Ghost Unveil New ‘Papa Emeritus IV’ Character

Swedish rockers Ghost anointed their newest leader at Mexico City’s Palacio de los Deportes last night during the final show in support of their ‘Prequelle’ album.

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Photo courtesy of Spinefarm Records

The Swedish metal act introduced their new ghoulish leader during the final show of their Prequelle tour.

After much speculation, Cardinal Copia has been promoted. Swedish rockers Ghost anointed their newest leader at Mexico City’s Palacio de los Deportes last night during the final show in support of their Prequelle album.

In a dramatic twist halfway through the 18-song set, Papa Nihil “died” on stage in the middle of his ‘Miasma’ saxophone solo. Immediately after, ABBA’s ‘Arrival’ came on the arena’s PA system while the Sisters of Sin surrounded frontman Tobias Forge, who transformed from his most recent incarnation of Cardinal Copia into Papa Emeritus IV.

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Following the theatrical performance, Ghost announced their new leader on Instagram and confirmed that Papa Emeritus IV and the seven Nameless Ghouls will be taking some time off. “Gracias México City for your hospitality and warmth. We couldn’t pick a better place to witness the anointment of Cardinal Copia to Papa Emeritus IV,” the band captioned. “Papa and the ghouls are incredibly thankful for all your wonderful gifts. Looking forward to seeing all of you in 2021.” Fans are already speculating about the group’s next album.

Since Ghost’s 2010 debut, Forge has played the part of multiple satanic priests, leading his fans through a demonic worship service at every show. Each incarnation of Papa Emeritus has risen with every new album, though Cardinal Copia broke the trend as the leader for Prequelle. Nevertheless, fans have been anticipating a change in guard since Forge teased the new character last autumn.

The band, which hails from Linköping, Sweden, have been on and off the road since mid-2018, opening for Guns N’ Roses for a one-off date in Oslo, Norway, and joining Metallica on their WorldWired Tour in the summer of 2019. They closed out 2019 with a headlining tour of Europe and announced that the 3 March Mexico City date would be their only show of 2020, as well as the final performance in support of Prequelle.

Released in June 2018, the Grammy-nominated Prequelle marks Ghost’s fourth studio album, and remains their highest-charting debut to-date, landing at No.3 on the Billboard 200. The album produced two chart-topping singles, ‘Dance Macabre’ and ‘Rats’—nominated for Best Rock Song at the 61st annual Grammy Awards—as well as ‘Faith’ which peaked at No.6 on the Billboard Mainstream Rock Songs chart. Forge, who only revealed his own identity in Ghost in 2017, has confirmed to several outlets that he will be working on a fifth studio album this year.

Listen to the best of Ghost on Apple Music and Spotify.

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