Ghost: The Most Obscure Popular Metal Band

By: Caleb Rippee

If you are a metal fan of any degree, you have probably at least heard of the band Ghost. But on the off chance that you haven’t, or you aren’t a metal fan; let me explain them to you.
Ghost is a Swedish heavy metal band that is known for wearing masks and makeup on stage, as well as keeping hidden identities (for the most part, the identity of their frontman and some of the former bandmates have been revealed.). They have adopted a dark aesthetic with their frontman, who plays a character named “Papa Emeritus” and the rest of their band dressing up as “ghouls” and wearing creepy silver masks and black clothes.

The band makes music reminiscent of 70s rock/metal with elements of keyboard and some creepy tritone stylings thrown in. Despite their dark image and dark subject matter (many of their songs are about Satan) they make fairly light music which has been criticized by many metalheads as “not really being metal”, compared to heavier bands with a less radio friendly sound.

This hasn’t stopped Ghost from becoming one of the most popular, commercially successful, metal bands of the last 5 years. In 2016 they won a Grammy for best metal performance after performing their hit song “Cirice”, and having also debuted No.3 on the Billboard Top 200 for their most recent album “Prequelle.”

Despite this though, most people don’t know about Ghost. With all the popularity they have gained and all the critical acclaim, Ghost still remains an obscure band to most regular non-metal listeners. If you approached the average person and asked them about Ghost, they would probably shrug and have no idea what you are talking about.

The reason for this might be because of their darker aesthetic, also not keeping a “superstar” image; meaning people don’t worship them like most popular artists. Despite the fact that they are much more unique performers and musicians compared to most popular artists nowadays. It truly is a wonder that they aren’t more talked about. Especially with their more radio friendly sound compared to most metal.

The band has recently released a song titled “Hunter’s Moon”, for the new Halloween Kills movie, and is possibly releasing a new album by the end of this year. Hopefully this will be another opportunity for the band to receive attention for making great music.

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