The identities of Ghost's current band of Nameless Ghouls have been revealed
An end-of-tour photograph let slip who has been assuming guitar and bass duties on the band's recent Imperatour
The identities of Ghost's current troupe of Nameless Ghouls have been revealed in a new photo commemorating the wrapping up of the band's recent European tour.
The photo – shared by guitarist Chris Catalyst, known for his work with Ugly Kid Joe and The Sisters of Mercy – shows Ghost's entire current lineup and crew – as well as support acts Twin Temple and Uncle Acid & The Deadbeats – with frontman Tobias Forge in the back row.
Catalyst, who can be seen to Forge's direct right, writes: “Amazing tour with our wonderful Ghost family. I suppose that's that particular cat out of the bag. [It's] so great to be doing this again. Playing this fantastic music with these brilliant people makes me run out of superlatives.”
Amaaaazing tour with our wonderful Ghost family. I suppose that’s that particular cat out of the bag. So great to be doing this again. Playing this fantastic music with these brilliant people makes me run out of superlatives. X pic.twitter.com/wZR9criebA May 18, 2022
Naturally, the chance to see all of Ghost's Nameless Ghouls unmasked got fans digging.
One Facebook fan page – Greek Ghost Fans – named the remaining Ghouls as guitarist Per Eriksson (of Swedish heavy metal outfit Bloodbath), bassist Cos Sylvan (Rain), drummer Hayden Scott (Mountain), multi-instrumentalist Jutty Taylor (Swiss/Multi), keyboardists Laura Scarborough (Cirrus) and Mad Gallica (Cumulus), and multi-instrumentalist Sophie Amelkin (Sunshine).
Responding to Catalyst's post on Twitter, English guitarist Ginger Wildheart – with whom he has worked in the past – told him to “keep kicking arse's arse”, to which he replied: “Home tomorrow if you guys need any more silly vocals, or bollocks, or stupidity.”
Excellent job, well done. Keep kicking arse’s arse. May 18, 2022
While Chris Catalyst and Per Eriksson have been handling Ghost's guitar duties live, six-string parts on the band's latest record Impera were tracked by Opeth's Fredrik Åkesson.
In a recent interview with Total Guitar , Åkesson spoke of the immense amounts of layering that went into the album's production.
“There are a lot of Brian May-style parts on this album, with four-piece harmonies dubbed three times each plus octaves,” he said. “I’d never recorded so many layers of guitars... It was fun!”
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Sam was Staff Writer at GuitarWorld.com from 2019 to 2023, and also created content for Total Guitar, Guitarist and Guitar Player. He has well over 15 years of guitar playing under his belt, as well as a degree in Music Technology (Mixing and Mastering). He's a metalhead through and through, but has a thorough appreciation for all genres of music. In his spare time, Sam creates point-of-view guitar lesson videos on YouTube under the name Sightline Guitar .
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Are they Nameless Ghouls? Who is the real Papa Emeritus? Ghost are perfect enigmas. Here are ten facts you need to know about Sweden’s heavy metal icons.
Image goes hand in hand with music, whether it’s the skinny black jeans and white hi-tops of thrash metal in the 80s, the flannel and combats of grunge in the 90s, or the comic-book space demons of KISS . Few bands today, however, push the envelope to the point where their theatrics are as important as their music. Ghost is a rare exception. Their very existence comes with a concept, backstory, and elaborate visuals, with these embellishments being as inherent to the band’s performances as guitars or drums. Here, then, are ten facts that uncover the mystery behind the Swedish heavy metal band Ghost.
Listen to the best of Ghost on Apple Music and Spotify .
The Satanic cult
Religious imagery and satanism have forever been intertwined with heavy metal music ; genre pioneers Black Sabbath were masters of marrying the two. But Ghost takes the construct to the next level. Their stage set during live concerts is dressed as a church. The idea is to present music as salvation, with the live show playing the role of a religious service. Then are the musicians: fronted by a satanic priest-like figure in papal regalia who possesses a voice with an unexpectedly enticing charm and vulnerability, backed by a group of cardinals known as the “Nameless Ghouls.”
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Ghost has so far appointed four frontmen. First was Papa Emeritus, who took on vocal duties for their debut album, Opus Eponymous , and its consequent tour. He was replaced in 2012 by Papa Emeritus II, for the Infestissumam cycle; in 2015, his younger brother, Papa Emeritus III, took over for the Meliora run. In September 2017, Papa Emeritus III was publicly ousted while performing in Gothenburg, Sweden, to be replaced by the significantly older Papa Emeritus 0 – later named Papa Nihil, an ancestor to all other Papas. However, Ghost’s new leader was named, in April 2018, as Cardinal Copia, an “apprentice” priest yet to earn his full Ghost regalia.
Since the band’s inception, in 2006, Ghost has maintained a strictly anonymous existence. The various frontmen never gave interviews, instead press duties were handled by the Nameless Ghouls. These are likely to be Ghost mastermind Tobias Forge, who also portrayed each of the Papa characters and is currently serving as Cardinal Copia. Forge was forced to give up his identity in 2017 when former bandmates sued him over royalties. His backing band retain their anonymity and maintain their mystery at record store signings by stamping their ascribed alchemical symbols for fire, water, air, earth, and ether.
Ghost formed around one song
Prior to forming Ghost, Tobias Forge was in the death metal band Repugnant, and sleaze metal band Crashdïet. In 2006 he came up with a riff that he described as “probably the heaviest metal riff that has ever existed.” To accompany it, he penned a chorus that “haunted my dreams.” The song developed into “Stand By Him” from Ghost’s debut album, Opus Eponymous , but Forge knew that he couldn’t carry off such a dark sound with his clean-cut looks. Instead, he created the concept and characters of Ghost as a vehicle for his new musical project.
Forge’s brother died the day Ghost came alive
Further to “Stand By Him,” Forge penned the tracks “Prime Mover” and “Death Knell,” and in 2008 entered a recording studio with former Repugnant bandmate Gustaf Lindström to lay them down. Those songs were later posted onto MySpace on March 12, 2010 and would attract immediate attention from record labels and managers wanting to sign the group. Little did Forge know that, as he uploaded the songs, his brother, Sebastian, would succumb to heart disease later that day. Forge looked up to his brother, who was 13 years older, and introduced him to many of the artists that would later influence Ghost.
What you see is not necessarily what you get, musically speaking. Though Forge’s main influence was the black metal of King Diamond and Mercyful Fate, you might be surprised to hear a far more prominent pop and AOR influence in Ghost’s music. Though genres as diverse as doom metal, hard rock, prog rock, arena rock, and psychedelic rock have been used to describe Ghost, their sound is rooted in black metal, with Forge adding that they are influenced by “everything ranging from classic rock to the extreme underground metal bands of the 80s to film scores to the grandeur of emotional harmonic music.”
The live band is not the same as the studio one
When the identity of Ghost’s various frontmen was revealed by way of the 2017 royalties dispute, Forge went on the record to describe exactly how he saw the band. He described Ghost as a solo project that utilized hired musicians to translate his work in the live arena. Forge often records all the instruments himself in the studio, calling in his favorite musicians where he feels they will be of good use. And since all touring members of Ghost have other bands anyway, Forge prefers to give them time off between tours so that they can tend to their other projects and come back fresh.
Dave Grohl was once a Nameless Ghoul
Though the identities of the Nameless Ghouls remain a mystery, members are very approachable to fans who hang around the backstage door after the show. However, those die-hards remain respectful to Ghost’s anonymity and any shameless selfies are kept away from social media, so speculation abounds as to who the other members might be. But it was confirmed in an interview with Jack Osbourne, for Fuse News , in August 2013, that Foo Fighters frontman and one-time Nirvana drummer Dave Grohl once donned the Nameless Ghouls costume to play with them live. He had also produced Ghost’s 2013 EP, If You Have Ghost .
Banned in the USA
Ghost’s controversial image, lyrical themes, and artwork haven’t always worked in their favor. When they required a choir for the Infestissumam album, they were unable to find one in Nashville – where they were holed up in the studio – willing to commit the band’s lyrics to tape. Then, when it came to pressing the album, no US manufacturer was willing to take on the project due to the graphic nature of the artwork. In Ghost’s earlier days, too, no chain stores, TV shows or commercial radio stations would touch their music. Mainstream America seems to have warmed to them over the years: Ghost appeared on a Halloween-themed Late Show with Stephen Colbert in October 2015.
Ghost have won multiple awards
Further to their acceptance into mainstream culture, Ghost has won multiple awards in their Swedish homeland. The Grammis are the Swedish equivalent to the American Recording Academy’s Grammys, and Ghost won the award for Best Hard Rock/Metal Album in three consecutive years, for 2014’s Infestissumam , the following year’s Meliora , and the 2016 EP Popestar . They also won a coveted Grammy for Best Metal Performance, for the Meliora track “Cirice,” in 2016, and earned further nominations for Prequelle as Best Rock Album and “Rats’ as Best Rock Song in 2019.
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Ghost's Imperatour line-up unmasked
An end-of-tour picture from Ghost's Imperatour has revealed the identity of the band's latest line-up
Ghost have wrapped up the first leg of their Imperatour and amidst the celebrations their official photographer has released an end-of-tour pic with the crew unmasked alongside tour supports Twin Temple and Uncle Acid And The Deadbeats.
One Ghost fan-page (Greek Ghost Fans) has gone the extra mile, saying they've tracked down the identities of the various Nameless Ghouls who have been enthralling arenas across Europe since April.
