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Ghost Debut New Track “Kaisarion” Live, Discuss Lyrical Inspiration For New Album “Impera”


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Swedish theatrical metal band Ghost played their first live show in roughly two years last night (January 25th), kicking off their co-headlining U.S. tour with Volbeat. That show saw the world premiere of a new track titled “Kaisarion” from the group’s upcoming album “Impera” (out March 11th,) along with the live debuts of the previously released single “Hunter’s Moon” and cover of Metallica‘s “Enter Sandman“. In addition to that, the opening track to “Impera“, “Imperium“, was played over the P.A. as an intro to the band’s set.

As expected, the latest front persona Papa Emeritus IV helmed the set, which also featured an updated almost steampunk-inspired look for the rotating cast of Nameless Ghouls that backed him. Fan-filmed footage of some of those performances can be found below.

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In other news, the band’s mastermind of many faces Tobias Forge was recently interviewed for a cover story newly published over at Kerrang!. In it, he discussed the inspiration for “Kaisarion“:

“There was a building called Caesareum in ancient Alexandria. Roughly what happened was that the teacher and philosopher, Hypatia, was murdered by Christians. She was molested and murdered inside the building, because of her pagan beliefs, because she was a believer in science and real things. This was in the beginning stages of Christianity, when it was just an insane cult, before it got the mandate of a book put together by Romans in 325 to harness that shit.

This was like an underground group of terrorists, basically, who couldn’t stand to see some female smartass preaching or telling people that the world wasn’t flat. And it didn’t happen at the same time, but they also burned down the big library in Alexandria, which must have been an enormous, enormous loss for mankind in terms of knowledge and historic accounts. There you go – for the greater good.

I think that’s a nice symbol for what you can see now. You can see likenesses of it in public book burnings and stoning and killing everything that doesn’t match with a sort of a flat Earth reality that some people live in. Or storming the Capitol and wanting to hang people. It’s a symbol for those sorts of movements that are always targeting smartness and enlightenment, and thinking.”

While “Impera” overall draws its inspiration from the eventual fall of empires over the years, Forge saw fit to contrast that cycle to the modern times we find ourselves in. According to the above feature, he chose to write the song “Grift Wood” about religiously aligned politicians like former United States Vice President Mike Pence. He elaborated:

“That song’s about him and anyone like him who’s willing to soil everything they’ve worked for. They definitely qualify for a front-row ticket to Hell. Which is so ironic, because that’s what they believe in. [People like that] completely demean themselves, and just eat shit out of someone’s ass in order to achieve whatever they’re trying to achieve.

Again, he stands as a symbol for people of all times, where the end game is wrapped with some sort of religious [thing]. He’s known as this sort of Bible thumper, believing that he has strong faith, and he’s just this awful, awful person in any way. He tries to tell the world that he serves God, that he’s part of the good side. Whereas at the end of the day, the only thing he wants is power. But it doesn’t have to necessarily be all about him. It’s about people like him: a lot of politicians, lot of preachers, a lot of clergymen throughout the history of time.”

Speaking earlier in that discussion about the overarching theme of “Impera“, Forge offered:

“We live in a time right now, where we believe that history is a thing of the past, and everything that we live through here and going forward is eternal. Which is not true. Maybe we have the foundation of a society that could remain for some time and function. But unfortunately, if you look through history, there’s a natural cycle where a society is built up, and then it’s sort of perfected, perfected, perfected.

And then it usually falls apart. Even the ones that are dictatorships, they also crumble. Everywhere where there’s a dictator, and everywhere where there’s the system, it usually falls apart after a while because people always want to build where they’re standing. And any tower that gets too big or too high, it falls over. That’s the cycle of things.

So, in a way, you have to destroy to rebuild. But that doesn’t mean necessarily that you have to level everything into gravel. The past couple of years, we’ve been regressing so hard. A lot of the things that almost felt like fiction, like a lot of our lyrical content that seemed like we were singing about things that happened in the past and way in the distance, now are, like, ‘Wow, this is all over the place!’ People are really working hard to destroy progress and ultimately create a time machine that will set us back hundreds of years in terms of mental evolution.”

You can find a lot more from Forge on “Impera” via Kerrang!.

Last night’s setlist ran as follows:

Kaisarion
Rats
From The Pinnacle To The Pit
Mary On A Cross
Devil Church
Cirice
Hunter’s Moon
Faith
Helvetesfönster
Year Zero
Ritual
Mummy Dust
Kiss The Go-Goat
Enter Sandman” (Metallica cover)
Dance Macabre
Square Hammer

Ghost‘s U.S. tour with Volbeat and Twin Temple runs as follows:

01/27 Seattle, WA – Climate Pledge Arena
01/28 Nampa, ID – Ford Idaho Center Arena
01/29 Portland, OR – Veterans Memorial Coliseum
01/31 West Valley City, UT – Maverik Center
02/02 Denver, CO – Ball Arena
02/04 Lincoln, NE – Pinnacle Bank Arena
02/05 Minneapolis, MN – Target Center
02/07 Columbus, OH – Nationwide Arena
02/08 Hershey, PA – GIANT Center
02/10 Newark, NJ – Prudential Center
02/11 Worcester, MA – DCU Center
02/12 Camden, NJ – BB&T Pavilion
02/14 Pittsburgh, PA – Petersen Events Center
02/15 Toledo, OH – Huntington Center
02/16 Grand Rapids, MI – Van Andel Arena
02/18 Chicago, IL – Allstate Arena
02/19 Cincinnati, OH – Heritage Bank Center
02/20 Milwaukee, WI – Fiserv Forum
02/21 St. Louis, MO – Chaifetz Arena
02/23 Independence, MO – Cable Dahmer Arena
02/25 Houston, TX – Smart Financial Centre at Sugar Land
02/26 Dallas, TX – Fair Park Coliseum
02/28 El Paso, TX – Don Haskins Center
03/01 Phoenix, AZ – Footprint Center
03/03 Anaheim, CA – Honda Center

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