Ghost - Prequelle



Loma Vista Recordings

Release: June 1, 2018


You love them or you hate them, but Ghost is becoming a phenomenon in the music (dare I say metal?) scene. It was about time Ghost showed up with a new album, their last release called ‘’Meliora’’ was released in 2015. Naturally, the announcement of the new was done in a very theatrical way, a video featuring iconic Papa Nihil (yes, the one with the saxophone) and Sister Imperator. Everyone expected the figure to be a new incarnation of Papa Emeritus, but yet this was not revealed in the first trailer, so these were all just speculations...

Until Chapter Two came online. Roughly two months ago the world was introduced to Cardinal Copia, the new ‘’incarnation’’. Papa Nihil reveals that Cardinal Copia is not in the bloodline to become Papa, but Sister Imperator convinces him that he is the right choice, being the most senior member. Right away the opinions were divided amongst fans, judging without hearing any of the new music. That is something that stung me a bit about Ghost’s following.

With a new face comes a new sound, shortly after Chapter Two, Ghost released its first single ‘’Rats’’ including a music video. I fell in love with ‘’Rats’’ and the Cardinal right away. To me, Cardinal Copia seems like a new way for Tobias Forge to be creative in this persona. It’s a fresh wind, but certainly not the thing most people was expecting. Cardinal Copia came across a bit awkward and silly at first, but after seeing many live videos I am convinced this will be a successful direction for the band. After all, it is the same vocalist and songwriter, and I do not doubt TF’s talent. ‘’Rats’’ has an amazing build-up, interesting lyrics and is simply one of my favourite songs at the moment. The outro of the song, as well as the intro ‘’Ashes’’ have the same melody as ‘’Spöksonat’’ from ‘’Meliora’’.


Chapter Three is somewhat confusing to me. Sister Imperator interrupts a game of (what seems to be) poker between three old men, shorty after these men were killed by a Nameless Ghoul. After that it shows the three previous Papa’s being embalmed and getting ready to be on display. Their casket is a flight case, commonly used to transport music gear. Later was revealed that the Papa’s (well.. the costumes) are for display at the new Ghost tour.

I am not going to lie, I had very little patience when it was announced that on June 1st 2018 the new album, called ‘’Prequelle’’ would be released. There are different theories based upon the date, 6:1. Now I am not a religious person, so please correct me if I’m wrong. In the video for ‘’Rats’’, Cardinal Copia is sitting on a white horse near the end. In Revelation 6:1: The First Seal—Rider on White Horse it says: ‘’Then I saw when the Lamb broke one of the seven seals, and I heard one of the four living creatures saying as with a voice of thunder, “Come.” I looked, and behold, a white horse, and he who sat on it had a bow; and a crown was given to him, and he went out conquering and to conquer.’’


Ghost released a second single, ‘’Dance Macabre’’ on May 25 2018. This track has even more 80’s influences as ‘“Rats’’, which is something new in Ghost’s repertoire. Again, many fans seemed to -again- dislike it because the tracks do not sound as ‘’dark and evil’’ as they expected it to be, judging from album as ‘’Opus Eponymous’’, ‘’Infestissumam’’ and ‘’Meliora’’. But a band evolves, and the ‘’dark and evil’’ thing can easily become overdone and boring. The ‘’Popestar EP’’ already brought a bit of a new sound to Ghost, especially the song ‘’Square Hammer’’ was well received. ‘’Dance Macabre’’ might be the most ‘’not-metal’’ song of the album, but have you listened to it? It is super catchy!

Speaking of the most ‘’non-metal’’ song, I am sure there will be complains about ‘’Miasma’’. Even though this track is entirely instrumental, it does include a saxophone solo, which refers of course to Chapter One. I have to admit, the saxophone solo is a bit of a stranger in our midst, and it comes at a moment you least expect it (if you even expected it at all). But it shows that Ghost has not lost its sense of humour and the light approach to somewhat heavy and serious topics. Did it the saxophone fit the other instrumental music? I’m not sure, but it’s definitely something new. Talking about something new: don’t forget to mention the awesome keytar solos in ‘’See The Light’’!

‘’Faith’’ and ‘’Pro Memoria’’ were already used as small snippets in the album trailers, it was nice to hear those back. I don’t think anyone knew that that music actually came from ‘’Prequelle’’! ‘’Faith’’ kind of flashes back to the earlier Ghost work, the riff and build up remind me a bit of ‘’Cirice’’. ‘’Witch Image’’ is another interesting track, I don’t know how to express myself about it, in a good way. ‘’Witch Hunt’’ is followed by ‘’Helvetesfönster’’ which has sort of the same melody as ‘’Faith’’ and ‘’Pro Memoria’’, but darker, and completely instrumental. ‘’Prequelle’’ ends with ‘’Life Eternal’’, which closes the album in a peaceful way. The track would also be good to end a show with.

 To me it’s clear that Ghost has produced another masterpiece, but the opinions will be divided about this record. ‘’Prequelle’’ has a lot of experimental pieces and new influences that won’t fit to everyone's taste, but like I mentioned earlier: a band evolves, and for sure when the band presents a new persona of the vocalist with every new album. TF kept most of the earlier Ghost-sound, but presented it in a lighter, more uplifting way. Cardinal Copia was an extremely smart move on his part, and I am happy he made that move.


I rate ‘’Prequelle’’ by Ghost a 9 out of 10!

Let the ritual begin!


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By Tamar




Cardinal Copia (Tobias Forge) ~ Vocals

Papa Nihil ~ Saxophone


Nameless Ghouls:

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