Ghost just released their fourth album, Prequelle, in June. Following “Rats,” second single “Dance Macabre” has finally been granted a music video, and was it ever worth the wait!
It begins with two young men looking for a party one night in Transilvania. They approach a mansion, ring the doorbell, and are greeted by a vampirish man seemingly unaware of any festivities. Upon entering the house party, the two companions join a room full of people dressed up in their ghoulish best, a V-formation of dancers providing entertainment onstage. The more serious of the two men forms an instant connection with an intimidating blonde woman. But things get weird when a group arrives donning beak masks used to guard against disease like the plague. In the end, we see a transformation that likely led to Papa Emeritus and Sister Imperator. (Never mind that Cardinal Copia is Ghost’s current leader.)
Zev Deans directed the video, while Kiley Coleman served as its producer. Watch the music video for “Dance Macabre” below:
Ghost is about to embark on a North American tour stretching through December. The band already announced dates around Europe and Australia from February through August 2019, too, so get ready to see them live soon! Check out dates and find tickets before it’s too late.
Enjoy the “Dance Macabre” music video, and keep checking back here for all the latest Ghost music news.
Coming off of heightened success and a few tumultuous years, Ghost is back with a new album, Prequelle! After their 2015 LP Meliora, their Popestar EP in 2016, and a live album called Ceremony And Devotion last December, Tobias Forge has returned with a brand new lineup of sorts. Papa Emeritus is out as the leader, and Tobias has stepped into the new role of Cardinal Copia. On top of that, in light of internal issues and a legal battle, the Nameless Ghouls that played in the band since their first albums have been replaced… not that you’d know it by looking at them.
In spite of the shifts within the band, Prequelle succeeds in capturing the core essence of Ghost. It highlights a mixture between ’70s and ’80s hard, progressive, and psychedelic rock, with the added darkness that only Ghost can provide without falling in the black metal category. Despite any concerns that the new Ghost lineup wouldn’t live up to the first three albums, Tobias Forge has proven that the band still has it. Indeed, Prequelle lives up to its predecessors and pushes Ghost ever forward.
The album starts with “Ashes,” a lullaby-styled intro that seems to have been made in hell. It borrows from the old children’s rhyme, “Ring A Ring O’ Roses.”
Lead single “Rats” appears as the first proper song on Prequelle. Its pounding mid-tempo drums, followed by power chord based riffs, resemble Merciful Fate. This is especially true in conjunction with Forge’s higher pitched, melodic voice. “Rats” is a powerful and uplifting way to kick off the album. The song closes with what we can say is one of the best heavy metal riffs from the late 2010s.
“Faith” follows with another mid-tempo, low tuned guitar-driven arena favorite. It works particularly well with the harmonized vocal lines. The fourth song, “See The Light,” is a power ballad with an exceptional chorus. Its highlight is the catchy keyboard and guitar harmony lead toward the middle-end of the song.
“Miasma” is the first of two instrumental tracks in Prequelle. It’s reminiscent of that ’70s progressive rock sound, but succeeds in not falling into the unnecessary, over-the-top sections; it clocks in at 5:18. The solo sections crescendo will give you goosebumps, with beautiful lines coming from guitar, keyboards, and even a saxophone. The borrowed Eddie Van Halen “Beat It” guitar riff towards the end is a perfect way to close the first half of the album.
“Dance Macabre” is a stadium rock tune that delivers a Kiss-styled sound and will thrill concert-going fans. The “I just wanna bewitch you” chorus features a clever twist that fits the Ghost spirit perfectly. “Pro Memoria” is the second ballad in the album, but offers a much darker vibe than “See The Light” had. It features a compelling mixture of classical piano and strings, combined with some ’70s Pink Floyd-ish vocal lines and arrangements.
“Witch Image” is a song that could have easily been written in 1982 by an adult contemporary hard rock band, yet again featuring a catchy chorus and guitar and keyboard solos.
“Helvetesfönster” is easily the most beautiful song Ghost has ever written and performed. Its medieval, haunted forest movie soundtrack sound makes you travel to that magical setting . The tune has another ’70s progressive rock twist in the middle section that comes from the best Genesis, Yes, or Jethro Tull albums. The fact that it doesn’t have any lyrics makes the travel even more open for imagination, and it’s definitely a highlight in the whole album.
“Life Eternal” is the perfect outro for the album. It features epic vocal lines that have been layered enough times to sound like a full choral group, perfectly matching the piano and organ towards the end.
4.5 out of 5 stars.
Highlights on Prequelle include: “Rats,” “Witch Image,” and “Helvetesfönster.”
Ghost is back with their second Prequelle single, “Dance Macabre.” Following “Rats,” this is the second song we’ve heard from Ghost’s upcoming 4th album, due out on June 1st. Earlier this year, frontman Tobias Forge (known by his stage names Papa Emeritus and now Cardinal Copia) described “Dance Macabre” as a disco song, and indeed, this track combines a throwback sound with the most radio-friendly hooks in Ghost’s catalog.
