File this under Haters Gonna Hater: An extreme non-fan of Ghost wants the group to break up and has started a petition at Change.org in hopes of getting enough people to join the cause.
In his statement, titled “Shut down the Swedish retro metal band Ghost,” petitioner Sven Armdacht claims that people just starting to get into metal listen to the Ghost thinking “they are the real deal” and that said incoming fans of the genre believe that “we should forget the real bands like Black Sabbath, Judas Priest, Iron Maiden.” He also accuses Ghost of trying to “destroy real metal.”
He goes on and on complaining that Ghost is not a real metal band and that they are really more like Blue Oyster Cult than King Diamond and Mercyful Fate, the latter two of which they are often compared to. Check out the full petition here below.
We petition against Ghost of the heavy metal genre that continues to make albums and tour. Many people getting into metal think that they are the real deal and that we should forget the real bands like Black Sabbath, Judas Priest, Iron Maiden, etc. They wish to destroy real metal with their carnival music nonsense. Seriously, is a song like If You Have Ghost actually something that a real metalhead would listen to? They are not metal. People also make the erroneous claim that they are so directly inspired by King Diamond/Mercyful Fate, which is just wrong. They are, in fact, a watered-down version of BOC. We the people oppose Ghost continuing as a band, and they should be split up as soon as possible.
And here’s the wording of the petition itself that people would sign, if they felt so inclined:
To: Ghost (band)
We have petitioned to get the band Ghost to split up. We do not believe that Ghost should continue to make music. Ghost has done so much damage to real metal, so we petition that the band Ghost and their management be split up.
Ok, so what’s the deal with Ghost (or Ghost B.C., the name they have to go under in the United States for legal reasons)? Well, I’ll tell it to you straight, they look a lot scarier than they sound, that’s for sure. Their shtick is that the band members retain their anonymity by going by stage names and covering their faces. Formed in 2008, the group has been fronted by the Papa Emeritus character, a singer who appears garbed as a Satanic priest complete pontiff hat and skeletal face paint. Since late 2012, Papa Emeritus II has been in the role. Backing Papa are five instrumentalists, also heavily garbed in robes with their faces covered, who are known as The Nameless Ghouls, each having their own symbol (think of the famous Led Zeppelin runes).
If you were shown a photo of the band, but had never heard their music, you’d think, oh, they are Black Metal, no doubt about it. And a mere glance over the lyrics from their full-length albums — Opus Eponymous (2010) and Infestissumam (2013) — with odes to Lucifer and prayers to Satan – would solidify that assumption. But, nope, not Black Metal, not even close, even with lyrics such as these…
We Are Here
For Your Praise
Their music, while classified as “metal,” has a soft, melodic edge, thanks to the vocals, which do indeed sound a bit like Blue Oyster Cult, but there are those King Diamond parts, too. Musically, it’s easy to tell that they are influenced by the likes of King Diamond/Mercyful Fate, Judas Priest, Iron Maiden, and Megadeth, and their eerie keyboards lend to the Satanic ritual effect — that is, when they aren’t sounding carnivalesque, as the angry Armdacht points out in his petition.
Armdacht calls out the song “If You Have Ghost,” which the Swedish band’s 2013 EP of mostly cover tunes, If You Have Ghost. The EP was produced by Foo Fighters’ Dave Grohl, who also played drums on some tracks, and the record sounds like Grohl was behind it. (What’s funny here is that Grohl’s 2004 side project Probot was crushingly heavy and makes the likes of If You Have Ghost seem like Top 40 teenypopper music.) The 5-song EP contains 4 cover of songs by bands like ABBA and Depeche Mode — the latter of which is obviously a musical influence of Ghost — and a live version of their original song, “Secular Haze.” The covers are soft and pop-oriented and not truly indicative of the band’s own music.
The end result: Ghost is a mind-fuck. They are part performance art, part heavy metal, part bubblegum, part songs to slit your wrists to. They know how to entertain. And they have fans, plenty of them. When it comes to bands like Ghost, who assault your senses and skew your perspective, a petition against them will only make the masses more curious about them. If Mr. Armdacht truly wanted Ghost to go away, he’d have better luck if he’d just ignoe them rather than drawing more attention to them. As for the members of Ghost, I’d imagine them seeing a petition against them would tickle them pink.
You can check out their live concert from 2013 here below.
While I certainly enjoy classic metal, people should have options and the freedom to make (sometimes poor) decisions when it comes to what music they choose to listen to. If Ghost is truly terrible, they’ll fade away.
Comment by KISSman — July 18, 2014 @ 6:58 pm
The guy creating the petition is a douchbag plain and simple. He claims to be a fan of King Diamond and Mercyful Fate but completely missed the point of the performance aspect of bands/performers like that or Alice Cooper, WASP, Amon Amarth and a zillion others! Ghost create fantastic music and visually are artistic, fun, and hypnotic. How about opening your mind instead of your mouth for a change metalheads? Or else we indeed will fade into obscurity as so many have predicted because we cannot defend one another or our music! Why must everything have a label? Why must everything be forced into a corporate cubicle? Apparently, some of us learned nothing from the early 90s!
Comment by TALKHARD — July 18, 2014 @ 8:07 pm
Shouldn’t we petition “Steel Panther” too???
Comment by Dudemonster — July 19, 2014 @ 10:11 am
Musically, this band is certainly less boring than most metal bands, though not one I would choose to listen to. As for the costume schtick, I find it a bit childish. Can you say, KISS? Nothing new here.
Comment by Jeff — July 19, 2014 @ 6:44 pm
I love metal and don’t like Ghost but this petition is just elitist nonsense.
Comment by aholsteinson — July 19, 2014 @ 10:02 pm
I can hit him in the head at 1000 yards.
Comment by Maximillian Tsane — May 18, 2017 @ 10:18 pm
Ok, I got into metal in the 807s,, I sure as hell didn’t call Winger the real deal.. Give the kids a
Comment by Josh Corrington — March 1, 2018 @ 10:33 am