Ghost is a band that has shown up and taken us all by surprise from the very beginning. Shrouded in mystery, the members all hide behind masks, makeup, and are lead by their frontman, who is always dressed very dapper. Together, Ghost is a devil-worshiping ministry whose mission is, as it states in their biography, “to spread its unholy gospels and, furthermore, trick mankind into believing the end is ultimately a good thing, and have decided to use the ever-so-popular rock music medium as a way to achieve their ends.”
For those of you who haven’t had the experience of Ghost, one thing we will tell you is that they have had a few different “identities” for their leader and frontman, and most recently have been under the pseudonym Papa Emeritus. Those who took over would then assume this title and add the appropriate numeral after. However, most recently, Ghost shocked us all once again with the announcement of their newest leader Cardinal Copia, who is “not of the bloodline.” They made this announcement by releasing a 2 part video leaving us all on the edge of our seats.
It’s fair to say that when we all saw Cardinal Copia, we were all a bit surprised, even Papa himself seemed a bit taken back, as seen in the second chapter of the reveal videos. He comes off as a lot less intimidating than the others in the bloodline. However, after this release it’s easy to see that looks can be deceiving and that we should not underestimate our new leader!
So with that, we welcome you to another great segment of AV Amplified! featuring Ghost’s newest single “Rats”! (Released April, FRIDAY THE 13TH, 2018)
Directed by: Roboshobo
Music video by Ghost performing Rats. © 2018 Loma Vista Recordings, Distributed by Concord Music Group, Inc.
Loma Vista Recordings : http://www.lomavistarecordings.com/
We begin with a few clips of the street, one in which features a sign that states “the end is near” and of course, the rats, as the title of the single is made relevant. The opening riff sounds like something off of the Queensryche album Operation Mind Crime, which is already something much different than what Ghost has given us in the past. This track, as well as the video itself seems to have more of an 80’s era style. We know that Ghost tends to have an “old school” style to begin with. Most of their tunes seem to be influenced heavily by the 60’s and 70’s as well, which is also reflected through their merchandise. Lately, it seems that vinyls and cassettes have been on the up rise, and with the release of this new album, we can even get it on an 8 track! So be sure to dust off your old players or hit up your nearest secondhand stores so you can get a taste of this beauty in one of its purest forms!
We are introduced to the featured Nameless Ghouls and lead past the death and destruction into a diner where Cardinal Copia is casually finishing up his meal. The power is flickering slightly and it’s at this point that he gives us the first lyrics we ever hear from our new leader:
“In times of Turmoil, in times like these. Belief’s contagious, Spreading disease”
The video is set in what appears to be a catastrophic event in the near future. There are dead bodies, people in HazMat suits, fire, crashed cars, and rats feasting on the remains. Cardinal breaks into dance as the tune begins to take full force. We start to see his personality shine through. He is enjoying himself and dancing in the street like it’s the best day in the world. Showing his youthful spirit and sense of humor, it would appear that the Cardinal is every bit as twisted, if not more so, as the previous Papas.
The lighting is low as it is mostly lit by the fire of the destruction all around, creating warm tones that contrast well with the dark sinister cool tones of the night. When the camera flashes to the Ghouls playing, they too have a bit of a warm tone to their lighting which correctly sets the mood. It almost reflects the “end times” as a positive thing, which would be their perspective on the situation. They also have a sort of “old film filter” over the shots which puts the video together as a horror film as well, continuing the theme from their last single video release for “Square Hammer” back in 2016. The angles of the film draw you into each frame as we bounce between the Ghouls playing and Cardinal Copia’s choreography. It would seem as well that the Ghouls are representing more the serious elements of Ghost’s message being featured in the graveyard and the morgue while Cardinal Copia is dancing about in the streets. After the introduction of the backup dancers, it fades into the guitar solo.
As always, the guitar solo is full of beauty and passion. Ghost always has a rhythm to them that stands out from other bands. Sexy and seductive, it makes you want to dance along with them. This holds true throughout their entire career as well as this song in particular. The vocals, as always hold a beauty and grace of their own. The vocal pattern is catchy, fun, and very pop-inspired. The way he rolls the “R” in Rats! makes you want to stand with him and chime in passionately as the backup. “Oh-owhaaa Oh’s” kick in, bringing the whole song to life as we come to the climax. The subtle, yet prominent keys, the drums, the bass; they all come together wonderfully with the chorus as we are shown more beautiful syncopated choreography, which seems to be another new element brought to us with the appearance and personality of the Cardinal, reminding us of more of the 80’s type of elements. There are dance moves taken from all sorts of places– everything from “Thriller” by Michael Jackson to the theatrical performance of Phantom of the Opera, with just a sprinkle of modern pop artists. To us, it especially reminded us of Lady Gaga and her video for her single “Marry the Night”.
This tune gets especially heavy as we reach the end, almost doom-esque. There is an appearance of a white horse at the edge of the city, which we can speculate comes from the Bible passage:
“Then, I saw 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.” – Revelation 6:1-2 (NA SB)
We infer that this represents that the Cardinal Copia is ready for conquest and victory.
Ghost always talks about their pop influences, such as Abba– they gracefully combine this influence with elements of rock as well as doom metal. They make it hard to really nail down a set category or genre to their music, which is more than okay! Some argue whether Ghost is actually a metal band or not, but it doesn’t at all matter in the end. Ghost is unique, beautiful and an entity all their own. The fact that they don’t fit into one solidly packaged box only adds to their overall mystique. They continue to pull dark themes and disguise them with enthusiasm. However, all fans of Ghost know this is just part of their art of deception. We are not sure what we will be able to expect from the rest of the PREQUELLE album but we are quivering with anticipation!
“Them filthy rodents are still coming for your souls..”
You can pre-order their newest album PREQUELLE here (out June 1, 2018):
If having the album isn’t enough, which we know it isn’t. Ghost is going on tour! So catch them in a city near you on Rats! On The Road !
We know we are going to be there! So, don’t miss out!!
For now “Rats!” is streaming here!
Apple Music: http://found.ee/Ghost_RatsApple
Google Play: http://found.ee/Ghost_RatsGooglePlay
-Emily Mae and Cat Sullivan