Since Ghost’s third album, Meliora, was released in 2015, the band’s been through a lot. They won a Grammy, had a #1 song at rock radio with “Square Hammer,” and even temporarily gained a female Nameless Ghoul. With the band currently in the studio working on their fourth album, Metal Wani recently interviewed Ghost’s Papa Emeritus to chat about the next album. With “Square Hammer” being such a poppy song, one of the questions asked was about whether it will be a heavier album than it’s predecessor. While perhaps not heavy, Ghost’s leader said it would be “darker”:
“The ideas for the new record will be quote-unquote darker, because it’s thematically set in a different… in a darker setting. ‘Meliora’ was supposed to reflect some sort of utopia/dystopia in the modern society, whereas this new one is gonna be a little bit more apocalyptic, a little bit more back to the medieval times, which, obviously, is associated with darkness. ”
He continued: “Obviously, in metal, in extreme metal, you have a myriad of records that are thematically in the Middle Ages, but the idea for this new album is to combine… So where [other] records [covering similar lyrical themes are] drowned and surrounded and drenched in death, it’s gonna be a record about survival. So that constantly working with those polar, sort of, elements is also a difference, I guess, between… If you find a black metal record that is about the Plague and the death, you will have only death — everything is just black and everything just ends black. Whereas one of my driving forces writing a record like that is to write a record about the survival of that and the prosperity. Yeah, it’s gonna be a darker record. Is it gonna be all through and through heavier? I don’t know, obviously. But we do have melody and we do have songs that are not so heavy. From my point of view, from where I’m sitting, knowing a little bit of the material coming in, it’s gonna be both. It’s gonna have everything from heavy, crushing metal to big, ballady anthems.”
The new album might be flavored by a completely different lineup (apart from it’s leader) as well. There was a rumor (this is the first time we’ve heard it) that
Tobias Forge Papa Emeritus is the only member remaining after the remaining Nameless Ghouls were fired at the end of 2016.
“From a practical point of view, you’re interested in, on the one hand, preserving the sound, or the elements that make up the sound, and you still wanna progress,” he said. “I think one of the secrets behind our preserving ability is the fact that we don’t necessarily have to have the same six people in the room to make that sound, which helps.
“It’s always a blessing and a curse when you have some of these classic bands over the course of rock and roll history, where in order for them to sound like that exact band, you need those four individuals, and if one is missing, it does not sound like that,” he continued. “And, fortunately, we don’t have that problem. Because performing Ghost and recording Ghost has never really been the same thing. So that we can preserve our sound; we don’t have to rely on… if some people come and go, which is good. Queens Of The Stone Age is the same thing. Everything goes through Josh’s [Homme] hands, and therefore it sounds like Queens Of The Stone Age, regardless of who he brings in and out of the band, which is, I guess, a similar situation.”
That’s interesting. It suggests that Ghost’s albums could be made entirely of studio musicians, with Papa the only constant. Either way, the band’s European tour that starts in March could be the first time a new lineup plays out. Then again, since they’re all Nameless Ghouls, you might not even be able to tell the difference. Apparently, the album will be recorded after they get done on the road with Iron Maiden, so look for it probably in the beginning of next year or late this year.
[transcription via Blabbermouth]