- Chris Catalyst (a.k.a. Aether) - Cos Sylvan (a.k.a. Rain) - Dylan Louise (a.k.a. Cumulus / Curvy) - Hayden Scott (a.k.a. Mountain) - Jutty Taylor (a.k.a. Swiss/Multi) - Laura Scarborough (a.k.a. Cirrus/ Tall) - Per Eriksson (a.k.a. Fire) - Sophie Amelkin (a.k.a. Sunshine)
A Twitter post by Catalyst confirmed his involvement at least, writing "that's that particular cat out of the bag. So great to be doing this again. Playing this fantastic music with these brilliant people makes me run out of superlatives."
Amaaaazing tour with our wonderful Ghost family. I suppose that’s that particular cat out of the bag. So great to be doing this again. Playing this fantastic music with these brilliant people makes me run out of superlatives. X pic.twitter.com/wZR9criebA May 18, 2022
Chris Catalyst has previously been a touring member of Sisters Of Mercy, Ugly Kid Joe, as well as a member of the Ginger Wildheart band. He is also frontman of UK rockers Eureka Machines and a solo artist in his own right.
Per Eriksson was a member of Katatonia from 2009 to 2014, as well as a member of Bloodbath from 2007 until 2017. Jutty Taylor released music as Jutty Ranx and sings for indie group Greyface, while Dylan Louise is a multi-instrumentalist who records under the moniker Mad Gallica.
Details on the other members' extra-curriculars are more scant; Cos Sylvan, Sophie Amelkin and Laura Scarborough each release music as solo artists, and Hayden Scott was the touring drummer for AWOLNATION.
It's a diverse mix of musicians from across different musical spectrums, but as anyone who attended the first leg of the European Imperatour can attest, a talented line-up who helped bring Ghost's newest era to life.
Whether the line-up remains the same for the US leg of the Imperatour later this year remains to be seen, but with Mastodon and Spiritbox joining Ghost on the road it's fair to say they aren't dialing back their ambitions.
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How Ghost — ‘an occult, pop, satanic sort of rock ’n’ roll band’ — conquered metal and the charts
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Onstage at Anaheim’s Honda Center arena, Tobias Forge is not himself.
Instead, he is Papa Emeritus IV, leader of the theatrical Swedish metal band Ghost, singing from behind a latex mask and corpse paint, dressed in religious attire or bat wings.
His persona is of Ghost’s demonic pope, preaching of war and plague like a doom prophet amid heavy guitar riffs and vivid pop melodies. Some lyrics are more prescient than fantasy, from warning of “beliefs contagious, spreading disease” on the 2018 song “Rats” to the band’s new “Impera” album, which decries empire-building in time for Russia’s brutal invasion of Ukraine.
Forge says he’s merely an observer of history and “the circularity of things,” as destructive human impulses repeat themselves catastrophically across the centuries. “Flags, pandemics, flus and dictators come and go,” he says cheerfully. “Empires come and go. It’s always in circles, because at the end of the day we are dealing with humans.”
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Forge, 41, is out of costume and sipping coffee at his West Hollywood hotel after a night of hard rock spectacle, with pyro eruptions and a big stage meant to convey threatening Gothic arches and stained glass. Offstage, Forge is less explosive, dressed in a treasured 1988 Candlemass tour T-shirt, his light auburn hair short and swept upward on top. He’s a thoughtful interview and quick with a joke, a family man with a wife and fraternal twins back in Stockholm. The previous night’s concert in Orange County was the final stop of a co-headlining arena tour with the Danish band Volbeat designed as a prelude to the March 11 release of the band’s fifth album, “Impera.”
During rehearsals ahead of the tour, Forge got “a very mild case” of the Omicron virus. Then the eight other touring members of the band tested positive, along with four crew members. “The whole band had it at the same time, so we just had COVID rehearsals,” he says. The tour happened as scheduled, and Ghost will be back in the U.S. later this year.
The band’s last record, 2018’s “Prequelle,” earned a Grammy nomination for rock album and hit No. 3 on Billboard’s Top 200. The band counts Metallica and Dave Grohl among its high-profile fans, and attracts a multigenerational rock audience, from kids in baby pope gear all the way up to older fanatics nostalgic for ’70s shock rock.
“Ghost has a diverse audience, which I love to see, especially for metal,” says Sammi Chichester, managing editor of Revolver Magazine, a close observer of the metal scene.
Forge is able to find pop hooks even as he mines his own low expectations for mankind. As a result of that catchiness, Ghost has been controversial among certain extreme-metal tastemakers. “It is a routine topic — metalheads love to argue,” says Chichester with a laugh.
The music tends to be more engaging than depressed, despite the ominous religious imagery.
“The lyrics are not about God. They’re about man,” says Forge. “We are, at the end of the day, an occult, pop, satanic sort of rock ’n’ roll band meant to entertain a group of people who are already down with that stuff.”
Any discussion with Forge quickly reveals him as a pop music obsessive, as he casually references Leonard Cohen, the Bangles and the primitive weirdness of the Shaggs. He’s not your typical high priest of metal. “In my adolescence, I was completely a death metal/black metal person in action and message,” he says. “But I always listened to a lot of other things. And that materialized in whatever music I was writing.”
Ghost was created in 2006 with Forge’s recording of a track called “Stand by Him,” built on a slippery metal riff and roots firmly planted in Scandinavian black metal. The music that followed rarely strayed from a growling metal core but showed surprising flourishes from the beginning, from busy keyboard melodies to delicate acoustic guitar.
The band arrived with a fully formed image that adopted a demonic, bizarro take on the Catholic tradition, accented with Gothic flair and comedy. Forge stood at the microphone in the role of a series of demonic popes called Papa Emeritus (Nos. I-IV), in flamboyant papal attire, with a band of musicians called Nameless Ghouls in silver masks. (The Ghouls now appear in what look like gas masks from a dystopian future.)
Forge, who is the band’s only consistent member, kept his identity hidden behind facepaint and pseudonym until he had to reveal his real name during an unsuccessful 2017 lawsuit by four ex-members of Ghost over back pay.
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“Impera” was recorded last spring and summer, after the original plan to work with an American producer in the U.S. was canceled as the coronavirus crisis dragged on. Instead, Forge reunited with Swedish producer Klas Åhlund (Ghost’s collaborator on 2015’s “Meliora”), and he took his time composing new songs.
He sketched out a melody for the album’s closer, a nearly seven-minute prog epic called “ Respite on the Spitalfields ,” on the small electric piano in his daughter’s bedroom. “ Twenties ” emerged as a frantic chronicle of greed and oppression, in the form of a “demagogue sect leader speaking down to his followers in utter contempt,” he says. The sneering, catchy ’80s rock of “ Griftwood ” was inspired by former Vice President Mike Pence and leaders who wield the Bible as a means to political power.
The album also arrives as a pair of successful TV series — “ Cobra Kai ” and “Peacemaker” — have reintroduced an earlier generation of pop-metal to the masses, with prominent use of ’80s hits by the likes of Twisted Sister, Faster Pussycat, Hanoi Rocks, Ratt, Mötley Crüe, Scorpions and Def Leppard.
Ghost isn’t a throwback to the hair-metal era but does share a taste for hooks and melodrama. Forge hasn’t seen “Peacemaker” but spent quality downtime at home in Sweden watching “Cobra Kai” with his teenage daughter. “That series is a slam-dunk,” he says of the show, which continues the story of the “Karate Kid” movies. “And the music is great.”
The Ghost mastermind admits to nostalgia for what was commonly known as “album-oriented rock,” the mainstream rock category epitomized by Journey, Foreigner, Boston and other ’70s and ’80s FM radio stars. “I’m a huge fan of AOR bands,” says Forge, describing the genre as “smart divorce rock played by older men with mustaches who have gone through a little bit in their lives.”
Forge was raised in Linköping, Sweden, by a single mother and indoctrinated into rock early, by a brother 13 years older. Before he was 10, Forge was buying English and German rock magazines he couldn’t read, and absorbing as much metal, punk and classic rock as he could.
As a teenager, his tastes grew even darker and more extreme, as he discovered underground metal rising from Europe and America — then turned away from anything new in the genre after 1994, when he sensed things becoming too polished, spoiling the scary lo-fi sound and image he loved.
As Ghost itself grows more sophisticated in its sound and approach, Forge knows some longtime fans wish he would return to the band’s original recipe. Forge understands the feeling, and admits that he’d love nothing more than to produce new albums from bands of his youth so that he could force them back to an earlier sound.
He says he wants to satisfy fans while also challenging them. “I deal with that professionally in one way, and as a fan in another.”
Forge fully appreciates the intense feelings a music fan can have about a recording artist. Evolution is not always welcome.
“That has a lot to do with the type of personalities that are drawn to the world that we’ve been talking about: metal, hardcore, comic books, sci-fi — it’s a retreat, a safe place of order, organization, knowledge. This is the world that you hide in after school. And now there’s someone coming in there trying to … evolve? It’s disruptive.
“It’s not right or wrong. The future is what we don’t know, as much as it hurts.”
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Ghost’s Current Nameless Ghouls Have Been Identified, See Unmasked Photo
Ghost just completed a European leg of their ongoing tour in support of their new album, Imperator and the lineup of nameless ghouls and their real identities have been revealed.
