Ghost – known as Ghost B.C. in the United States – is a Swedish heavy metal band, formed in Linköping in 2008.
In 2010 Ghost released a three-track demo, followed by a 7″ vinyl titled “Elizabeth”, and eventually their debut full-length album Opus Eponymous. The album was widely praised and increased their popularity significantly. Their second album and major label debut Infestissumam was released in 2013, 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 skull make-up, dressed as a Roman Catholic Cardinal. The nature of their identities is highly secretive and their names have not been publicly disclosed; the vocalist calls himself Papa Emeritus and the musicians are referred to only as Nameless Ghouls.
Allegedly formed around 2006, Ghost B.C. have succeeded in establishing a large and committed fan base, despite their songs, artwork and stage shows being bathed in all things dark and Satanic. Taking their influences from horror films and the Swedish metal explosion of the 80’s and 90’s, they honed their act supporting the likes of Paradise Lost, styling their songs very much in the metal tradition but melding the melodies and vocals much keenly than many of their contemporaries, with elements of psychedelia and progressive rock frequently indentifiable. By the release of their second album in 2012, their lead singer, Papa Emeritus had been apparently usurped by a new Pope, Papa Emeritus II – it is quietly understood that this is actually the same person taking the opportunity to update the make-up and costume and perpetuate the band’s mythology.
What the band excelled with in terms of image, they lacked in a name – Ghost was the name of at least two other existing bands with record deals in the United States, leading to a legally acceptable ‘B.C.’ being added. Touring almost constantly, their third album, 2013’s Infestissumam met with record company resistance, the band’s 16th Century orgy on the cover being a little too far beyond the pale. Though a compromise was reached, the album sold well by word-of-mouth, despite an inevitable lack of radio play.
Though the band itself are unknown musicians, they are allowed symbols – those similar to the sigil of Baphomet – lead guitarist , bassist , keyboardist , drummer , rhythm guitarist actually representing fire, water, wind, air and ether. These five of the band’s members, called “Nameless Ghouls”, wear hooded monk-like robes and masks that cover their faces. The original version of the character, referred to as Papa Emeritus (later Papa Emeritus I), had a costume was a foam-latex mask of an older man with skull features painted on it and white or black Cardinal chasuble and mitre. His eyes are also different colours, the right one being a dark brown and the left one being a drastically lighter colour. Upon Papa Emeritus’s stage entry, he would swing a smoking thurible, a prop that was used to make his entrance to the stage known.
The second version, referred to as Papa Emeritus II, has a noticeably different appearance than the first; with the foam-latex mask for him being fitted more tightly than the first and a much sharper jawline and distinguishable brow ridge, giving him a younger and more vigorous appearance. Unlike the first Emeritus, Papa Emeritus II wears an exclusively black chasuble with emerald green or royal purple lining, and a white mitre. Papa Emeritus II has the same mismatched eye colour as the first; a darker right eye and a lighter left eye. In addition to this, Papa Emeritus II is seen to use a sceptre which adorns a metallic-looking Grucifix for his stage entry.
Daz Lawrence, MOVIES and MANIA
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