Ghost is teasing the arrival of a “new” Papa Emeritus in a three-minute video clip titled “Chapter One: New Blood.”
In the clip, an aged Papa Emeritus Zero is confronted by Sister Imperator, who asks about Papa’s health and congratulates him on his accomplishments. But she also acknowledges that a fresh, youthful Papa is now needed — and as the clip ends, the silhouette of the band’s “new” leader can be glimpsed arriving behind a door, bathed in red light.
The last Papa, Papa Emeritus III, was forcibly taken from the stage during the final show of the band’s Meliora tour cycle last fall, with Papa Zero arrived to announce the beginning of “the Middle Ages.” Of course, all the Papas — except the elder Zero — are the same man, Ghost founder and vocalist Tobias Forge.
Forge’s new alter ego, Papa Emeritus IV, will make his live debut on May 5th as the Swedish band kicks off a run of North American dates in Riverside, California.
The “Rats On The Road” trek, as it’s called, will be in support of the group’s fourth studio LP, which was completed earlier this year. Details on a title, first single and release date have yet to be shared. The new Ghost album will tentatively be released in June and follows up the band’s 2015 album Meliora and the 2016 EP Popestar. Meliora was Ghost’s commercial breakthrough in the U.S. and featured the Grammy-winning hit single “Cirice.”
Forge told Revolver that the upcoming set is “loosely themed around the concept of death and doom. It’s a themed album around medieval times, but it’s definitely clinging onto a lot of very current things.”