Jul 192015

Alfahanne album cover


Happy goddamned Sunday to one and all. I spent a lot of time yesterday making my way through new songs and short releases that I had noticed over the last week and found quite a lot to like — so many that I planned four posts about what I found. I’m not sure I’ll succeed in writing all four of them before the new week buries me in other things, but I’ll at least do the first two today — a two-part collection that includes seven new songs from forthcoming albums and one new single. I’ve arranged them in alphabetical order by band name, and the first four are collected here.


The second album by Sweden’s Alfahanne, Blod Eld Alfa, will be released by Dark Essence Records on September 11, and the label has now debuted a song from it named “Skallerormsgift”. It features guest vocals by Kvelertak’s front guy Erlend Hjelvik. (The album also includes guest appearances by Nattfursth (Sorhin), Spellgoth (Horna, Turmion Kätilöt), and Shining’s Niklas Kvarforth). Continue reading »

Jun 012015


Sunday is an odd day to choose for song premieres. But for a band whose rise to prominence has been as meteoric as Ghost B.C.‘s, I guess it doesn’t really matter — word of a new song will spread regardless of it coming out on one of the sleepiest days of the week. And yes, yesterday Ghost B.C. released a new song, named “Cirice“.

The song will appear on the band’s new album Meliora, which is now scheduled for release on August 21 via Loma Vista Recordings. The new song and the new album feature a new front person, anointed Papa Emeritus III and described as the “three-month-younger brother” of the band’s last Papa Emeritus. What’s more, the song comes with its own cover art — and it’s available for free download, here: Continue reading »

Feb 122014

Part of the popular attraction of Sweden’s Ghost B.C. is their anonymity — and the masks, make-up, and costumes with which the members conceal their features. Fans and music writers have speculated about who the Nameless Ghouls and the band’s frontman really are, but no names have ever been officially revealed. Last September, the current frontman — Papa Emeritus II — appeared without make-up in a mini-documentary about the band. In the clip, he spoke Italian, and, having revealed his face,  it became clear that he had also appeared in Ghost’s official video for “Year Zero”. But he didn’t sing, and there was still some lingering doubt about whether we were seeing the real deal. Any doubts have now been erased. Or have they?

During their recent Australian tour, Ghost stopped by the studio of Music Feeds and played three songs live: “Ritual”, “Year Zero”, and their cover of Roky Erickson’s “If You Have Ghosts” (from their 2013 covers EP). Videos of the three song performances surfaced on YouTube yesterday, and Papa Emeritus II appears without make-up — and yes, it’s the same dude who is interviewed in that mini-documentary.

I still don’t know who the guy is, and his position in the band appears to have a shelf life — one day, there will be a Papa Emeritus III. But the dude can sing, and for all Ghost fans, the following videos will be fun to hear and see. I’ve collected them after the jump, followed by that documentary clip.  (via Blabbermouth).

But… it appears that even Papa’s face without the skull make-up is still… a mask. See for yourself. Clever Ghost trolling. Continue reading »

Sep 262013

I know that I’ve already posted one round-up today, but I found more things I wanted to share. So, here goes:


I have an extremely powerful attraction to Ghost’s music, even though I listen to almost nothing else that comes within ICBM range of it. So, I was drawn like a fly to honey when I saw that a new Ghost video had premiered yesterday at Rolling Stone. It’s a professionally filmed clip of the band performing the infernal carnival of “Secular Haze” at a sold-out Webster Hall in New York. It reminds me of how damned much I’ve enjoyed the multiple live Ghost performances I’ve seen.

So, of course, I’m embedding the video here. Watch it next. Continue reading »

Jul 032013

To the sound of the monstrance clock
Air is cleansed, assembled flock
Black candles burn all night tonight

As the parish sighs in smoke
Enters lady revealed of cloak
To the haunting sound of the monstrance clock

Come together, together as a one
Come together for Lucifer’s son

The music of “Monstrance Clock” sounds so sweet, but really, it isn’t. It isn’t my favorite track on Ghost’s latest album Infestissumam — that would have to be “Year Zero” — but it’s my second favorite, and so I’m quite happy to report that Ghost have released a new video for it. Directed by Rob Semmer, it sets the magnetic music to scenes of the band’s performances at the El Rey in Los Angeles and Webster Hall in New York City. Watch it next… Continue reading »

Jun 052013

Two and a half years ago I wrote a post about “Banjo Metal” that continues to be visited and still leads to the occasional e-mail contact from people interested in the subject (Google “banjo metal” and see what comes up first). That post focused on metal bands who have used the banjo in some of their songs (plus an obligatory item on the magnificent Béla Fleck). Today brought us news of a different type of banjo metal — a banjo cover of a metal song.

Okay, some of you might quarrel with applying the term “metal” to Sweden’s Ghost. Hell, I’ve quarreled with myself about that. But hey, they do sing about Satan!

The cover is of Ghost’s best-known song, “Ritual”, and it’s performed on video by Erling Bronsberg, a skilled banjo player who e-mailed me about the cover last night. He’s based in Örebro, Sweden, and performs with a group called the Black River String Band. He uses “standard sawmill tuning” for this song, which probably means something to banjo players but to me simply sounds cool. His cover is cool, too. He puts a bluegrass spin on the melody without completely losing the song’s familiarity, and the picking is tasty. Check it out: Continue reading »

Mar 302013

On this lazy Saturday morning, I found these items of interest while surfing the waves of our metallic ocean.


I’m still having trouble typing “Ghost B.C.” instead of “Ghost”. And as if legal problems with their original name weren’t enough bullshit to endure, this Swedish band seem to have encountered fresh new bullshit in getting the CDs produced for their new album, Infestissumam.

According to Spin.com, release of the album has been delayed from April 9 to April 16 because four different U.S. compact disc manufacturers have refused to print a piece of artwork (shown above) that was destined for the deluxe version of the album. More from Spin.com:

“We kept on getting turned down because of the CD art, which is basically a 16th century illustration of an orgy,” a source close to the band told SPIN. The NSFW illustration, inspired by the work of Gustave Dore, showcases what looks like a forest nymph orgy, but it’s the religious iconography at the top that convinced manufacturers to turn off the printing press. Continue reading »

Mar 252013

The Nameless Ghouls in Sweden’s Ghost B.C. have jealously guarded their true identities, which makes it so surprising that without much fanfare they’ve now revealed them for all the world to see.

Earlier this month the band released a track named “Year Zero” from their forthcoming second album Infestissumam (Latin for “hostile”), which is due for release on April 9. Today they premiered an official video for the same song. Apart from cryptic images of children, the main action consists of a group of women of different ages assembling for a visit by their lord and master and a light repast of raw steak, grapes, and goblets of wine.

All of this proves to be simply spiritual and material nourishment in preparation for donning the costumery of Ghost B.C. and finishing off the track in the garb to which we Ghost fans have become accustomed.

So there you have it. Secrets revealed. And that’s not all that’s revealed: we get to see the band members buck nekkid when they change clothes. Which means this video is NSFW. Continue reading »