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DSC 6861Rockhal, Esch sur Alzette, Luxembourg
17th December 2019
Ghost - “The Ultimate Tour Named Death” Europe 2019

GHOST are a Grammy Award-winning Rock band from Linköping, Sweden. The band’s critically acclaimed third full length, ‘Meliora’ and its accompanying EP ‘Popestar’, elevated the Swedish Rock band into the pantheon of rock greats and resulted in a Grammy Award for “Best Metal Performance”.

‘Meliora’ debuted at No. 1 at Independent Retail, No. 2 at Rock, and in the Top 10 on Billboard’s Top 200 Album Chart, selling over a quarter million copies globally. ‘Popestar’ debuted at the No. 1 position on Billboard’s Top Rock Albums Chart. Fans have come along for the ride for years, not knowing for certain who was behind the anonymous band… that is, until Tobias Forge revealed himself as the man behind GHOST in August of 2017. GHOST released their critically acclaimed fourth studio album ‘Prequelle’ in June 2018 on Loma Vista Recordings. Previous GHOST albums have dealt with broad themes like impending doom (‘Opus Eponymous’ - 2010), the antichrist and the Inquisition (‘Infestissumam’ - 2013), humanism and avarice (‘Meliora’ - 2015). ‘Prequelle’ delves into the plague, the apocalypse, and dark ages.

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Music & Performance
Shortly before the start of the main act the fans were put in the mood with choral songs in the unfortunately not sold-out Rockhal. In any case, they don’t have to go to Mass on Sunday. Put in the mood for what? The Heavy-Doom-Metal-Hard-Dark-Rock project GHOST. This band had consistently committed itself to the stylistic device of masking and are therefore extremely successful, not only in their home country Sweden. The band members performed exclusively dressed in black with silver masks. Only the “chef GHOST” came with white make-up and black eyes. But who is this guy? He calls himself Cardinal Copia. But who is the guy really? Well, 2 years ago, he was “unmasked”. On the one hand fans on the street recognized him, but more serious is the fact that he was sued by former band members. Tobias Forge probably thought of “Shit happens”.

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Forge had gathered seven musicians around him. He calls them “Nameless Ghouls”. If you looked closely, you could see two women. The sound in the Rockhal was perfect for a Heavy Metal concert. With ‘Ashes’ and ‘Rats’ from the new album ‘Prequelle’ the Grammy winners went straight to the top. Stomping riffs mate with fat choruses. Forge was obviously the creative head, driving force and boss on stage. Again and again he left the stage on the left or on the right for solos of his companions, only to take the sceptre over for a show staircase again. That’s how you stage yourself. Tobias Forge has entertainer qualities at the Master Mercury level. The GHOST-Show was only occult in the lyrics. Apart from that, this was more of a colourful rock show. Sound, lightshow, some pyro. Perfect. GHOST offered the full effect spectacle. And somehow nobody was evil here. The fans and also the photographers didn’t even know where to look first, because there was always action on stage.

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That was entertainment on the highest level. Forge talked a lot with the audience, introduced his nameless demons in detail, without naming any names. The rather poppy ‘Dance Macabre’ was just one of many highlights. The evening ended with ‘Square Hammer’ as encore. The fans were thrilled. If GHOST stay so creative, this project is far from exhausted.

01. Ashes
02. Rats
03. Absolution
04. Faith
05. Mary on a Cross
06. Devil Church
07. Cirice
08. Miasma
09. Ghuleh/Zombie Queen
10. Helvetesfönster (abridged)
11. Spirit
12. From the Pinnacle to the Pit
13. Ritual
14. Satan Prayer
15. Year Zero
16. He Is
17. Mummy Dust
18. Kiss the Go-Goat
19. Dance Macabre
20. Square Hammer

Music: 8.5
Performance: 9
Sound: 9
Light: 8.5
Total: 8.8 / 10

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All Pictures by Elena Arens

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