The band now employs a total of eight backing musicians, which puts them in league with the mighty Slipknot for biggest rock/metal bands with nine masked members. As much as leader Tobias Forge has worked to keep the identities of the various Nameless Ghouls over the years, details gradually leak over time.
Rumors have been floating around regarding which musicians are currently in the live lineup and, with the completion of the latest tour leg and before another North American run starts up this August (with Mastodon and Spiritbox ), it was time to reveal Ghost's supporting cast.
A photo of all the bands (including Uncle Acid and the Deadbeats as well as Twin Temple) and the road crew was shared on social media and many of the Nameless Ghouls indulged in the opportunity to reveal what they've each been up to these last few months.
Some of the Nameless Ghouls are quite recognizable names and their experience also includes time spent in Bloodbath , Katatonia , AWOLNATION , The Sisters of Mercy and more.
After poking around the depths of the internet, here is what we've been able to piece together about each Nameless Ghoul. View all the details below and, if you want to know who the six outside writers were on Imperator , head here .
Ghost, Nameless Ghoul Lineup — Real Identities
Chris Catalyst (Aether)
Associated Acts: The Sisters of Mercy (guitar, 2005-2019), Eureka Machines (vocals, guitar, 2007-present)
Per Eriksson (Fire)
Instrument: lead guitar
Associated Acts: Bloodbath (guitar, 2008-2017), Katatonia (guitar, 2010-2014)
Cosmo Sylvan (Rain)
Associated Acts: Cos Sylvan (solo)
Hayden Scott (Mountain)
Associated Acts: Paramore, AWOLNATION
Justin "Jutty" Taylor (Swiss/Multi)
Instrument: backing vocals
Associated Acts: Jutty Taylor (solo), Jutty Ranx
Laura Scarbourough (Cirrus/ Tall)
Instrument: keyboard, keytar
Associated Acts: Laura Scarbourough (solo)
Mad Gallica (Cumulus / Curvy)
Instrument: keyboard, tambourine
Associated Acts: Mad Gallica
Sophie Amelkin (Sunshine)
Associated Acts: Skål Chamber Collective, musical theater performer
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The Untold Truth Of Ghost, The Swedish Rock Band
The Satanic Swedish metal band Ghost has been producing synthy, melodic anthems with witty lyrics since 2006. The band's videos and performances are theatrical and intentionally over the top, featuring an almost anonymous masked band and a frontman dressed as an occult pope with skeletal face paint.
As stated in The Independent , Ghost has released multiple critically acclaimed albums, won Grammys, and toured with some of the biggest names in rock and metal. While it might seem like they would be a niche band, the audience for kitschy Satanic rock is broad and international. The band's creator, Tobias Forge, has stated that their fanbase is highly varied, and it's hard to pin down what a typical Ghost fan looks like.
"Style-wise, you have the metalheads and the not-so-metal heads, and the pop girls," Forge told The Independent. "They like Star Wars, they like comic books, they like horror films. They like rock music with a slight nostalgia touch of the 70s and 80s."
The creator worked in a call center
Before playing a series of Satan-worshipping popes as the frontman of an increasingly popular band, Tobias Forge was involved with no less than five bands. As detailed by Loudwire , Forge was a guitar player for indie band Magna Carta Cartel and glam band Crashdiet, and he co-founded the pop-punk band Subvision and the death metal band Repugnant. Later, these bands (particularly Repugnant and Subvision) were analyzed by Ghost fans trying to determine the frontman's true identity. None were a big enough success to warrant Forge quitting his day job.
"Career-wise and [in terms of] fulfilling yourself and touring goals, it was definitely 29 years of what felt like non-activity," Forge told Revolver . He was working in a call center for a Swedish phone company when he created a MySpace page for what would become Ghost. "I think it said 'Ghost,' but from what I remember, it was a picture of a cathedral in the moonlight, and it just said 'Satanic doom' or something like that," Forge explained. Interestingly, he analyzed the demographics and tried to ensure that it reached fans of dark rock with a melody.
Forge created several Ghost demos, and he sang the songs himself. Originally, they were only intended to be guide vocals, but within two days, he was getting messages from managers and record labels all over the world who were interested in Ghost.
They're a Satanic band
The band appears as a variety of occult clergy and Nameless Ghouls, frequently singing songs about Lucifer, as well as monsters and historical figures like the Blood Countess. Ghost is a metal band with highly theatrical music, and some tracks, like fan-favorite "He Is" from the band's third album, are reminiscent of gospel sung in honor of the devil.
"As a young teen, Satan, and the idea of some sort of world that you could be in touch with that could empower you was very much the symbol for freedom," Tobias Forge is quoted as saying by Psychology Today . While he and his mother used to visit churches to appreciate their aesthetic, Forge's perception of Christianity was heavily influenced by his negative experiences with religious people at a young age. As Forge described in an interview with Revolver , his strict stepmother and "sanctimonious" authoritarian schoolteacher were both Christian and used their faith to justify their harsh behavior.
At the same time, young Forge became increasingly enamored with music that his beloved older brother introduced him to, including Siouxsie and the Banshees, Kim Wilde, and Kiss. With the '80s came a cultural fascination with Satan worship due to the (baseless) moral panic known as "Satanic Panic" (via The Guardian ). This led to numerous Satan-inspired films, which Forge devoured. Per Revolver, he was drawing upside-down crosses when he was 10 years old and even bought himself a "black-magic grimoire."
They have a sense of humor
Ghost is intentionally elaborate and over the top. While they obviously take their music seriously, their goal is often to amuse their audience. From the beginning, the band has explained that there are no contradictions in a Satanic band making its listeners laugh.
"We are a very humorous bunch," a Nameless Ghoul from Ghost explained in an interview with Glide . They later added: "There is some sort of misunderstanding that everything diabolical is far from humor. It's supposed to be very serious, and I beg to differ. I think that if we want to be super Biblical ... from a hardcore, super Christian point of view, satire and laughter is a tool of the devil to trick people into not focusing on their suffering."
While the music, videos, and stage shows are often played straight, some of their songs and videos are less subtle in their satire than others. One of their songs titled " Kiss the Go-Goat " is a '60s throwback about having sex with the devil, depicted in the video as an elderly Satanic pope's nostalgic memory of his prime. In February of 2022 , Ghost released a video referencing the famous romantic pottery scene from the 1990 film "Ghost."
The band's Catholic aesthetic is intentional
The band may have described religion as a "big problem" and "a very, very big danger" (via Blabbermouth ), but Ghost's aesthetic is obviously inspired by Christianity, particularly Catholicism.
The band blends skeletal face paint and other Gothic looks with papal decadence. Even though he has been interested in Satanism, Tobias Forge has enjoyed the aesthetic of Christianity since he was a child. In an interview with Revolver , he explained that his mother was an art-lover and often brought him to admire the churches for their art and architecture, as one would a museum. He described one particular 1500s Catholic Church that captured his imagination, saying (via Blabbermouth), "It had that evil feel, with a lot of old, scary paintings and big stained glass windows."
Forge still admires the aesthetic of Christianity and uses it in the design of the band's look and in creating the elaborate characters that the group plays on stage and in videos, but that doesn't mean that he's a fan of Christianity. In an interview with Rolling Stone , Forge explained that he looks at Christianity as a fascinatingly beautiful but dangerous thing. "In the same way that I would not hang out with an alien from the film 'Alien,' but I love the look of it? That's my relationship with Christianity," he said.
The band has complex lore
While Tobias Forge has stated (via Metal Hammer ) that the band's albums are not "a story that starts in the beginning and finishes at the end," Ghost has some of the most complex lore of any band. As detailed by Metal Hammer , the band portrays a variety of occult characters who are part of The Clergy, a secretive Satanic cult. The frontman is always a Satanic pope, but while they are all played by Forge, it is not always the same pope.
Ghost's first leader was Papa Emeritus I. His dark papal regalia was frequently accompanied by a swinging incense burner called a thurible , and his face appears to be a pre-made foam mask painted with skull-like makeup. He was replaced by Papa Emeritus II. As quoted by Loudwire , Forge gave an in-character interview introducing the new "ladies man" pope. Unlike his predecessor, this character occasionally appeared without face makeup. Papa Emeritus III, the younger brother of the previous pope, brought new costumes and erotic moves, but he was also soon replaced. Papa Nihil, who came next, is depicted as an older man, nostalgic for an earlier time in the Clergy. Papa Emeritus IV was introduced as the camp Cardinal Copia but was given an onstage papal inauguration .
The majority of the band appears as Nameless Ghouls, who are anonymous and masked. Videos sometimes feature the powerful leader Sister Imperator — but she has not yet performed with the band.
They kill off their frontmen
Ghost's Papas change frequently, and it's not usually a peaceful transfer of power.
The arrival of Papa Nihil and vocalist Cardinal Copia was accompanied by a video from the band titled " Ghost — Chapter Three: Back on the Road ." In the video, Papa Nihil and Sister Imperator tell Papa Emeritus I, II, and III that they are going to be reinstated. Suddenly, a Nameless Ghoul in a demonic mask injects one of them with poison. The rest of the video features the bodies of the three previous Ghost frontmen being prepared for burial. The video ends with three boxes labeled "Papa I," "Papa II," and "Papa III" being shipped out in a black truck.
