PAPA EMERITUS III
A decadent and hashaddicted poet once wrote, “What matters an eternity of damnation to someone who has found in one second the infinity of joy?” This is the only choice that matters. The devil’s fall came only after his great rebellion, a single and simple act of looking into the face of authority and saying, “I am glorious.” This was Satan’s ecstasy, but he embraced it knowing the punishment. Are you ready then, to join Papa Emeritus III in the pit, to proclaim your own splendor, feeling your wings melt as the last breath of the exclamation leaves your mouth?
Rock and roll exists in two worlds: the sacred and the profane. In the first, it harkens back to a time when people worshipped their gods by wearing masks, dancing, and often in the throes of ecstatic intoxication. In the second, rock exists in the here and now, as an expression of rebellion, sex, power, and even fame. In the realm of the sacred, the ego is destroyed when the god is seen face to face. In the profane, ego is the energy that gets things done. This is the eternal spiritual conflict: the will of the gods versus human will. Those who can keep a foot in both the sacred and the profane can change the world.
The world since he was last seen has changed. Called Moloch by some, the great industrial machine has been grinding away, grinding everything and everyone down in the process. Spies are everywhere. Their eyes are behind the screens of your televisions and devices, their ears attentive to every frequency in the air. Everything is mediated, prepackaged, and pressure sealed, your lives preordained. From the cradle to the grave, the world moves along as if there is free will, but this is the grandest illusion. There is no power beyond that which the allseeing eye controls. The gods are all dead. Even art is pure commodity. But some still fight, quietly at first, but soon they will rise and make the glorious noise of the ancients, donning their masks, these nameless ghouls led by Papa Emeritus III.
Above the shining city of Meloria, dirigibles float like angels, ever watchful. Under the
streets, Papa Emeritus III is gathering his new flock. He is a shepherd of black sheep, the
sewers are his cathedral. Here in the darkness they follow the path of the hero’s journey, the necessary travel to the underworld to become transfigured, to become something new. The journey is always painful, and some are left behind, but you cannot turn back to see what has been sacrificed. Along the way, his followers try to name him their god, but Papa Emeritus III teaches that he is only the mask, the voice.
Myth and legend are mostly dead, but some still remember the old tales of those who tried to defy the gods. It was said they stole the fire from heaven, or called themselves equal. One figure was considered so prideful he was imprisoned in a pit where he gathered a legion to plan a great rebellion. Now they are merely stories to scare children, to remind them that defiance is a sin. Papa Emeritus III will steal your breath, the parents say. He will unscrew your hands and feet. He will take your eyes.
Then one night, on the high floor of a gleaming skyscraper, whose lights are controlled to come on and off with the rising and setting of the sun, something happens. A sole window is illuminated, a tiny fist raised to heaven. And then comes sound of a beat of a drum, the strained crackle of an amplifier, and the thick chord of a guitar.
It begins with a call to “Cirice;” the once proud goddess reduced to a whore and bringer of the apocalypse is reborn. The song is a love letter to all those who have been cast out, a reminder of the divine nature in all of us. Made of star stuff, how could we be born in sin? Behind the lie of our own damnation is the truth of Papa’s love. Submission won’t be easy, but on the other side is liberation.
The hardest part will be the fall. It will mean climbing down from the gleaming skyscrapers where everything is mediated, where experience is in the streets and not in the virtual reality of our devices. Going from “The Pinnacle to the Pit” is not the punishment it was meant to be. It is freedom to struggle against injustice, to march with crowns and scepters. Here in the pit, we are all royalty now.
Papa Emeritus III is not here to lead. His journey is your own. “Majesty” is not the state that only belongs to him. He is merely the mask, the path into the fire where he has already been. The method is exactly as it has always been, down on our knees, imploring the gods, but Ghost will sound your arrival with voice, and string, and drum. The world is about to be electrified. You can fall or you can jump.
