Swedish occult rockers GHOST will release their fifth album, “Impera”, on March 11 via Loma Vista. The official lyric video for the LP’s latest single, “Twenties”, can be streamed below.
With its messianic promises of reigns of pennies and piles of moolah set to an appropriately manic musical backdrop, the unrelenting and propulsive “Twenties” stands in stark contrast to its predecessor, the eerily hypnotic “Call Me Little Sunshine”. In fact, the apocalyptically prophetic vibe of “Twenties” — particularly its lyrical relevance to historical events unfolding on the world stage (however incidental) — render the song utterly unique in the GHOST canon.
According to a press release, “Impera” “finds GHOST transported literally hundreds of years forward from the 14th century Europe Black Plague era” of its previous album, 2018’s “Prequelle”. “The result is the most ambitious and lyrically incisive entry in the GHOST canon: Over the course of ‘Impera’‘s 12-song cycle, empires rise and fall, would-be messiahs ply their hype (financial and spiritual alike), prophecies are foretold as the skies fill with celestial bodies divine and man-made… All in all, the most current and topical GHOST subject matter to date is set against a hypnotic and darkly colorful melodic backdrop making ‘Impera’ a listen like no other — yet unmistakably, quintessentially GHOST.”
Produced by Klas Åhlund and mixed by Andy Wallace, “Impera” consists of the following 12 songs:
04. Call Me Little Sunshine
05. Hunter’s Moon
06. Watcher In The Sky
09. Darkness At The Heart Of My Love
11. Bite Of Passage
12. Respite On The Spital Fields
In a recent interview with El Paso Inc., GHOST mastermind Tobias Forge spoke his decision to record “Impera” with Åhlund, who also sat behind the desk for 2015’s acclaimed “Meliora” effort. Asked why he chose to end his streak of working with a different producer on each new GHOST LP, Tobias said: “The thing is you need to keep moving so that you don’t get stuck in friendly comfortable mode. ‘Meliora’, the record I made with Klas, was really good, but the recording and the production itself left a few things to be improved. When time came to record ‘Impera’, the writing and demoing had been done in 2020. But in early 2021, the American producer who was supposed to make the record couldn’t come because of the travel restrictions, and I couldn’t go to America. And because Klas is also a very scheduled person, he had a project lined up that fell through. All of a sudden, he had a few months off, and I was, like, ‘That is well-timed, because I don’t have a producer. Would you like to produce the record?'”
Forge worked on the follow-up to 2018’s “Prequelle” with Åhlund and Swedish co-writers Salem Al Fakir and Vincent Pontare, whose credits include Madonna and Lady Gaga.
Regarding his collaboration with Åhlund, Al Fakir and Pontare, as well as OPETH‘s Fredrik Åkesson who was brought in to sharpen the album’s guitar attack, Forge recently told St. Louis Post-Dispatch: “I found that I can work really well with someone I respect, who is always pushing for the best. They make me want to write better, to get my game up a little.”
GHOST kicked off its co-headlining tour with VOLBEAT on January 25 at the Reno Events Center in Reno, Nevada. The 26-date trek, which includes special guests TWIN TEMPLE, will conclude on March 3 in Anaheim, California.
In March 2020, at final show of GHOST‘s “Prequelle” tour in Mexico City, Mexico, the band officially introduced Papa Emeritus IV, the new character who will front the act for its next LP phase.
Forge performed as a “new” Papa Emeritus on each of the band’s first three LPs, with each version of Papa replacing the one that came before it. Papa Emeritus III was retired in favor of Cardinal Copia before the release of “Prequelle”.
Photo credit: Mikael Eriksson
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