Papa Nihil survived the slaughter but was also killed off and replaced. During a live performance , Papa Nihil appeared to collapse, and Cardinal Copia was immediately promoted. As noted by Metal Hammer (whose cover once featured Copia holding the decapitated head of one of the dead Satanic popes), it's unknown if the new "Papa Emeritus IV" will survive his tenure, unlike all of the previous Ghost frontmen.
The touring band doesn't play on the records
"In every band I've ever had, every song I've ever written, I was always called a dictator, a control freak who couldn't work with anyone else," Tobias Forge told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch . "And I am a dictator and control freak. But I can work with people."
The band's current lineup includes Nameless Ghouls (and a couple of Ghoulettes) acting as guitarists, bassists, drummers, and keyboard players, while Forge acts as the group's various papal frontmen. The Ghouls who play the live shows are not the same musicians that can be heard on Ghost's albums, however. "I don't need necessarily other people to make ... records, except for the ones that I choose myself," Forge explained in an interview with Talking Metal (quoted via Theprp.com ), "and I am a very determined tour artist, and I want the tours to be very good as well."
Forge plays all the instruments himself while writing the songs. For recording the albums in the studio, he has a favorite drummer and keyboard player that he likes to work with, but neither has ever been in the touring band. He also revealed that many members of the band have their own solo careers.
Ghost was anonymous
When the band started, the true identities of the bandmates were a carefully kept secret. As described in Revolver , after shows, the band members frequently greeted the audience unmasked, but fans respected their choice to remain anonymous and never took photos. Before Tobias Forge was revealed to be the band's creator and the man behind the various Papa masks, interviews were given by a Nameless Ghoul — which turned out to be Forge, wearing the same identical garb and masks that the rest of the band wore. Some fans did a significant amount of detective work trying to find out who the actual people behind the band were.
In 2016, a Nameless Ghoul explained to Blabbermouth that the easiest way to stay anonymous in the modern world is just not to be on social media. "Just don't update people. Don't have social media, and soon as anything is being said about you, don't comment," they said. Even when the band was still anonymous, it was hinted that it wouldn't always be that way. In the same interview, the Nameless Ghoul stated that there was more to a "clandestine image" than keeping your name a secret. "Even in the future, when it might not be as hidden, or as secret, I think that you can still uphold ... fog around you," they said.
The band's current lineup still includes Nameless Ghouls (and a couple of Ghoulettes) acting as guitarists, bassists, drummers, and keyboard players.
A lawsuit revealed their identities
Between dedicated fans trying to deduce their identities and hints that their names wouldn't remain hidden forever, the way that Tobias Forge's identity was revealed was highly unexpected. In 2017, the other members of the band accused Forge of not paying them what they deserved and sued him for kicking them out of the band. The Nameless Ghouls, some of whom had already revealed their actual names , also revealed Forge's name by naming him in the lawsuit.
As quoted in Metal Injection , Forge explained that the lineup (apart from himself) had changed many times since the beginning — because the touring band was exclusively a touring band, not the Ghost members who wrote or recorded the albums. Forge expressed regret that he hadn't put maintaining anonymity in their contracts (though in an interview with Blabbermouth , he considered the possibility that the expectation of performing without named credit might have contributed to the conflict).
The case against Forge was dismissed, and the band continued with a new touring lineup. Forge informed fans that he had always written the music alone, so there would be no change to the music. "I've been in charge and working on this full-time, nonstop, for 10 years," he told Colorado Springs Independent (per Blabbermouth). "Other people in Ghost would work a few hours every day, and then, during the four months between tours when I was making a record, they weren't really doing anything that had to do with Ghost."
Ghost has a pandemic album
Before the COVID-19 pandemic took hold of the world in 2020, Ghost released an album all about a plague. As stated in Rolling Stone , some have described it as predicting the pandemic, but Tobias Forge says it's just an example of history repeating itself. Forge told the outlet, "Everything in nature and time and our behaviors is very cyclical. It's almost eerie how we're basically repeating the 1900s again."
"I think this record might be the first positive record ever written about the plague," Forge stated in an interview with NME . The album, released in 2018, was called "Prequelle" and is about a plague. But the disease that Ghost sang about is more than an ordinary epidemic spreading from person to person — the story is also about the spread of contagious ideas. As explained by Forge, it's a story about survival, mortality, and if immortality would be worth it.
They're predicting the fall of empires
"When I made 'Prequelle,' my life was kind of shaky, but the world was ironically in a more steady place," Tobias Forge told Rolling Stone , "Whereas making the new record, I was in a very good place personally, but the world was the opposite."
After the accidentally prophetic plague album, Ghost released "Impera," which is about the fall of empires. Some have connected this to the 2022 Russian invasion of Ukraine (which had not yet occurred during the album's writing ). As with "Prequelle," Forge told Rolling Stone that this as an example of history being cyclical, stating, "We have just gone through what would be an equal to Spanish flu in the beginning of 1918 and, currently, we are on the brink of what could become World War III."
That idea of history repeating itself is echoed in the book that partially inspired the album: "The Rule of Empires: Those Who Built Them, Those Who Endured Them, And Why They Always Fall," which discusses empires from Ancient Rome to the modern-day. Forge described the album to Rolling Stone as not being about any particular empire, but the "concept of empires and their self-destruct mechanisms." Despite this, fans have been quick to notice references in the lyrics to specific political figures, including Donald Trump and Mike Pence. As described in Metal Hammer , the song "Griftwood" describes individuals who use religion as a tool to gain power when, in reality, they are hypocrites who don't believe what they preach.
Ghost uses history to talk about current events
While Ghost's albums are sometimes coincidentally prophetic, they explicitly reference the past in many of their songs. That doesn't mean they are only interested in history, however. As stated in an interview with The Independent , the final track of "Impera" is set during the time of Jack the Ripper's murders in London. Tobias Forge explained that he is drawn to the Victorian era not only for its aesthetic but also because he feels that there are parallels to modern times. Forge told The Independent, "It's similar to today in the sense that the world was also going through a big industrial revolution."
In an interview with Loudwire , Forge commented on current events, viewing Russia through the lens of empires that always eventually fall. He stated that people have become distanced from the "cyclical nature of everything," so they are shocked by "something as barbaric and old-school as war and the threat of war and the threat of authoritarianism and Biblical wrath or pandemics."
- View history
Nameless Ghouls are the accompanying instrumentalist members of the band Ghost . They use the alias 'Nameless Ghouls' to shield the performers' identities and remain anonymous. Throughout the band's history, the Ghouls have worn virtually identical, face-concealing costumes that have changed for each album era. There are currently eight Nameless Ghouls that play all of the instruments when the band is performing live, three of which are female Ghouls who are also known as Ghoulettes or Ghulehs .
- 1.1 Opus Eponymous Era
- 1.2 Infestissumam Era
- 1.3 Meliora Era
- 1.4 Prequelle Era
- 1.5 Impera Era
- 3 Previous Members
- 4 Other Ghouls
Appearance [ ]
Opus eponymous era [ ].
In the Opus Eponymous era, the Nameless Ghouls wore all-black, hooded robes with Grucifixes hung from their necks (worn similarly to a pectoral cross ). These costumes also featured a black mask that covered the performer's entire face, though the eyes of the Ghouls could be seen in certain photoshoots. These were said to be store-bought costumes from Butterick's, a Swedish party store. In 2012, towards the end of the Opus Eponymous era, the Ghouls' costumes changed to all-white robes that resemble those of a bishop; the white costumes consisted of a white cassock accented with a fascia , a hooded mozzetta , and a Bauta mask. The same Grucifix necklaces were worn for these costumes.
There were only five Nameless Ghouls during this era: Fire, Water, Quintessence/Aether, Earth, and Air. Though, it is important to note that the Ghouls were not formally given these names during this era, and the only effective way to identify them was by their instruments.
Infestissumam Era [ ]
In the Infestissumam era, the Nameless Ghouls wore nearly identical costumes as their late-2012 ones. These new costumes were completely black, consisting of a cassock, fascia, hooded pellegrina , and Bauta mask. These costumes also had the same Grucifix necklaces. The fascia of these costumes were embroidered with the five alchemic symbols representing the Ghouls, and each costume highlighted the respective symbol depending on its wearer.
Just like the previous era, there were five Nameless Ghouls that performed in the band: Fire, Water, Quintessence/Aether, Earth, and Air.
Meliora Era [ ]
In the Meliora era, the Nameless Ghouls saw the biggest change in their costumes. The Ghouls wore all-black suits, Grucifix necklaces, and silver devil masks that covered the entire face. Their elemental symbols were embroidered on the right breast of their costumes, with the elemental symbol representing the individual ghoul highlighted to show the identity of the wearer.
The same five Ghouls performed in the band for this era: Fire, Water, Quintessence/Aether, Earth, and Air.
Prequelle Era [ ]
With the release of Ghost 's new single, " Rats " and the introduction of the Prequelle Era, the Nameless Ghouls again changed costumes. The new costumes are black suits with crucifixes embroidered all over the inner shirts. Their face-covering masks resembled those of the Meliora-era, but appeared shinier and facilitated singing by cutting out the area around the mouth. With the introduction of two Ghoulettes, their masks were slightly different from the other Ghouls, having slightly longer hair.
The Prequelle Era saw the first increase in the number of Nameless Ghouls, including the addition of two female-presenting Ghoulettes. There were seven Ghouls in total: Fire, Water, Quintessence/Aether, Earth, Air (now 2 Ghoulettes), and a Multi-Ghoul.
