Ghost’s new album Prequelle opens with a familiar spooky sound just like Meliora, and what better way to get you hyped up for the next ~45 minutes of our favourite ghoulish theme music!
By Ursula Clarke
The children’s choir on Ashes makes a creepy opener and then we are full on into Ghosts first single Rats. Check out the video in case you haven’t seen it where Cardinal Copia dances flamboyantly, and epic guitar solos are churned out in an appropriate graveyard by our one of our beloved “nameless” ghouls.
Did you say “Cardinal”, not “Papa”? Historically, Ghost have released an album with a different “Papa” (think dark Pope) persona emerging for each album performance. Played by the Swedish genius Tobias Forge, we’ve so far had three “Papa’s” (Papa Emeritus I, II, III). Tobias is big into playing out a story throughout the Ghost albums about the origin of each Papa. In the latest chapter, Papa Zero (the ancient head Pope)
reluctantly decides to instate Cardinal Copia, who is not in his blood lineage. Unfortunately for Papas one through three, this means that they are all murdered so the Cardinal can make a fresh start. This is symbolic for Forge, as he’s been through a legal battle with the other members of Ghost recently. He maintains that he is the
inventor of Ghost, and that all of the “Nameless Ghouls” need not necessarily be the same Ghoul on every album. Considering the epic instrumentals on Helvestesfonster and Miasma, we have to agree that a steady line up of Ghouls is not required to keep evolving the Ghost sound.
Ghost does return more to their original sound from the Opus Eponymous sound – it has a very heavy 80’s feel; powerful guitars and tracks that repeat some of the same themes from that era. There are ideas you’ll also recognise from Infestissumam lyrically too – Dance Macabre reminds me of Zombie Queen, another spooky romantic song but much more catchy! It sounds like Tobias could be singing “Just wanna be, be with you in the
moonlight” or “Just wanna bewitch you in the moonlight”, but to be honest, we wouldn’t mind if he did either. In See the Light there are comparisons to Body and Blood in the lyrics – themes of a satanic communion. But the sound is different, it’s more evolved and
you can tell Forge has worked hard on expanding the Ghost sound since Meliora. We’re reminded that we will all die. We’re loving the addition of more 80’s electronic keyboard sounds, and even a saxophone.
You may recognise the start of Pro Memoria from one of Ghost’s recent promo videos, the music which introduced the Cardinal. Even though Ghost’s music sounds sometimes like it could be mocking themes of darkness, there is actually meaning behind it. Tobias lost his brother very shortly before Ghost took off, and speaks about it being some sort of weird, deep karmic law that made Ghost even happen in the first place. I hope the good karma keeps flowing for many more albums!