January 30th, 2012
Sorry if you thought this might be a post on some supernatural being…….
Supernatural no, sinister looking and creepy yes…….that is what Sweden’s melodic heavy metal band Ghost is all about. Their identities are unknown and the band members go by the collective of “Nameless Ghouls“. All band members wear heavy hooded monk like robes, you see none of their faces. The lead singer Papa Emeritus is dressed as a Cardinal but wears a skull mask. He has the voice of an angel but the look of a demon!
Seattle’s El Corazon show was one of the last nights on Ghost’s “13 Dates Of Doom” North American tour. Many previous shows on this tour have been sold out and this gig must have been pretty close too.
Their stage show is conducted almost like it is a black magic religious ceremony that you are attending. The backdrop is church windows and the show opens with something similar to Gregorian Monk chanting before the band take to the stage. The imagery of the entire show is dark and something to behold! Papa Emeritus beckons all in front of him to cheer, clap and sing with a slight wave of his hands and all comply!
While their songs have satanic based lyrics it is more or less all done in a tongue in cheek way and is not meant to be taken that seriously (alas many people outside of the metal scene probably won’t get this). Their music harks back to the early releases of Black Sabbath from the late 1960’s/early 1970’s but more melodic, it is kind of like Sabbath mixed with influences from Blue Oyster Cult. Ironically Ghost do an excellent cover of a Beatles song “Here Comes The Sun” during their set, such a contrast to their original material!
Regardless of the lyrical content the band are an extremely tight unit and play brilliantly (two guitarists, a bassist, drummer and keyboardist) and the melodic singing of Papa Emeritus is fantastic. The music is catchy in a strange heavy metal way and that along with their unique and eccentric image brings the fans from all walks of life to their shows in droves!
Ghost bring something totally new to the genre of metal and the song “Ritual” gives you a good idea of their musical style. Ghost are obviously not for everyone, but if you are game check out their excellent debut album “Opus Eponymous” (2010).
This following message was posted on Ghost’s Facebook page following the show:
“Children of Seattle, You made our evening at El Corazon unforgettable – Thank you! /The Nameless Ghouls”
I think everyone in the crowd would agree!