The Rapids Theatre in Niagara Falls, NY was the latest location for the “Mass of the Dark Lord.” The mega-hyped Swedish metal band Ghost brought its ghoulish show to a throng of rabid fans. The sold-out show attracted fans from as far away as Vancouver, BC and Europe. If you denounce Ghost as a devil-worshipping cult, leading fans into the darkness, I command you to put on one of their albums and listen to the music. Everything about Ghost is well-crafted. Their image is creative, to say the least, with masked and robed ghouls as band members, the eclectic Papa Emeritus III as lead singer, and a smoky, incense filled, church-like stage. The band has remained anonymous, refusing to identify themselves by name other than earthly elements of Earth, Air, Water, and Alpha and Omega. Papa Emeritus III is obviously the third incarnation of the lead singer’s character.
What Ghost is really about is the music. Their 3 albums and 1 EP form a story of the rise of Satan as a leader, worthy of your faith. On the surface, it is a scary story for the mainstream media to accept. For Ghost fans, however, the music is more powerful than the message. The crowd that packed the Rapids Theatre last Sunday was not there to worship the Devil. There were no Satanic rituals performed on the sidewalk. No animals were sacrificed. No blood was seen. The crowd was there to see a great show and listen to Ghost music. They delivered in a big way. From the opening chords of “Spirit,” fists punched the air and the crowd sang every lyric of every song. This was a fiercely loyal crowd. Each song was met with a roar of approval and “Papa E” led the faithful in what seemed like a sing-a-long at times. Halfway through the show, he ditched the Robe and Papal Mitre, and led the crowd through a mass of heavy metal worship. His delivery is not of the screaming, head-banging style of most other metal bands. It is deliberate and slow. His voice is clear and the lyrics and easily understandable. Songs like “Stand By Him”, “Cirice”, “Year Zero” and “Mummy Dust” whipped the crowd into a frenzy. By the time the closing “Ritual” and encore of “Monstrance Clock” were over, the fans were a mass of sweat and screams, left wanting more. The Ghouls and P.E. thanked them and then vanished, as any real Ghost would do.
Pinnacle to the Pit
Stand By Him
Con Clavi Con
Per Aspera Ad Inferi
Body and Blood
Year Zero & (Outro)
If You Have Ghosts (Roky Erickson cover)
We would like to thank Marc Violino from the Rapids Theatre for the credentials to review the show.