Impera Era [ ]
With the release of IMPERA , the Nameless Ghoul's designs changed drastically. Their masks have shifted from the slender demon design of the Meliora and Prequelle tours to steampunk-esque helmets, with large goggles and a mouth opening for all members (as opposed to only the backup singers receiving one). Their clothing now consists of Victorian-era parade jackets in dark colors. Each of the Ghouls were given capes, though the Ghoulettes are the only ones that seem to wear them throughout performances.
There are currently eight Ghouls that perform in the band: Fire, Water, Quintessence/Aether, Earth, Air (2 Ghoulettes), and 2 Multi-Ghouls (one of which is the third Ghoulette).
Members [ ]
As of 2023, there are currently eight Nameless Ghouls in the band.
- Multi-Ghoul (Known as Swiss) – guitarist, tambourine, backing vocals, saxophonist (as Papa Nihil ), and more
- Aurora - Tambourine, backing vocals **Aurora showed up halfway through the Re-Imperatour 2023 tour, as a temporary replacement for the previous ghoulette in her position, Sunshine. However she finished out the tour and Sunshine did not return, it’s unclear if this switch was “permanent” or not yet.
The Multi-Ghoul had his debut performance at the Rats On The Strip show at The Roxy. He plays several instruments throughout the show, sometimes singing as a backing vocalist. In the live performance of " Miasma ", Multi-Ghoul plays Saxophone while dressed as Papa Nihil .
The band's first Multi-Ghoulette, who also happens to be the third Ghoulette, was introduced during the Reno, Nevada show of the 2022 Imperatour . She debuted with her own small platform (much like Swiss, the other Multi-Ghoul) and is primarily seen shaking a tambourine and singing backing vocals. It is speculated that she takes up some keyboard responsibilities during Mummy Dust when Cirrus performs the keytar solo.
Previous Members [ ]
a list of previous nameless ghouls, who no longer tour with the band.
- Water (October 23 2010 - march 4 2011) - Bass
- Fire/Alpha (October 23 2010 - November 12 2016) - Lead Guitar
- Quintessence/Omega (October 23 2010 - July 3 2016) - Rhythm Guitar
- Air (February 19 2011 - November 12 2016) - Keyboards
- Earth (October 23 2010 - September 27 2014) - Drums
- Water#2/Lake (march 29 2011 - July 30 2013) - Bass
- Water#3/River (July 27 2023 - September 27 2014) - Bass
- Delta (June 3 2015 - July 2 2015 (for bass) July 22 2016 - November 12 2016 (for rhythm)) - Bass and Rhythm Guitar
- Pebble (June 3 2015 - November 12 2016) - Drums
- Mist (September 16 2016 - November 12 2016) - Bass
- Ivy (March 24 2017 - May 13 2017) - Drums
- Ifrit (March 24 2017 - September 30 2017) - Lead Guitarist
- ChAir/Zephyr (March 24 2017 - September 30 2017) - Keyboards
- Sunshine (January 25 2022 - September 23 2022) - Backing vocals, Misc. Percussion, Keyboard fill
- Aether (March 24 2017 - September 23 2022) - Rhythm Guitar, Backing Vocals
Other Ghouls [ ]
- Special Ghoul - A persona used by Tobias Forge to participate in interviews during the Opus Eponymous, Infestissumam, and Meliora eras
- Cowbell Ghoul - A temporary Ghoul who would come on stage to play the cowbell. He was only around for a few months during the latter half of the Meliora Era
- Since May of 2022, all Ghouls' identities have been revealed.
- ↑ https://twitter.com/ChrisCatalyst/status/1664281617811255297?s=20
- 1 Nameless Ghouls
- 2 Papa Emeritus IV
- Best Guitars
13 Ghost (The Band) Facts You Probably Didn’t Know
Ghost – previously known as Ghost BC – is one of the fastest-growing metal bands on the planet after exploding onto the scene in 2010. Here are 13 facts you probably didn’t know about Ghost…
Ghost has four records under its belt, a cult following all over the globe, a brilliant live show, and some of the coolest artwork and stage makeup you’re ever likely to see.
As bands go, they don’t really get more interesting than Ghost, with its satanic imagery and lyrics, its focus on melody and stadium-rocking ballads, EPIC guitar riffs, and the ever-changing persona of its singer, Papa Emeritus (also known as Cardinal Copia).
If you’re new to Ghost, or a long-standing fan, you might enjoy this post which goes over some of the lesser-known facts about Ghost, its founding members, and some of the controversies that have dogged the band in recent times. Let’s do this…
Ghost is a Solo Project
You might think Ghost is a band. But it isn’t. In fact, Ghost is actually a solo project masterminded by one guy, Tobias Forge. Forge writes and records all of the music by himself and uses hired guns to play in the live band when Ghost is on tour. Forge is the ONLY official member of Ghost, the rest of the band are hired guns.
Tobias Forge has been a couple of other bands, most notably the death metal band Repugnant and sleaze metal band Crashdiet. Forge started Ghost back in 2006 off the back of a riff that he described as the “heaviest metal riff ever written” – that song went on to become the Ghost track, Stand By Him.
Tobias Forge is The Singer & Chief Song Writer
The frontman of Ghost, initially, was meant to be a secret. The entire band was meant to be completely anonymous. This is why Forge created the Papa Emeritus character, as well as Cardinal Copia. Forge initially didn’t want to do vocals but after struggling to find anybody else to do it, he ended up taking up the role permanently.
Every incarnation of Cardinal Copia and Papa Emeritus has been played by Tobias Forge. Forge does all the singing on all the records, as well as live. He wears heavy makeup and, on occasion, a mask to hide his identity. Up until 2017, nobody knew who was in the band Ghost.
Dave Grohl Was In Ghost
Because there was so much mystery surrounding Ghost, there was plenty of speculation about who was behind the band. It wasn’t until 2017 that Tobias Forge was unmasked during a court case, whereby the other “members” of the band tried to sue him.
Prior to all the legal shenanigans kicking off, Ghost recorded an EP in 2013 titled If You Have Ghost. This record was produced by Dave Grohl , and the Foo Fighter’s main man even played drums on the album. Grohl is also rumored to have done a Nameless Ghoul suit and played with the band live on a few occasions too.
Ghost Used Myspace To Get Started
When Tobias Forge had his first Ghost demos recorded, around 2010, he uploaded them to Myspace. Within a few days, Forge had labels on the phone wanting to sign the band. Forge then spent a frantic few weeks recording Ghost’s first studio album, Opus Eponymous, which was released in 2010 via Rise Above Records.
The first single off that album, Elizabeth, performed well and the album itself was widely praised by critics. Ghost played its first-ever show at the Hammer of Doom festival in Würzburg, Germany, on October 23, 2010.
Tobias Forge Used To Be In A Death Metal Band
Tobias Forge is most well known for Ghost. Ghost also likely represents a HUGE slice of his net worth; the band is now huge, globally, having sold hundreds of thousands of records. It also has multiple sold-out worldwide tours under its belt too. Ghost has made Forge a wealthy dude, basically. Of that, there is no doubt.
But Forge cut his teeth in the death metal band, REPUGNANT , and is also known for his roles in the following bands: Onkel Kånkel and Crashdïet . Forge has been playing in bands and touring since 1994.
James Hetfield Really Likes Ghost
One of Ghost’s biggest fans is none other than Metallica’s James Hetfield . Hetfield first heard Ghost back in 2011 and subsequently invited Ghost out to support Metallica on its North American tour, exposing Ghost to hundreds of thousands of new fans.
I’m in their fan club. [Laughs] I had no idea what they looked like until I saw the video. I heard the music first and I thought it was very great very unique, very melodic, and a breath of fresh air for metal. It reminded me a bit of ’70s kind of rock that I liked as well. So yeah, I love the band. James Hetfield
Ghost Was Banned From America
Because of Ghost’s satanic imagery, and the fact that America is VERY Christian in certain parts, Ghost has run into plenty of trouble when playing in America. When recording Infestissumam in Nashville, Ghost was unable to find singers that were willing to do backing vocals – the lyrics were too satanic , apparently.
Despite Ghost’s radio-friendly sound, the band’s music was banned from major chain stores, most late-night television shows, and most commercial radio stations, according to one of The Nameless Ghouls.
However, from around 2015, things started to change. Ghost hit the mainstream and started getting guest appearances on TV shows and radio stations. Ghost appeared on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert on 30 October 2015, during a Halloween-themed episode.
Papa Emeritus is Based On The Pope & And Tobias Forge is ALL The Papas
Tobias Forge based the character of Papa Emeritus on the pope. The entire aesthetic of Ghost is based on the Catholic church, its liturgy, and its customs, although Ghost inverts them, adding in its own special satanic flavoring. Ghost also develops backstories for each of its Papa characters.
For instance, Papa III is the “younger brother by three months” of Papa Emeritus II.
Papa III made his live debut on June 3, 2015, at a special show in their hometown of Linköping, Sweden. Papa II passed the mic down to his younger brother. Papa III and the ghouls played four new songs: From the Pinnacle to the Pit, Cirice, Majesty, and Absolution. Cirice also won the Grammy Award for Best Metal Performance in 2016. Ghost
The Nameless Ghouls Represent One of The Five Main Elements – Earth, Wind, Water, Ether, Fire and Wind
In a nod to the occult and Wiccan ideas of creation, each of The Nameless Ghouls represents one of the five elements that make up our reality: Earth, Wind, Water, Ether, Fire, and Wind.
