More unchristian parody than unchained melody
Something wicked this way comes, and its name is Ghost BC.
Appropriately named, the group creates music that is as creepy as it is haunting. Hailing from Sweden, Ghost made waves as a heavy metal band when they formed in 2008, and they have since gathered a massive cult appreciation for their sound as well as their stage presence. No show is without smoke machines and mystery.
Their sound is hauntingly spiritual with a dark metal twist. Take, for example, the group’s cover of The Beatles classic ‘Here Comes the Sun’. The original evokes hope and happiness, but Ghost BC have converted it into something melancholic and bizarre. The juxtaposed lyrics and thick guitar and drums create an almost uncomfortable sound that you don’t know what to do with. It’s jarring, but you can’t help being intrigued.
And Ghost BC do their best to stay intriguing. Most notably, the group don full robes and hoods to prevent anyone from knowing their real identity. Five of the six members wear dark, obscuring robes, while the lead vocalist comes on-stage with a skull painted on his face, in a cardinal’s hat and dress.
Rumours abound about the members of Ghost BC. The real names of the members are completely unknown, but the five instrumentalists in black go by the collective ‘Nameless Ghouls’, and the frontman is known by the pseudonym ‘Papa Emeritus II’, formerly known as simply ‘Papa Emeritus’.
If you hadn’t deduced it thus far, Ghost BC’s music is highly religious in its content. Their first album, released in 2010, is named Opus Eponymous, and the opening track is ‘Deus Culpa’, Latin for ‘God’s fault’. The obvious reference to the papacy in the lead vocalist’s moniker is on the verge of being ridiculous.
In the recent Vatican elections, the group took their religiosity and turned it into a gimmick for their fans. Urging them to “vote Papa Emeritus for pope” online, the band promised a stream of a new song off their soon-to-be-released album Infestissumam (which means ‘hostile’ in Latin) in return.
The group have yet another bonus for fans: Dave Grohl, of Foo Fighters and Nirvana fame, has teamed up with Ghost BC, and together they covered one of ABBA’s creepier and more dramatic tracks, ‘I’m a Marionette’. The effect is wholly unexpected in just how well the sound meshes. It’s darker and edgier, and Grohl’s drum skills take the song to the next level.
While they’ve been − predictably − compared to the likes of Black Sabbath and Blue Öyster Cult, Ghost BC bring a sound wholly their own. They may be all about the doom and gloom, but don’t be misled into thinking they are just another metal band to come out of Sweden. They’re sure to put you in a ghostly trance at Amager Bio.
Amager Bio, Øresundsvej 6, Cph S