Over the history of the entertainment industry, musicians have capitalized off of creating alter-egos and eccentric personas that are used to connect with their targeted audiences. Some of these personalities that rock bands create usually expand upon their own characteristics and quirks, while others are completely manufactured to appeal to the latest trends. To be wild, different, and rebellious has always attracted fans, and with Ghost BC – some people aren’t sure if the group is using Satanism as a “tongue-and-cheek” way to sell music, or if they are truly spreading the word and promoting Satanic values.
With song titles like “Per Aspera ad Inferi” (From Hardship to Hell) and “Depth of Satan’s Eyes,” it’s no wonder that people are identifying the Swedish band Ghost (known as Ghost BC in the United States) as a group that promotes Satanism. To make matters worse, the group’s CD also mentions Belial, Behemoth, Beelzebub, Asmodeus, Satanas, Lucifer, Hail Satan, and Archangelo.
Formed in 2008, Ghost BC has been making a few rounds throughout the United States this summer, and with them comes their eccentric stage presence. Five of the six members in the groups wear hooded robes, and the vocalist, who goes by the name of Papa Emeritus, dresses as a Roman Catholic Cardinal and has the make-upped appearance of a skull upon his face. The identities of the group members are intentionally secretive – never disclosing their names to the public. When referring to the musicians, they are called Nameless Ghouls. The group has been classified as representing stoner rock, heavy metal, and doom metal, but one thing is for sure – Satan is present one way or the other.
When asked about the lyrics and symbolic appearances of the group, a Nameless Ghoul with Ghost BC answered, “From a Biblical [sic] belt point of view, yes we are. 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.” One of the musicians has also admitted to the group ‘partaking’ in rituals at all times, which vaguely highlights a connection to something spiritual or religious without directly aligning the group with a specific affiliation.
Nonetheless, it’s pretty hard to ignore the lyrics and actions of the group that clearly point to a Satanic influence. This includes:
• Instead of signing their names, the group uses stamps when giving out autographs. Most are a series of triangles – right-side up, upside-down, and in different configurations with line incorporated. For instance, the upside down triangle “signature” is known as the alchemy sign for water.
• The members of the group dress to mock the Roman Catholic Church, and appear with reversed imagery that worships Satan instead of the Holy Trinity.
• The group’s lyrics are blatantly Satanic, where their first album concentrates on the “forthcoming arrival of the Devil” – taking on the stance as if doomsday is closing in soon.
• A group member revealed that their newest album focuses on the “presence of the Devil and the presence of the Antichrist.”
This year, the band made the announcement that they had changed their name to ‘Ghost BC’ in the United States because of legal reasons. One of the Nameless Ghouls revealed that B.C. was an obvious pun on ‘Before Christ,’ but mentioned that they’d prefer to call themselves Ghost whenever referencing their music, records, or existence.
The group has been appearing across the nation on several different tours. Throughout the U.S., the group participated in their Haze Over North America tour, which started at the Coachella Festival on April 12. They have since performed with the likes of Skeletonwitch, Slayer, and Iron Maiden. On July 15, 2013, it was officially announced that the group would perform as the opening act for a U.S. tour with Avened Sevenfold in the fall.