- Lead Guitarist – Fire
- Drummer – Earth
- Bassist – Water
- Keyboards – Wind
- Rhythm Guitar – Ether
Ghost is From Sweden
Tobias Forge is 40 years old and was born in Linköping, Sweden in 1981. Forge is based in Sweden still and records and writes most of Ghost’s music there.
The Nameless Ghouls’ Tried To Sue Tobias Forge
In 2017, Tobias Forge and all subsequent members of Ghost were revealed during a court case. Forge is the chief songwriter of the band and therefore controls all the revenue and gets the majority of the money from the band’s royalties.
A selection of the band, however, felt that they were being cheated out of royalties, so they took Forge to court in a bid to sue him for access to royalties they believed they were due.
The former GHOST members are asking the court to order Forge to disclose the company’s revenues and expenses for the financial years 2011 to 2016 as well as to reveal the company’s assets as of December 31, 2016. If he fails to act as ordered, they are asking the court to force Forge to pay a penalty of SEK 200,000 (approximately $22,000), or an amount that the court considers reasonable. According to the lawsuit, GHOST was formed in 2010 and Forge, through his company, has been collecting all revenues from the sale of the band’s merchandise and music recordings. The GHOST leader did not at any time provide the other musicians with the company’s financial statements, the lawsuit claims, and has instead insisted that the company was not yet profitable. BLABBER MOUTH
The Live Band is NOT The Same As The Studio Band
Forge writes and records most of Ghost’s albums by himself. He does, however, use session musicians when recording Ghost albums . But the session musicians he uses in the studio to record the albums, oddly, are not the same musicians that make up The Nameless Ghouls when Ghost plays live and tours.
As noted earlier, Forge views Ghost as a solo project . Like Nine Inch Nails or Queens of The Stone Age , to an extent, there is only one, core member. In this respect, Tobias Forge. The setup ensures he has complete creative control and owns and controls all the revenue generated by Ghost.
Ghost Has Sold A LOT of Records
Despite its controversial image, Ghost has sold A LOT of records. Its break-out record, Meliora, sold very well, and the band’s latest record, Prequelle, sold 66,000 copies in its first week on sale. Ghost has also toured extensively, playing clubs and stadiums, as well as festivals.
Prequelle debuted at number 3 on the Billboard 200. Revolver and Metal Hammer named it the best album of the year. And the average review for the album earned it a near-perfect score of 9/10 from most music review sites.
Ghost is currently working on a new album . The as-yet-untitled album is currently being recorded and likely won’t be out until 2022. Ghost released the single Hunter’s Moon in 2021. And you can check that song out here .
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Former Ghost members share new single ‘A Signal In The Noise’ as Priest
The track is said to be "the first glimpse of a darker era in Priest's timeline"
Priest , the band which features two former members of the Swedish metal outfit Ghost , have shared their latest single, ‘A Signal In The Noise’ – you can hear the track below.
The trio, who have been releasing music since 2017, consist of vocalist Mercury (who was known as Water when he played bass for Ghost), keyboardist Salt (formerly known as Ghost keyboardist Air) and programmer/keyboardist Sulfur.
- READ MORE: Ghost interview: the masked metal band on their new “positive” record about The Plague
Priest’s new label Cleopatra Records has confirmed that the band’s next album will be released in 2022 and has been produced by guitarist Simon Söderberg, who also worked as a producer and engineer on Ghost’s 2010 debut album ‘Opus Eponymous’.
“Signing with such a legendary label like Cleopatra will probably be the biggest step in our career,” Priest said in a statement. “With great knowledge of the genre we’re in, we can’t think of a better match for Priest. Our next album is by far the best yet and we can’t wait to unleash it a wider and more diverse audience.”
You can watch the Linton Rubino-directed video for Priest’s ‘A Signal In The Noise’ above.
Speaking about ‘A Signal In The Noise’, a spokesperson for Priest added: “‘A Signal in the Noise’ is the first glimpse of a darker era in Priest’s timeline.
“The industrial rhythms and melodies paint a vast canvas of an apocalyptic future. To accompany the track, we needed a gritty video with an urban feeling. We are very excited to show it to you!”
Fans can also support Priest’s work by signing up to their Patreon account , where various levels of membership are available.
Ghost, meanwhile, recently announced details of a UK and European headline tour for 2022.
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Rock And Roll Garage
The 7 legendary rock musicians who gave their opinion on ghost.
Formed in Sweden back in 2006, Ghost became in the last decade one of the most successful new bands in Rock and Roll music. Mixing Rock, Pop and Heavy Metal often with satanic imagery and lyrics, the band gained millions of fans worldwide, including many famous ones. Rock and Roll Garage selected the 7 legendary musicians who talked over the years about Ghost and their music.
Ghost already released 5 acclaimed studio albums and their audience continues to grow. They also won the Grammy in 2016 for Best Metal Performance.
James Hetfield, Kirk Hammett and Lars Ulrich (Metallica)
The Metallica members are some of the biggest famous fans of Ghost and their even took them on tour several times as their opening act. They have also invited the group to cover “Enter Sandman” for the “Black Album” tribute record that was released in 2021.
Metallica’s James Hetfield is a big fan of the band since the early days. In an interview with SVT (Transcribed by Rock and Roll Garage) back in 2011, when Ghost had only one album out, James Hetfield already was declaring his love for the band.
“I had no idea what they looked like until I saw the video. I heard the music first and thought it was very great. Very unique, very melodic and a breath of fresh air for Metal. Remind me a little bit of 70s kind of Rock that I liked as well. So yeah, I love the band,” James Hetfield said. The musician even played Ghost’s “Cirice” riffs during a rehearsal a few years ago.
Hammett and Ulrich
A few years later in 2019, Metallica’s guitarist Kirk Hammett also praised the band, sitting next to Ghost’s leader Tobias Forge. In an interview on Metallica’s official Youtube channel, both musicians talked about touring together and Hammett. “It’s our honor (To have Ghost as special guest on the tour), it really is. I mean, we are all big Ghost fans. We want to put on the best possible show for our fans and it means bringing out the best possible bands we can to play with us.
“We feel it’s important to put out a very, like, well-rounded show that offers a lot of different stuff. You guys (Ghost), your music and your show just offer so much of a different sort of thing that we do, that I think it works out really really well,” Kirk Hammett said.
The Metallica drummer Lars Ulrich also praised Ghost in 2019 in a conversation with Kerrang ! “To me, Tobias is a super-cool dude. I really like his energy and being around him. Everybody in our band is a huge fan of Ghost. It seems like the fans of our band love them too. With support bands, we always try to take out people we like to be around and get along with. We’re looking forward to our whole jaunt with them,” Lars Ulrich said.
Rob Halford (Judas Priest)
Another big fan of Ghost is the Metal God himself, Judas Priest ‘s vocalist Rob Halford as he revealed in an interview with Chaoszine in 2022. The British singer commented on Ghost’s most recent album “Imperia” (2022) and said he was proud of what Tobias Forge have done so far.
“I’m so happy for Tobias, to see his ambition and his dreams become so real. He’s worked really hard to make Ghost into this worldwide experience, you know? And the guy’s a great talent, fantastic performer on stage. Songwriting… the records are wonderful. I’ve been following his career since way back.”
Rob Halford have already said that he and Tobias once talked about maybe collaborating in the future and both were really excited about the idea.
Joe Elliott and Phil Collen (Def Leppard)
One of the reasons why many Heavy Metal don’t like Ghost it’s because many songs of the group have a pop approach and Tobias Forge even revealed during the release of the album “Imperia” (2022) that Def Leppard , that often mixes Hard Rock with Pop is a big influence to his songwriting. It turns out that the band’s vocalist Joe Elliott and guitarist Phil Collen are big fans of the Swedish group.
In a conversation with Metal Hammer Def Leppard’s Joe Elliott revealed that it was the guitarist Phil Collen who first presented him to the group’s music and ever since he has been a fan. “Phil (Collen) introduced me to them. He said, ‘Here, have you heard about this band Ghost? It’s like this kind of Scando goth-metal but with brilliant melodies.’ I went, ‘Well, that’s an oxymoron. Cos it’s usually [makes unintelligible singing noise like someone vomiting in a bucket].’ But he played me something. A couple of minutes each of a few songs.”
“I was really intrigued. So I asked him to Dropbox me the new album (Imperia – 2022). I listened to it all, and I thought it was absolutely stunning. It’s like a whole new genre of music. So It’s way more Toto than death metal or any of that stuff. It’s like the song ‘Spillways’. It starts off like ‘Hold The Line’ by Toto or ‘Jane’ by Jefferson Starship. One of those classic 70s songs that begin on the piano before these big, chunky chords come in,” Joe Elliott said.
The musician said in the same interview that the new Ghost record was is his “got-to album” during the last weeks. He even downloaded the record onto his Apple Watch, that according to him has only a few albums. He also compared the intro track of the album “Imperium” to what bands like Metallica and Thin Lizzy already did on some of their classic albums.
It’s not only the virtuoso guitarist Steve Vai is also new fan of Ghost, but his entire family as he revealed in an interview with Classic Rock in 2022. The musician said that his wife and kids are really close and when they discover new bands and albums they become special for them. When asked which song he would choose to be played at his own funeral, Steve Vai said it could be a Ghost record.