DUE IN STORES WORLDWIDE ON AUGUST 21, 2015
For each album, a Summoning1 is held to present a new singer and frontman for the Ghost project at an undisclosed location in Lincopia, Otrogathia. Papa Emeritus III,the singer for the Meliorasojourn, was revealed via a paid advertisement on VH1 Classic on May 20, 2015, during a latenight broadcast of Caddyshack.A technologically adept fan captured the moment on their phone anduploaded it to a popular videosharing web site.
But we are getting ahead of ourselves. To start with, Ghost is a 6piece rock band that was formed in Sweden in 2008.
In 2010, they released a 3track demo followed by a 7″ vinyl titled “Elizabeth,” and later their debut fulllength album Opus Eponymous.The album was widely praised and increased their popularity significantly.
Their second album Infestissumam was released in 2013. Bolstered by a fight with the Catholic Church over a hamburger that was dutifullypropagated by Fox News,Ghost’s pursuit to highlight the hypocrites and champion the individual reached a global audience. The album was also certified Gold in Sweden.
Meliora will be released worldwide on August 21, 2015. To help you understand the music, the Clergy2 enlisted A Ghoul Writer3 to describe the music. Please enjoy the following ruminations on the 10 songs of Meliora.
The idea for this album was, since first beginning writing it, to make a “futuristic / preapocalyptic”sounding record. The first written that was intended for the album, this song is meant to strike a sort of technicolor horror chord with its almost Ed Woodish scifi introduction theme.
Lyrically, this is meant as a hallucinogenic trip into the spheres of devils and demons, guided by the green muse. Think 1929, just before the crash: A New York night sky with searchlights. An office inside the Empire State Building. A bigwig sipping absinthe before jumping off the ledge of the observation deck. Face first into the pits of hell.
FROM THE PINNACLE TO THE PIT
We always have had a craving for a truly stomping riffbased song, Led Zeppelin style. Something that would sound great coming out of a car stereo standing at an American high school parking lot.
1 The Summoning What has become a biannual conclave to reveal the succession of a new lead singer in Ghost.
2 Clergy This, for lack of a better term, is the “marketing” wing of the Ghost project.
3 A Ghoul Writer an elusive individual credited with writing all of Ghost’s songs.
Lyrically, it deals with the classic tales of Icarus and Lucifer to illustrate how most ambitious souls are ultimately, according to popular belief, facing the fall.
CIRICE (pronounced Sa-reese)
Initially this song was meant as a complete doom track, with an even longer intro part (see “DEVIL CHURCH”). Since we already had some other songs that had those big choruses we figured that this might be a song where we intentionally left that out… But on a coffee break the chorus just came out of nowhere and we failed with our chorusless doom track and ended up with a somewhat heavy power ballad instead.
Lyrically, it is a simulation of the relationship between a religious authority (be it church or sect) versus the little person who cannot tell empathy from pure manipulation. All disguised as a love song.
This is the oldest song on the record, written about 8 years ago (back in 2007) and originally not intended for Ghost. We have always prided ourselves for being bold and for trying to think outside the box when it comes to how our songs are supposed to sound, but this felt a bit too far out and not as something that would fit. However, after one dazed evening in the company of friends (other musicians, from the Swedish band In Solitude and Dutch The Devil’s Blood) back in 2010, where we played demo songs for each other, we also listened through the rough demo of this song, originally entitled “Lei è” (she is). Selim from The Devil’s Blood was really insistent that the song should be recorded as a Ghost song and we had to change our minds. And we did, with a little help from our friends. We did try to make a demo of it for Infestissumam, but it never really got to a state where we felt comfortable with it, and we decided to put it aside and make better use of it in the future.
Sadly, our friend Selim committed suicide a few years later and inspired us even further to realize the song for this album.
Lyrically, it’s a Romeo & Julietesque inspired love song where one of the lovers is guiding them both over the edge in the belief that there will be someplace beautiful somewhere else where their love can prosper without the threat of the outside world. It’s a song about faith and devotion.
Selim Lemouchi (19802014)