GHOST was forced to cut short its performance at the French festival Hellfest last night (Saturday June 18), as frontman Tobias Forge lost his voice.
GHOST live at Hellfest 2022
After performing the song “Dance Macabre” in Clisson, Forge told the audience: “My voice is completely screwed up. I can’t sing another song for you.”
As a result, GHOST was unable to perform what was the closing track of the band’s recent shows, “Square Hammer.” Prior to Hellfest, GHOST last performed at the final concert of their European headlining tour on May 18 in Budapest, Hungary.
Earlier in the night from Saturday to Sunday, GHOST performed the song “Griftwood” live for the first time, taken from the group’s latest album, “Impera”. The track takes aim at Donald Trump-era US Vice President Mike Pence, who led Christian evangelicals to become apologists for what many believe to be the most destructive president of modern times, while preaching the righteousness and kindness.
“This song is about him and all those who, like him, are ready to dirty all that they have worked for”, explained Forge to the magazine Kerrang! earlier in the year. “They definitely deserve a front row ticket to hell. Which is so ironic, because that’s what they believe in. [Les gens comme ça] put themselves down, and eat shit out of someone’s ass in order to achieve what they’re trying to achieve.
“Again, he is the symbol of people of all times, whose purpose is tied to some kind of religion,” Tobias continues. “He’s known as some kind of Bible man, believing he has strong faith, and he’s just a horrible, horrible person in every way. He’s trying to tell the world that he’s serving God, that he’s on the good side. When in the end, the only thing he wants is power. But it’s not necessarily just about him. It’s about people like him: lots of politicians, lots of preachers, lots of clerics throughout the history of time.”
Last March, GHOST’s fifth album “Impera” sold 70,000 equivalent album units in the United States in its first week of release to land at number two on the Billboard 200 chart. This is the third album to break into the top 10 – and fifth to break into the top 40 – for the Swedish occult rock band.
“Impera” reached number one in Germany and Sweden, number two in the UK, Netherlands, Belgium and Norway, number three in Australia, number five in France and Ireland, and number twenty in Italy. .
“Impera” was released on March 11. The 12-song effort was produced by Klas Åhlund and mixed by Andy Wallace.
Forge worked on the sequel 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 fine-tune the album’s guitar attack, Forge told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch “I’ve found that I can work really well with someone I respect, who always pushes to do their best. They make me want to write better, to raise my level of play a little”.
Forge performed as the “new” Papa Emeritus on each of GHOST’s first three LPs, with each version of Papa replacing the one before it. Papa Emeritus III was retired in favor of Cardinal Copia ahead of the release of “Prequelle.”