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ghost RuhrCongress, Bochum, Germany
15th February 2019
Ghost - “A Pale Tour Named Death” Europe 2019 - Special Guest: Candlemass

It could already be the first day of spring when we made our way through the sunshine to the RuhrCongress Bochum. Rain and darkness would have been more suitable for the black mass to which we were riding, but we tried very hard to let everything merry out until the beginning of the concert. The long line leads to a full hall and a great atmosphere. The conditions for a good evening have been created.


CANDLEMASS is a Swedish Doom Metal band established in Stockholm in 1984 by bassist, songwriter and bandleader Leif Edling and drummer Matz Ekström. The band had a defining influence on Doom Metal, and the genre itself is named after their debut album ‘Epicus Doomicus Metallicus’. After releasing five full-length albums and touring extensively throughout the 1980s and early 1990s, CANDLEMASS disbanded in 1994, but reunited three years later. After breaking up again in 2002, CANDLEMASS reformed in 2004 and have continued to record and perform since then. /

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Music & Performance
CANDLEMASS start the evening as veterans of Epic Doom Metal. The first thing that stands out positively is the return of Johan Längquist, who was a singer of the group until 1987 and sang the cult album ‘Epicus Doomicus Metallicus’. However, they could not fulfil the expectations that they had created with the return of Johan. Seven songs in one piece without nothing big around. Good work of the band, a lot of classics like ‘The Well Of Souls’, ‘Mirror Mirror’ or even ‘Solitude’, but as a new listener to this group you have the feeling to hear the same song again and again with a relatively minimalist show and boring light. BUT you can see the musicians, and this is no fundamental occurrence, if I look back at the last 100 concerts in the last six months.

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01. Marche Funebre
02. The Well of Souls
03. Dark Reflections
04. Astorolus - The Great Octopus
05. Mirror Mirror
06. A Sorcerer’s Pledge
07. Solitude

Music: 6
Performance: 6
Sound: 8
Light: 7
Total: 6.8 / 10

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The fourth album, ‘Prequelle’, is a worldwide chart-topper and an interdisciplinary masterpiece! The myths and mysteries surrounding the Swedish Metal band GHOST are unparalleled. For almost a decade, the true identity of the people behind the music could be kept secret, as GHOST are always masked in public. The founder and head of the band gathered as Papa Emeritus diverse musicians, all of whom were subsumed under the term Nameless Ghouls. For three albums, the band played virtuously between poetry and truth, creating a dystopian world between Heavy Metal, Satanism, religious elements and legendary creation.

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Only in 2017, the identity of Papa Emeritus was revealed as a result of a dispute: Behind the whole concept is the Swedish Rock musician Tobias Forge, who now, with a completely new band and his also newly created alter ego Cardinal Copia, developed the idea of GHOST. At the beginning of June, the fourth GHOST album, ‘Prequelle’, which became an international chart-topper, rose to the top of the charts in almost all Scandinavian countries, up to No. 2 in Germany and third in the USA.

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Their debut, ‘Opus Eponymous’, was released in 2010 and three years later they spread their satanic themes further on ‘Infestissumam’. Their golden record ‘Meliora’, produced by Nick Raskulinecz (FOO FIGHTERS, QUEENS OF THE STONE AGE, ALICE IN CHAINS) is the third accomplishment of the anonymous troupe was released 2015 via Spinefarm. This melodic opus has been widely praised even before its release and celebrated ever since by the fans and the press. What makes GHOST unique and entertaining is not only their distinctive stage look and celebratory performance as a demon pope and ghouls, but particularly their heavy rocking and catchy tunes on the theme of the sacrilegious, which sound poppy and eerie at the same time. The rituals of the occult rockers are in great demand. /

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Music & Performance
15 minutes later than originally announced, GHOST enter the stage. Cardinal Copia (Tobias) is accompanied by seven unnamed ghouls on stage, including three guitarists and two ladies on keyboards. The stage seems a bit crowded, but the overall picture pushes the mood in the right direction and the acting performance is remarkable. Since we were able to follow the migrations of Papa Emeritus (I, II, II) and Cardinal Copia a few years ago, we know that the concept works. The sacred songs of a cappella choir music sounded and the instruments were freed from their black cloths and white fog appeared. Each of the instrumentalists is wearing silver, horned ghoul masks flashing in the light. GHOST had captivated their audience from the start.

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There is no saving on decorations and so huge colourful windows and jewellery that create the impression of a cathedral meet on masks and robes. All together this creates the image of an unorthodox yet solemn mass. The masks, so the rumour, are here to protect the identity of some famous musicians. The only really eye-catching is Tobias Forge who leads with nasal sound and dance performances through the evening. The lyrics of ‘He is’, the acoustic intermezzo of ‘Jigolo Har Megiddo’ and the guitar duel on ‘Devil Church’ are very well received. Also the saxophone of Papa Nihil at ‘Miasma’ fits like a fist on the eye. Nothing is left to chance and what conductor Forge commands is done.

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The show lasts two and a half hours, which is definitely too long in my opinion. Without the endless and superfluous presentation of the ghouls, the break of 15 minutes and the constant, unnecessary and above all contentless talk and you would have a set of less than two hours. The lighting was great, but again was saved in the wrong places. The drummer was almost unrecognizable, but there was a brilliant light show over the heads of the musicians. The sound was similar, because the highs were a bit too saturated but not uncomfortable and a clearly defined bass. All in all a nice and professional show that was thought through and realized and has thrilled many fans. One recognizes the great musicians who showed that they are masters of their instruments. An incredibly enthusiastic audience that knew all the lyrics, even the Latin lines, and all together resulted in a great, ritual spectacle to remember.

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Act 1:
01. Klara stjärnor (Jan Johansson song)
02. Miserere Mei, Deus (Gregorio Allegri song)
03. Ashes
04. Rats
05. Absolution
06. Ritual
07. Con Clavi Con Dio
08. Per Aspera ad Inferi
09. Devil Church (incl. Guitar duel)
10. Cirice
11. Miasma (Papa Nihil on saxophone)
12. Jigolo Har Megiddo (acoustic)
13. Pro Memoria
14. Witch Image
15. Life Eternal
Act 2:
16. Masked Ball
17. Spirit
18. From the Pinnacle to the Pit
19. Majesty
20. Satan Prayer
21. Faith
22. Year Zero
23. Spöksonat
24. He Is
25. Mummy Dust
26. If You Have Ghosts (Roky Erickson cover)
27. Dance Macabre
28. Square Hammer
29. Monstrance Clock
30. The Host of Seraphim (Dead Can Dance song)

Music: 8
Performance: 10
Sound: 8
Light: 7
Total: 8.3 / 10

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All pictures by Daniela Vorndran ( /

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