(24th November 2013) GHOST is one of the biggest surprises in metal this year. The band
around Papa Emeritus II is a modern myth. You don‘t know
who‘s behind the masks of the Nameless Ghouls or the singer.
But the band‘s live shows are fascinating as well as their
music, a blend of 70‘s rock, 80‘s metal, gregorian
chorals and occult horror.
I have first seen and heard them at this year‘s IRON MAIDEN summertour. From the very first second I enjoyed the band‘s music and show as well. But there were many who didn‘t enjoy this very different band. I hope that it was due to the sunny daytime set the band has to play.
THE OATH would‘ve been the support act. But as I enter the venue at 20 past 9 o‘clock they already have played. In my defense: It‘s hard to find a parking lot in the small streets of this part of Cologne‘s towncenter. I had to search for about half an hour and still had to walk five minutes to get to the Buergerhaus Stollwerck. Their very own parking lot seems to store only 30 cars or so. Far too less for a venue with a capacity of 900 people.
Before GHOST enter the stage the smell of frankincense lies in the air. The greogiran choral which blasts through the PA suits perfectly well to this smell. The background of the stage shows the windows of a cathedral. So this is a experience for your whole body.
The Nameless Ghouls appear on stage for the opener ‘Infestissumam‘. But the crowd gets wilder as Papa Emeritus II enters the stage to celebrate hiw very own mass with his disciples. He is the center of attention, for sure. His pope-like moves are iconic and very unique in the metal scene. To my surprise his fellow musicans aren‘t just ornaments for his show, they do rock! With the help of Papa Emeritus II‘s gestures there is also loud applause during some solos.
The setlist is a best-of! You get all the hits of the band‘s two records “Opus Eponymous“ and “Infestassumam“: ‘Stand By Him‘, ‘Ritual‘, ‘Secular Haze‘, ‘Elizabeth‘ or the anthemic ‘Year Zero‘, which is the perfect combination of all of GHOST‘s trademarks. There are also two covers traken from the “If You Have Ghost“ ep, which was just released: ‘Here Comes The Sun‘ by the BEATLES and the title track, which is a cover of the ROKY ERICSON song. You woudln‘t know that these tunes are cover versions, because they sound like very own compositions by the Swedish band.
The later track ends the band‘s set, but they return for an encore. ‘Ghuleh / Zombie Queen‘ and ‘Monstrance Clock‘ end the 80 minutes set of GHOST. And this was by far one of the best shows I have seen this year. I‘m sure that this band will become bigger and bigger within the next one or two years. They‘d deserve it, at least.