On Instagram community it was one of the hottest premieres in a long time. Fourth Ghost's long play, Papa Emeritus III is gone, now it's time for Cardinal Copia...
OK, let's start more from the beginning.
Ghost is a Swedish metal band, however "metal" is quite wide term here. It is anywhere between Black Sabbath and Kiss. What do we know about metal in general? It worships devil of course. So Ghost is as satanistic as it can be. But it's hard to treat it all very serious. Since the first releases they were quite enigmatic. No one knew who really is behind the project. All information we had was that it is sung by Papa Emeritus I and accompanied with Group of Nameless Ghouls. On second album we noticed Papa Emeritus I was replaced with Papa Emeritus II. On third album... well, yes, you guessed it. Band leader was masked and wore dark pope robes and coronet, Ghouls wore tuxedos and mouthless masks. In five years from debut "Opvs Eponymovs" to last "Meliora" band become large metal stars, playing tours across the globe, while still staying anonymous. And then something happened. Few former member sued Tobias Forge, head of the project, for money of course. World get know the real name of Papa. Since the beginning music of Ghost was very melodic, with retro style heavy guitar riffs. As long as the debut was a bit rougher than following two records, we could say whole discography was very consistent. Something had to change now. Tobias said he won't stop and band will become even more theatrical. Few months ago on group's Facebook we could find few videos where we could see how Papa Nihil (new dark pope) was stepping away to give leadership to younger and more vital Cardinal Copia. Just before world premiere of fourth record Ghost hosted press conference where they displayed glass sarcophaguses with dead bodies of all three Papas. And with the first day of June we got "Prequelle".
It is probably even more melodic then ever before. Some could say it's almost pop-ish? In a same time new songs are more progressive, with all orchestral parts, there are even two instrumental tracks! In some way it's less dark too. From the intro we got bunch of great, juicy riffs, full of energy. But with B side music slows down and even though it is very melodic it becomes melancholic. Amazing "Witch Image" turns into instrumental "Helvetesfonster" which turns into final "Life Eternal", the whole which left me with mouth wide open. Tobias did it again. He gave the world brilliant metal parody with absolutely beautiful music. I think that is the whole power of Ghost. Ridiculous story behind it, staying in role all the time, but it is all reinforced by best metal melodies ever written. Prequelle has the spirit of previous pieces and even though it's more progressive and modern it still reminds me of these wonderful times when rock and roll turned slowly into heavy metal. It is a heritage of Black Sabbath, Kiss, Deep Purple, Led Zeppelin and Manowar!
Ghost always knew how to please fans who buy records. Every album had few variants of vinyl, which are now quite expensive. First single "Elisabeth" was released on 7" only and some versions of it are going up to €1000. "Prequelle" on the premiere day was announced in over 30 variants including limited colorful vinyl, CDs, cassettes and even 8trackers! I got limited to 5000 copies red translucent with black smoke vinyl record. This version also has same red 7" with two tracks including Pet Shop Boys cover "It's a sin" (sic!) and a poster, but most importantly it is so far the only version with lenticular 3D cover! I'd love to show you the picture of it but I just can't snap it with one lens. I just can't! You have to believe me it looks absolutely stunning. Record sounds really good however I've seen some complaints on it. Well, at the end of the day it was pressed in 5000 copies, some of them will be made with wore matrix plates. This version would be the perfect one of only it would be in a gatefold but when you make so many variants you just can't make one as ultimate! Still though, straight to the top of my fav records of all times!