Sunday, February 3, 2013

Ghost--new upcoming album, teaser single, singer-switchover-ceremony, conspiracy theory

Ghost is poised to release a new album, and way they've been leading up to it has been very impressive and entertaining. By releasing bits of information here and there, they leave a breadcrumb trail for fans to follow, in keeping with their theme of converting fans to flock.

It's impressive to me from a PR and marketing standpoint. Ghost wants you do some digging to discover them, and when you do, they give you moments of simultaneous excitement and dreadful fear.

They do this musically, as well, completing the theme in a very circular fashion, synchronizing sound & image--you hear them and immediately think, 'Huh, that's not so bad--pretty cool seventies-style heavy rock with a nice, mellow yet clear singer and a modern sensibility.' But then you listen to what they're saying and see what they look like live, and it takes on an entirely new meaning. They make sure you become invested in them and then drop a bomb on you. It's genius.

At that point of true Ghost discovery, every fan has to make a choice as to whether or not to listen to Ghost, and Christians particularly should have a hard time with this. The band writes lyrics promoting Satan in the same style that Christians use lyrics to promote Jesus, turning the church service upside down, or rather displaying a mirror-image of one.

In considering this, one should keep in mind that this is all a money-making venture for the band. Whether or not they believe in what they're saying, a reason to respect them is they don't cut corners as per their releases, live & interview appearances, and perhaps most importantly their online presence. As such they run their operation quite well. They play their cards close to their chest and their record company is seemingly helping them as per media direction. So of course they're gonna make a lot of money.

But at this point one has to wonder--how much is the business of music being integrated with Satan? Is the band akin to Famine from Gaiman & Pratchett's Good Omens?

To this I answer--an infinitesimal, tiny, tiny, tiny amount to that which it's been integrated with Jesus. So who's worse?

This, I believe, is a question central to the Ghost experience.

(OMG brutally good idea--a modern Good Omens movie for which Ghost provides the soundtrack!)

Leading up to their sophomore album "INFESTISSUMAM," Ghost hired a guy to create a preview/teaser website somehow containing the new single they've been playing live lately, SECULAR HAZE, and he wrote a blog entry about it. Very cool, until you get into all that coding language and your brain says, "No, you're not gonna go to school for two years in order learn to read that right now."

The site with the candles and the individual tracks was particularly striking to Megan and I, both huge Ghost fans, as we came across it innocently one night about a month or so ago. At first I was just highlighting one of the candles and we were like, "Wow, circus music. Great. Ghost's new direction is like Heroes's last season=shit piled on shit."

Then we moved to the other candles and were like, "Aaaaahhh!" We had that really impressed, 'Ah-ha' moment, realizing what Ghost was doing, how they were fucking with us, and how badass the whole thing was, with the scary clock ticking in the middle the whole time. Well-played, Ghost.

Check out this video from this Swedish website. They're a Swedish-based entertainment news org. Recently, Ghost switched singers, and they had a sort of singer-switchover ceremony, live. On-stage.

Need I say more?

Admittedly my, "OH HELL NO" reflexes went off the first time I heard they were changing singers. I'm delighted to report, dear readers, that I cannot immediately discern any difference between Papa Emeritus I and II. It seems like they tried very hard to get someone who looked and sounded like the original Papa Emeritus. I mean, he sounds really, really similar. It's eerie. It's like he was created in a vat of Cylon-resurrection slime with Papa I's DNA.

Megan and I got to thinking, What if they didn't switch singers at all and ARE JUST FUCKING WITH US?

It would be beyond genius, and I've got their whole scheme figured out. First, the original Papa Emeritus I stays offstage, singing along to the band playing onstage. Second, they've got some other schmuck, whom we'll now refer to as Imposter Papa Emeritus I, in the real Papa Emeritus I/ Imposter Papa Emeritus II's usual white, evil-Pope garb, but lip-synching with a mic that's turned off, onstage and acting the part, while the real Papa Emeritus I/ Imposter Papa Emeritus II is backstage, singing what the crowd is hearing.

Third--the mic handover. It goes like this: fake Papa Emeritus I hands mic over to Original Papa Emeritus I/ Imposter Papa Emeritus II, sound guy turns mic on. Papa I continues singing, but onstage.

I don't think they actually did that, by the way.