“Dance Macabre” is upbeat, led by a strong guitar riff and pounding drum. The lyrics sound like an ’80s breakup anthem, though their true meaning surrounds the Black Death that plagued Europe in the 1300s. Lines like “Just wanna bewitch you in the moonlight” could easily be interpreted as “Just wanna be with you in the moonlight” – a much more romantic take than the intended deathly subject matter!
Tobias Forge described “Dance Macabre” to Revolver in January this year:
Europe was in this turmoil in the late 1340s. The plague is extremely fast. It starts off as the worst flu you’ve ever had and then it just goes worse and then you’re dead after three days. So people were lying in the streets — corpses and all the surroundings were just falling apart. All the brothels and pubs were thriving because people started partying literally like there was no tomorrow because they were gonna die. They were just going for it. “Dance Macabre” is capturing that joyous nocturnal sort of life in a disco song. [Laughs]
With its vague lyrics and addictive melody, this song could actually be played on radio without offending religious listeners. “Dance Macabre” is an excellent song; listen to it below:
With two singles out and Prequelle just around the corner, things are getting exciting in the Ghost world! North American fans can also enjoy the band live on their current Rats! On The Road tour, continuing through the rest of May.
Enjoy “Dance Macabre” and get ready for the new album – Prequelle comes out in just two weeks! As always, keep checking back here for all the latest Ghost music news.
After weeks of teasing – not to mention introducing a new leader named Cardinal Copia – Ghost has finally announced their new album and released its lead single! The theatrical “Rats” is our first taste of Ghost’s upcoming fourth album, Prequelle, due out on June 1st. The album includes 10 new songs, while the deluxe edition comes with 2 more. Earlier this year, Tobias Forge (the frontman behind the mask of Papa Emeritus… and now Cardinal Copia) described the new album as being being thematically heavy and set in medieval times. During that interview, he also previewed new songs “Rats,” “Dance Macabre,” “Faith,” and “Life Eternal.”
See the full Prequelle tracklisting below:
See The Light
It’s A Sin [deluxe edition bonus track]
Avalanche [deluxe edition bonus track]
To kick of the album era, our first single is the energetic song called “Rats.” Tobias Forge previously explained that it chronicles the Black Death plague that took Europe by storm in the 1300s. Indeed, the song’s lyrics warn that “filthy rodents are still coming for your soul,” sung over an uptempo rocker complete with a guitar solo.
You may notice some theatrical elements throughout the song; those are brought to life in the new music video. Ghost’s new leader, Cardinal Copia, has some seriously sick dance moves. He twirls around like he’s in a Broadway musical (Cats, perhaps?), stepping over scurrying rodents before observing a late night, “Thriller”-inspired monster mash.
In spite of the medieval themes, the music video is actually set in modern times. Cardinal Copia starts off in rat-infested diner; he doesn’t seem all that impressed by the food. We then see him dancing around a murderous city scene, crashed cars and dead bodies strewn about as pest control men collect the rats. Bloody handprints further set the scene. Meanwhile, the nameless ghouls stick with their standard atmosphere, performing in dark graveyards and stately hallways.
With a new single out and Prequelle just around the corner, things are getting exciting in the Ghost world! North American fans can also enjoy the band live on their upcoming Rats! On The Road tour, scheduled for May and June.
Enjoy “Rats,” and get ready for the new album, out in less than two months! As always, keep checking back here for all the latest Ghost music news.
After months in the studio, Ghost kicked off their teasing for album #4 last week. Following three incarnations of Papa Emeritus, their new video announced “new blood” to take his place. Today, Ghost introduces us to their unlikely new leader, Cardinal Copia. Chapter Two of the new video series picks up where the previous one left off: with Papa Emeritus 0 and Sister Imperator discussing Ghost’s future. Cardinal Copia then enters, boombox in hand, to awkwardly greet the pair. Is this really the new leader of Ghost?!
Sister Imperator points out that, although the bloodline has not been broken in innumerable generations, Papa Emeritus 0 is all out of progeny. Cardinal Copia, with his impressive resume as the second-most-awarded employee-of-the-month winner, is their most qualified candidate for the role. He looks a little silly, but let’s give him a chance.
Get acquainted with Cardinal Copia in the new teaser video below:
Ghost is almost ready to release their still-unnamed fourth album! Early in February, Ghost frontman Tobias Forge (Papa Emeritus) gave a rare “unmasked” interview. He described the new album as being thematically heavy and set in medieval times. A song called “Rats” chronicles the Black Death plague that took Europe by storm in the 1300s. Fans can also expect to hear songs titled “Dance Macabre,” “Faith,” and “Life Eternal.”
At the time, Tobias predicted the album would be out this spring or summer. With the new teasers announcing new blood in the form of Cardinal Copia, we expect an official announcement – and first single – should come our way within another week or so. Exciting times are just around the corner! North American fans can also enjoy the band live on their upcoming Rats! On The Road tour, scheduled for May and June.
Look out for new Ghost tunes coming your very way soon! And as always, keep checking back here for all the latest Ghost music news.