“Me, my wife and boys, they’re twenty-nine and thirty-two now. We’re a really close family, and sometimes we discover records and the songs go into a different realm. They become ‘special to the family’. Over the last year we’ve adopted the band Ghost. Tobias, there’s another guy who’s really connected. So if you come to my funeral you might hear a Ghost record,” Steve Vai said.
I'm a Brazilian journalist who always loved Classic Rock and Heavy Metal music. That passion inspired me to create Rock and Roll Garage over 6 years ago. Music has always been a part of my life, helping me through tough times and being a support to celebrate the good ones. When I became a journalist, I knew I wanted to write about my passions. After graduating in journalism from the Pontifical Catholic University of Minas Gerais, I pursued a postgraduate degree in digital communication at the same institution. The studies and experience in the field helped me improve the website and always bring the best of classic rock to the world! MTB: 0021377/MG
Ghost: Members, albums, songs and tour dates
We can’t forget the value that Sweden has brought to pop and rock music. ABBA, Roxette, Ace of Base, Opeth, and many other pop and rock bands came out of Sweden. One of the most important of these bands is Ghost. We have gathered all the information you need to know about the Swedish rock band Ghost .
Table of Contents
Among the Swedish rock bands that have garnered international attention, Ghost (also known as Ghost B.C. in the US) stands out as a true revelation in the realm of heavy metal and hard rock. Formed in Linköping in 2006, Ghost combines a unique blend of influences, including classic metal, arena rock, pop rock, rock, doom metal, and a touch of the macabre.
The Swedish band Ghost is known for its theatrical and enigmatic image. The band members are known as “ Nameless Ghouls ” and wear costumes and masks that conceal their identities.
How was the band Ghost formed?
The group members had known each other for a long time. One day Tobias Forge decided to form a group. This idea was welcomed by all Ghost members.
In 2006, they formed the band Ghost in Linköping, Sweden. At that time the members were still playing in other bands. The official formation took place only in 2008.
In an interview with Rolling Stone Deutschland , Tobias Forge (Cardinal Copia) talks about the creation of Ghost as follows:
“I’ve been playing death and black metal ever since the early ’90s, so it wasn’t like, “Oh, I’m gonna come up with a completely different thing, like the devil.” I’ve been delving into devilish themes ever since my first band, which was a death metal band. So, the idea wasn’t very original; it just felt natural. Around 2006, 2007, and 2008, I had stepped away from the extreme metal scene. I wasn’t playing in a metal band anymore. Instead, I was playing bass in one band that was definitely not metal, and I had my own band that ventured into some sort of pop-rock territory. When Ghost emerged in my mind and the songs started to take shape, it just fit perfectly. It felt intuitive and natural, like this is where my pop sensibilities could merge with my metal background. It allowed me to express myself in a way that’s, well, I guess the word for it would be Gothic.
In addition to their other jobs, the band members continued to work on Ghost. In 2008, they left the other bands and started to concentrate on Ghost and the seeds started to bear their first fruits. Ghost released its first songs as a 3-track demo on MySpace in 2010.
The founding ghost members:.
The band Ghost consists of six members, Cardinal Copia , formerly known as Papa Emeritus and five so-called Nameless Ghouls .
Each Nameless Ghoul embodies one of the elements earth, fire, water, wind, and the Aether (Omega) which is also represented by the corresponding element signs.
Some of the Ghost members’ names and faces were revealed in 2017. Here are the Ghost members unmasked:
Tobias Forge (Papa Emeritus and Cardinal Copia)
Tobias Forge, one of the founding members of Ghost, was born on March 3, 1991, in Linköping, Sweden.
He spent his childhood in the same house with his mother and older brother. It was not a very wealthy family. The family had different values than money. The family valued art, music, philosophy, and culture more than money. When people visited Tobias’ house and saw the paintings on the walls and the library, they thought it looked like a museum.
When Tobias became a teenager, he realized that he was uncomfortable with his Christian teacher’s authoritarian religious indoctrination. This behavior began to turn Tobias off religion. Then, influenced by the behavior of his step-mother, who lived in a different house with his father and behaved in the same way as his teacher, Tobias became increasingly distant from the Christian religion.
Tobias Forge started to make death metal when he was 13 years old . He started playing instruments and writing his own songs. Before forming Ghost, He was involved in several bands. One of the notable bands he was a part of was “ Repugnant ,” a Swedish death metal band formed in 1998.
Forge performed under the stage name “ Mary Goore ” during his time with Repugnant. While Repugnant did not achieve the same level of success as Ghost, it was an important stepping stone in Tobias Forge’s musical career.
Until 2006 Tobias had gained experience with many bands and in 2006 he decided to form Ghost.
Tobias Forge is the person behind the characters Papa Emeritus I (2010-2012), Papa Emeritus II (2012-2015), Papa Emeritus III (2015-2017), Papa Emeritus IV (2020-present) and Papa Emeritus Cardinal Copia – (2018-2020).
Papa Nihil (2018–2020)
Papa Nihil , also known as the “ Saxophone Ghoul ,” made his first notable appearance during Ghost’s “Popestar” tour in 2016. He is portrayed as an elderly, decrepit figure, often seen with a skull-faced mask and adorned in papal vestments. What sets him apart from the other Nameless Ghouls in the band is his unusual instrument of choice – the saxophone.
One of the most intriguing aspects of Papa Nihil is the ongoing speculation about his identity. While Ghost’s mastermind, Tobias Forge, has portrayed Papa Emeritus and other characters, he’s never confirmed whether he is also the man behind Papa Nihil. Some fans speculate that the character might represent a past Papa Emeritus, while others believe Papa Nihil could be a separate entity entirely. The ambiguity surrounding Papa Nihil’s identity adds a layer of mystique to Ghost’s elaborate mythos.
Papa Nihil’s real name is unknown.
Nameless Ghouls – Unmasked
Ghost members’ names and faces were revealed in 2017:
In April 2017, some names were made public on the Internet by former band member Simon Söderberg . Here are the names and faces of the Nameless Ghouls:
Simon Söderberg ( Alpha )
Per eriksson (fire).
- Martin Persner (Omega, 2010-2016)
Per Eriksson , also known as “ Sodomizer ,” is one of the Nameless Ghouls. He was born on April 2, 1981 in Falun, Sweden.
He joined Ghost as a live guitarist in 2015 and became a Nameless Ghoul. Before he joined Ghost, he was a member of the bands Bloodbath and Katatonia
In 2017, the shroud of anonymity began to lift as some of the Nameless Ghouls, including Simon Söderberg, revealed their identities. Alpha’s unmasking allowed fans to put a face to the music they had grown to love.
Unfortunately, the unveiling of Alpha’s identity coincided with a legal dispute between Simon Söderberg and the band’s frontman, Tobias Forge, who portrays the various incarnations of Papa Emeritus. Söderberg and other former Nameless Ghouls sued Forge over issues related to royalties and band ownership.
Due to the lack of evidence, the Linköping court has now dismissed the case. As a direct consequence, Forge’s former bandmates have to pay the legal costs of their ex-boss in the amount of 1.3 million Swedish kronor . The amount corresponds to about 127000 euros .
Martin Persner (Omega)
Martin Persner , known by his stage name “ Omega ,” was one of the original members of the Swedish heavy metal band Ghost. He played guitar in the band and was an integral part of Ghost’s early years. Omega joined Ghost when the band was first formed in 2008.
Martin Persner left Ghost in 2016 . His departure marked a significant change in the band’s lineup.
Martin Persner’s decision to leave Ghost was influenced by several factors, including creative differences and the desire to pursue other musical projects. After leaving Ghost, he went on to form a new band called “ Magna Carta Cartel ” and continued his musical career outside of the Ghost persona.
In an interview, Martin Persner talked about his decision and said:
“Hi. My name is Martin, and I’ve been a part of the rock band Ghost for 7 years. Some of you people know me as Omega, or Quintessence, or A Nameless Ghoul…. Since of July last year, 2016 that is, I am no longer part of Ghost, as some of you have noticed. Reasons why… we’ll take at another date.”
All Ghost members
In May 2022, during the Imperator through Europe, tour photographer Ryan Chang posted a crew photo online showing all crew and tour members – in addition to the entire unmasked Ghost band, also the support bands Twin Temple and Uncle Acid and the Deadbeats. Accordingly, the Nameless Ghouls consist of the following musicians :
- Cos Sylvan (Rain)
- Hayden Scott (Mountain)
- Jutty Taylor (Swiss/Multi)
- Laura Scarborough (Cirrus/ Tall)
- Mad Gallica (Cumulus / Curvy)
- Sophie Amelkin (Sunshine)
Ghost released 5 albums o far. Here are the albums by Ghost:
Opus Eponymous – 2010: A Dark Ritual Begins
In 2009, a demo recording featuring three self-produced songs and a 7-inch vinyl single titled “Elizabeth” and “Death Knell” was released through the German record label Iron Pegasus Records. Subsequently, on October 18, 2010, the debut album “Opus Eponymous” was released in Europe.
Ghost’s debut album, “Opus Eponymous,” burst onto the scene in 2010, shrouded in anonymity. The record, often referred to as their “ Black Mass ,” set the stage for what would become Ghost’s signature blend of ominous lyrics and catchy melodies. Songs like “ Ritual ” and “ Elizabeth ” introduced us to the unholy liturgy of Papa Emeritus and the Nameless Ghouls.
The album comprises nine songs, including two instrumental pieces, among them the four previously released tracks, which appeared in a reworked form.
