Music / Ghost

"Come together, together as one
Come together, for Lucifer's son"
Ghost, "Monstrance Clock"
The third Papa Emeritus and his Nameless Ghouls

Ghost (known as Ghost B.C. in North America from 2013 to 2015) is a Swedish Heavy Metal band that combines melodic '70s rock and metal (imagine a cross between Blue Öyster Cult, Black Sabbath and Mercyful Fate) with Satanic themes. They are somewhat unique in that every member is totally anonymous. They perform in full costume, with the lead singer being a Sinister Minister named Papa Emeritus and the rest of the band always wearing black cloaks and only identifying themselves as "Nameless Ghouls", though they are assigned alchemical symbols for identification.

Ghost's discography:
  • Opus eponymous (2010)
  • Infestissumam (2013)
  • If You Have Ghost EP (2013)
  • Meliora (2015)
  • Popestar EP (2016)

Ghost provides examples of

  • Altum Videtur (Gratuitous Latin): The titles of their albums. Opus eponymous, means "our work", "Infestissumam" means "bitterest" or "most hostile" note (which could be them taking a jab at the 'sophomore slump' trope) and "Meliora" meaning "to improve or make better".
  • Anonymous Band: The musicians wear robes, hoods and masks on stage and are referred to as "Nameless Ghouls" (even in song credits, where they're credited simply as "A Nameless Ghoul"). They refuse to comment on any speculation about their real identities, and even faked a singer switch to try to throw off speculation about the singer's identity. The only time a Nameless Ghoul has been named is when the band said that Dave Grohl has played with them as one at a live studio performance.
  • The Antichrist: Features in some of their songs.
  • Arc Symbol: The "grucifix", an upside down cross with a stylized 'G' in the middle (resembling an inverted Celtic cross).
  • Backmasking: Played with. If you play "Deus Culpa" backwards, you get a Swedish hymn, "Gläns över sjö och strand".
  • Biting-the-Hand Humor: Against the rest of the music industry when receiving a Swedish Grammy:
    "Doing the Devil's work through singing and clapping and dancing and cults of personality and idolatry... well, that's not something only we are doing, but everyone in here. So thanks for letting us help!"
  • Black Cloak: All of the Nameless Ghouls.
  • Blood Bath: In the song "Elizabeth".
  • The Cover Changes the Meaning: Their cover of The Beatles' "Here Comes the Sun" changes the key from major to minor and the meaning from a happy celebration of spring to a song about the coming of The Antichrist ("Here comes the Son").
  • Elemental Powers: Each of the Nameless Ghouls is marked with his own elemental symbol. They use stamps with the same symbol to sign merchandise.
    • Fire ("alpha"): lead guitar
    • Water: bass
    • Air: keyboards
    • Earth: drums
    • Aether ("omega"): rhythm guitar
  • The End of the World as We Know It: "Year Zero".
  • The Faceless: The Nameless Ghouls. All you can see when they're in costume is their hands (usually with make up to hide tattoos), and even then some(like Earth) wear gloves. Papa Emeritus also wears gloves with fake fingernails attached.
  • Fallen Angel: "From the Pinnacle to the Pit" is about the fall of an angel.
  • Gender Reveal: The video for "Year Zero" shows the Nameless Ghouls as being all women. This being Ghost, though, it shouldn't be taken seriously but rather as a Take That! at the speculation around their identities. The current Water Ghoul as of Popestar is the only one confirmed to be female (with the fanbase calling her 'Little/Water Ghulah' from a previous Ghost song), although besides that nothing is known.
  • Hollywood Satanism: What their image and lyrics are all about, though the band have said repeatedly that it's not because they're Satanists, instead saying it's all tongue-in-cheek and they are "an entertainment group". They do leave it a bit ambiguous as to whether or not they're actually Satanists. When asked in an interview if they believe in the Devil, a Nameless Ghoul (who might very well be Papa in disguise) acting as the band's spokesman said, "Let's just say that he believes in us." In a later interview, he says, "I'm not an atheist." Their stage show might just be a gimmick, but to what extent is unclear.
  • Hot as Hell: "Jigolo Har Megiddo"
  • Insane Troll Logic: Papa Emeritus III is claimed to be Papa Emeritus II's younger twin brother. His three month younger twin brother.
  • In the Hood: All the Nameless Ghouls.
  • Lyrical Dissonance: Catchy, melodious '70s rock... with over-the-top Satanic lyrics. Some songs take this even further - the chorus in "Monstrance Clock" sounds like something out of "We Are The World" (while actually being about a Black Mass), and "He Is" sounds vaguely like a Christian ballad (the "He" being praised is in fact Lucifer).
  • Mohs Scale of Rock and Metal Hardness: 5-6.
  • Nice Hat: Papa Emeritus wears what is basically a Satanic Pope hat.
  • No Name Given: The Nameless Ghouls, obviously.
  • Ominous Latin Chanting: Used frequently, most notably on "Infestissumam". Which became a problem when they recorded "Infestissumam" in Nashville - "the Buckle of the Bible Belt" - as they couldn't find a choir that would agree to sing their Satanic lyrics. In the end, they had to turn to Hollywood to get those backing vocals.
  • Ominous Pipe Organ
  • Progressive Rock: Some of the material on Infestissumam, particularly "Ghuleh/Zombie Queen".
  • Psychedelic Rock
  • Renamed For The Export: From 2013 to 2015, they were known as Ghost B.C. in the US, thought to be related to the prior touring presence of a Japanese rock band that is also called Ghost. They eventually got it sorted out and are now back to being Ghost.
  • Retraux: The video for "Secular Haze" is shot like a '70s TV show appearance, while 'Square Hammer' is done in the style of early film making from the 1910s.
  • Rock Me, Asmodeus!: Most of their lyrics. Again, this is done firmly with tongue in cheek.
  • Satan: The subject of at least half of their songs.
  • Sinister Minister: Papa Emeritus, a Satanic pope.
  • Suspiciously Similar Substitute: Papa Emeritus II, who replaced Papa Emeritus I. In actuality, the same singer in a new mask. They're now up to Papa Emeritus III and are soon to be moving onto the fourth iteration of infernal popes.
  • Talent Contest: The video for Cirice sees a school talent show get derailed by a kid version of the band.
  • X Meets Y: Black Sabbath's sound meets Deicide's lyrics.