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Ghost’s Next Album Might Take a Shot at Online Metal Media

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We already knew the next Ghost album is going to be dark; in an interview early last year, a Nameless Ghoul (actually Tobias Forge, aka Papa Emeritus) spoke about its lyrical themes being centered around the height of civilization, the extreme opulence before the inevitable decline.

In a new interview with Revolver, Forge elaborated a bit on that concept, saying:

“It is loosely themed around the concept of death and doom. It’s a themed album around medieval times, but it’s definitely clinging onto a lot of very current things.

“The Black Death [plague] is a great example of a turning point for a whole civilization. Complete villages were annihilated. Most people knew very little, so all of it was God or the Devil – and about their faith being questioned: ‘Why are we being stricken down by this great scourge? It must be because of our not fearing God enough and all this superstitious bullshit.’

“There’s a lot that you would recognize today in online mannerisms. In many ways, we’ve gone back a few steps because now it’s closer to how it was back in the old days when people were standing at the square and all of a sudden, it’s like in Monty Python’s ‘Life of Brian’: ‘Stone him! Ra! Ra! Ra!’ Public trials are very unsupervised and extremely swift and speak to the most primordial parts of us.”

That last paragraph is particularly interesting, and taken in conjunction with the one before it, Forge seems to be suggesting that “online mannerisms” and “public trial” by internet jury are similar, in a way, to The Black Death, in their ability to take down civilization as we know it.

Could Forge be talking about online culture in general, and the way there is very little in the way of actual discourse, just people yelling their immobile viewpoints at one another? Well, yeah. But given his very own public trial by fire in light of the lawsuit brought against him by former members of Ghost, there’s a good chance he’s referencing (at least in part) the way the metal media and metal fans in general have been quick to accuse him of all the things the former band members are suing him for even though an official trial in Sweden’s court system has yet to take place. He could also be talking about the Decapitated rape trial case. And does he have a point there? Yeah, sure, he does; we don’t know all the facts about either of those two cases. But the same forces that led to that public outlash — the very nature of the internet — are the ones that allowed his band’s popularity to spread across the world in record time. So it’s really a double-edged sword.

Then again, for all we know Forge really could just be talking about the way viewers of Fox News are quick to blame Obama for everything or whatever. I guess we’ll see when the album comes out.

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