Macabre metal: Sweden’s Ghost haunts ‘Late Show with Stephen Colbert’

Ghost
The Swedish metal band Ghost appears on “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert.”

Is Dave Grohl one of the ghouls?

The macabre metal band from Sweden, Ghost, appeared in the Reno Knitting Factory on Oct. 27, just days before Halloween. Of course, for these ethereal beings, every day is Halloween.

The members’ identities are a secret, which makes it easy to get around unmolested by fans, however, if they happen to forget their backstage passes, anonymity can make it tricky to get through security. The lead singer goes by Papa Emeritus III and the band members are called the Nameless Ghouls. “P.E.” dons an evil Pope costume, which makes the band controversial, and the Nameless Ghouls each wear devil masks, to create an atypical horn section.

Ghost carousel

The demonic sextet’s vision came to life in 2009, and it has released three full-length albums, including “If You Have Ghost,” a 2013 EP produced by Foo Fighters bandleader Dave Grohl, who has performed in disguise with the grisly group.

The third record, “Meliora,” was released on Aug. 21. It was produced by Sweden’s Klas Åhlund, who has worked with the spirited and startling Katy Perry.

“We started working on it a couple years back,” Nameless Ghoul told the Albuquerque Journal earlier on Ghost’s United States tour. “We wanted to set up a certain feel for the album and it all started with the art concept. It has a very 1930s vibe to it and we started hammering all the songs out.”

The band will play Friday night on “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert” on CBS.

The concept of Ghost is described in the band’s press materials:

“Rock and roll exists in two worlds: the sacred and the profane. In the first, it harkens back to a time when people worshipped their gods by wearing masks, dancing, and often in the throes of ecstatic intoxication. In the second, rock exists in the here and now, as an expression of rebellion, sex, power, and even fame. In the realm of the sacred, the ego is destroyed when the god is seen face to face. In the profane, ego is the energy that gets things done. This is the eternal spiritual conflict: the will of the gods versus human will. Those who can keep a foot in both the sacred and the profane can change the world.”

After Tuesday night’s all-ages show at the Knit, Ghost will haunt Salt Lake City on Wednesday and on Friday will play in Las Vegas’ House of Boos, er, Blues. It will be in Phoenix for Halloween on Saturday and San Diego Sunday. Then the spirits will fly to Scandinavia, Europe and the United Kingdom on its extended tour.

London’s Purson, fronted by Rosalie Cunningham, formerly of Ipso Facto, will open the show.

Purson
Purson played at the Knitting Factory in Reno, opening for Ghost.

Purson press materials: While her previous band, Ipso Facto, always had a sense of drama about it, Rosalie Cunningham moved into an even more theatrical direction with the formation of Purson. Exploring the world of proto-metal, the band weaves together influences like Cream, Deep Purple and Jethro Tull into a quasi-mystical pastiche of psychedelic wonder made up of fuzzed-out guitars and Wurlitzer organs.  Purson’s full-length debut, “The Circle and the Blue Door,  arrived on Metal Blade in 2013.
— Gregory Heaney

ABOUT Tim Parsons

Tim Parsons
Tim Parsons is the editor of Tahoe Onstage who first moved to Lake Tahoe in 1992. Before starting Tahoe Onstage in 2013, he worked for 29 years at newspapers, including the Tahoe Daily Tribune, Eureka Times-Standard and Contra Costa Times. He was the recipient of the 2011 Keeping the Blues Alive award for Journalism.

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