Photos by: Jim Gilbert/JTGPhoto.com
Happy New Year, or Happy Halloween – which ever you choose. Today, Upstate Metal turns it’s focus on a band whose flamboyant theatrics for making a mockery out of the Catholic Church turns every day into Halloween. When Ghost B.C. takes to the stage, people notice.
“What the hell is this?” recalls Upstate Metal photographer and editor, Jim Gilbert, who captured this Swedish heavy metal band earlier this year in at Rock on the Range in Columbus, Ohio. “It was Latin Catholic Church gone bad or gone good. It made me take notice.” Ghost B.C. are easily recognizable due to their unique on-stage presence. A six-piece band comprised of five musicians donned in hooded robes, while the vocalist appears in skull make-up, dressed as a Roman Catholic Cardinal. The nature of their identities is highly secretive and their names have not been publicly disclosed; the vocalist calls himself Papa Emeritus and the musicians are referred to only as Nameless Ghouls. Musically, the band is often compared to groups such as The Doors, Black Sabbath, Blue Öyster Cult, Mercyful Fate and Kyuss.
Off stage, they continue to shock. Should you dare visit their Facebook page, they describe themselves as a group who “performs pop hymns that glorify and glamorize the disgusting and sacrilegious. “Ghost is the name of a devil worshiping ministry, that in order to spread its unholy gospels and, furthermore, trick mankind into believing the end is ultimately a good thing, have decided to use the ever so popular rock music medium as a way to achieve their ends.”
The act hasn’t been off-putting. In 2010, they were nominated for a Grammis, which is the Swedish equivalent to our Grammy, for their debut album, Opus Eponymous. Nonetheless, the subject matter by which the group sings is a bone of contention for many who worship Christianity, which has a following of 2.2 billion strong.
“If Not For Those Satanic Lyrics, Ghost B.C. Could Be Superstars,” read a headline out of New York City’s The Village Voice in July. Though it appears that most critics recognize this as just an act. The Voice likened Ghost B.C. to something familiar to KISS from the ’70s and early ’80s. Nonetheless, one of the nameless ghouls agreed how some perceive the band to be, and does not argue, “From a ‘Bible Belt’ point of view, yes we are [Satanics]. Because if you’re talking to someone who is a very God-fearing devout Christian with all that comes with it, obviously that person would deem us being complete blasphemy and an abomination to everything they considered dear and holy.”
Perfect material to rebel against your parents.
Infantissumam, their follow-up to their debut album, came out this April.