22.
- "Chartifacts". ariacharts.com.au. MCM Media. Retrieved 2013-04-24.
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- "Michael Buble set for third chart topping album in a row". officialcharts.com. The Official UK Charts Company. Retrieved 2013-04-24.
- "GHOST's 'Infestissumam' Cracks U.S. Top 30". Blabbermouth. Retrieved 2013-04-24.
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