In North America, the album was released on January 18, 2011, through Metal Blade Records , while in Japan, it came out on April 6 through Trooper Entertainment, featuring a cover version of The Beatles’ song “Here Comes the Sun” as a bonus track.
Prior to the album’s release, the band garnered attention for their complete anonymity and their decision to abstain from interviews or photoshoots.
Infestissumam – 2013: The Rise of the Antichrist
In 2013, Ghost unleashed “ Infestissumam ,” a grandiose follow-up that elevated their theatricality to new heights. This album delved deeper into themes of the occult and featured tracks like “ Year Zero ” and “ Secular Haze ,” showcasing Ghost’s ability to craft both sinister anthems and eerie ballads.
Musically speaking, “Infestissumam” is an impressive continuation of Ghost’s characteristic sound. The songs on this album are simultaneously catchy and dark. Tracks like “Year Zero” and “Secular Haze” perfectly capture the band’s mysterious atmosphere. Ghost masterfully combines captivating melodies with devilishly dark lyrics, giving the album a unique allure.
A significant part of Ghost’s appeal lies in their ability to approach the occult and the Satanic in a provocative yet intelligent manner. The lyrics of “Infestissumam” are filled with allusions to religion, sin, and the darker aspects of life. This has led the band to admiration and controversy, further solidifying their position as one of the most polarizing bands in the modern music scene.
“Infestissumam” is undoubtedly a milestone in Ghost’s career.
Meliora – 2015: The Birth of Papa Emeritus III
“ Meliora ” is Ghost’s third studio album and was released in 2015. The title “Meliora” is Latin for “better” or “improved,” signifying a pursuit of enhancement. In many ways, the album represents an artistic and musical improvement compared to the band’s previous works.
From a musical perspective, “Meliora” is a sensory delight. The songs on this album are masterfully arranged, featuring a blend of dark and catchy melodies. Tracks like “ Cirice ” and “ From the Pinnacle to the Pit ” are examples of Ghost’s ability to create earworms that simultaneously embed themselves in your memory and create a dark atmosphere.
Lyrically, “Meliora” delves deep into the occult and satanic themes that define Ghost. The lyrics skillfully play with religious symbols and metaphysical ideas, often infused with ironic yet dark poetry. This contributes to the mysterious and provocative nature of Ghost.
“Meliora” marked a pivotal moment in Ghost’s career. With the introduction of Papa Emeritus III, the band delivered an opus that garnered widespread acclaim. This album spawned the Grammy Award-winning hit “Cirice , “ as well as other gems like “ He Is ” and “ From the Pinnacle to the Pit .”
Prequelle – 2018 : The Plague and the Persona
“ Prequelle ” is a celebration for metal enthusiasts. The songs are skillfully arranged with powerful riffs, melodic hooks, and epic refrains. Tracks like “Rats” and “Dance Macabre” are catchy yet dark, showing the theatrical essence of Ghost perfectly.
Lyrically, “Prequelle” delves deep into themes of death, plague, and apocalypse. The lyrics are often metaphorical and symbolic, raising questions about the fate of humanity. This adds a certain depth and complexity to the album.
Ghost’s fourth studio album, “Prequelle,” offered a fresh narrative twist, centered around themes of the bubonic plague and the persona of Papa Nihil . Tracks like “ Rats ” and “ Dance Macabre ” showcased Ghost’s knack for crafting infectious hooks while maintaining their dark and enigmatic aura.
Impera – 2022: The Enigma Continues
Ghost’s fifth studio album, “Impera,” was released in 2022.
According to Tobias Forge, “ Impera ” delves into the rise and fall of great empires and the perpetual cycle of these historical processes. However, as the album progresses, it doesn’t always remain as specific as in the track “ Kaisarion ,” which alludes to Cleopatra’s offspring.
The subsequent track, “ Spillways ,” addresses the manifold seductions of sweet power in a somewhat more general language. Above all, it provides the necessary moments of release, something that Ghost has not denied itself since “ Meliora .” It’s noteworthy how, during the days of “Opus Eponymous,” occasional catchy melodies emerged from the doom-heavy mix – and today, it’s essentially the opposite.
The best songs of Ghost
Let us explore the best songs by Ghost and highlight their remarkable achievements.
Here are the best songs of Ghost:
“Square Hammer” is a true masterpiece and one of Ghost’s biggest hits . The song was released in 2016. It reached the top of the Billboard Mainstream Rock Songs chart, catapulting Ghost into the mainstream rock scene.
“Cirice” is another song that underscores Ghost’s success. It won the Grammy Award for Best Metal Performance in 2016 and became an anthem for fans around the world.
“Rats” is a dynamic song from their album “Prequelle.” It received high praise from critics and gained significant popularity.
“He Is” is a more subdued song by Ghost, creating an emotive atmosphere. This track demonstrates the band’s melodic depth and has been regarded by many as one of their most moving songs.
“Year Zero” is a prime example of Ghost’s fascination with occult and satanic themes . The song pays homage to the dark and mysterious and has been considered one of their most significant tracks.
All of these songs were performed live by Ghost. There are also songs that Ghost has never played live .
Over the years, Ghost has achieved an impressive array of successes. In addition to the Grammy awards mentioned earlier, they have secured numerous chart placements, including top 10 positions on the Billboard 200 chart. They have also built a dedicated following and are renowned for their breathtaking live performances.
What is your favorite album and song ny Ghost? Let us know in the comments!
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See ICE NINE KILLS channel 'Silence of the Lambs' in video for new song "Meat and Greet"
Ice Nine Kills have brought their Horrorwood saga to a grisly conclusion. The murder-loving metalcore band have released a new, Silence of the Lambs -themed song called "Meat and Greet," and have shared it today (October 17th) alongside another cinematic music video.
The song marks the epic ending of the music video saga that's comprised of all eight, horrific videos for the songs on Ice Nine Kills' 2021 album, The Silver Scream 2: Welcome to Horrorwood .
"Meat and Greet" the song is a heavy-catchy bonus track that appears on INK's forthcoming record, Welcome to Horrorwood: Under Fire , a deluxe edition of The Silver Scream 2 that also includes the original album and two other re-imagined bonus cuts.
Watch Ice Nine Kills' action-packed video for "Meat and Greet" above via YouTube.
Pre-order Under Fire here .
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PS5 cloud streaming launches this month for PlayStation Plus Premium members
Streaming access includes supported PS5 titles on Game Catalog, Game Trials and purchases from PS Store.
Since launching the all-new PlayStation Plus more than a year ago, we’ve seen such high engagement from our fans on our offerings – from the quality titles offered in the Game Catalog like Horizon Forbidden West and Sea of Stars, to new trophy features we’ve added to classic games like Legend of Dragoon and Syphon Filter.
Today we have more details to share about PS5 cloud streaming for PlayStation Plus Premium members. Starting this month, we will begin launching cloud streaming access for supported PS5 digital titles within the PlayStation Plus Game Catalog* and Game Trials*, as well as supported titles in the PS5 game library that PlayStation Plus Premium members own.
Select PS5 games will be available for streaming, and we’re planning to have hundreds of PS5 titles to support this new benefit. This includes:
● Top PS5 hits from the PlayStation Plus Game Catalog*, such as Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales, Horizon Forbidden West, Ghost of Tsushima, Mortal Kombat 11, and Saints Row IV
● Game Trials* for PS5 games, such as Hogwarts Legacy, The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt, and The Calisto Protocol
● Additional PS5 digital titles PlayStation Plus Premium members own that will be available for streaming, such as Resident Evil 4, Dead Island 2, Genshin Impact, Fall Guys, and Fortnite
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These are just a few examples of supported PS5 games that will include a cloud streaming option, in addition to download.
PS5 cloud streaming is exclusively available on the PS5 console at launch. Without having to download a game, players can access PS5 game streaming with their PlayStation Plus Premium membership. Additionally, PlayStation Plus Premium members will also see features available with the new PS5 streaming benefit, including:
● Downloadable content and in-game purchases will be available for PS5 game streaming, including DLC and add-ons – similar to purchases from downloadable games.
● High quality resolution options** , including 4K, 1440p, 1080p, and 720p, with 60 FPS and SDR or HDR output.
● Enhanced audio with support for all PS5 audio capabilities including 5.1 and 7.1 as well as Tempest 3D Audiotech.
● Capture screenshots and record up to 3 minutes of video , which will be downloaded to your Media Gallery on PS5 and also available in the Media Gallery on PS App
Since this will be a large undertaking for our teams to roll out, we plan to launch regionally through a phased approach. Here are the launch dates we are currently targeting in local times:
● Japan – targeting October 17
● Europe – targeting October 23
● North America – targeting October 30
Cloud streaming through PlayStation Plus Premium is currently available in Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Canada, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Republic of Cyprus, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, United Kingdom, and United States.
We hope players will enjoy this new PS5 streaming feature that will be automatically added to their PlayStation Plus Premium membership. We’ll continue to focus on evolving the features and benefits for PlayStation Plus, so there’s more to look forward to.
*Availability of titles varies by region and plan. See https://www.playstation.com/Plus for details and updates on PlayStation Plus offerings. PlayStation Plus is an ongoing subscription subject to a recurring subscription fee taken automatically (at the then-current PS Store price) at the frequency you choose at purchase until cancellation. Terms apply: play.st/psplus-usageterms
**Requires minimum internet speed of 5mbps, 15 mbps for 1080p and 38 mbps+ for 4K.
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