The unholy Ghost to play Stephens Auditorium


Courtesy of Stephens Auditorium

Ghost won the Grammy award for Best Metal Performance in 2016 with “Cirice.”

Trevor Babcock

The Grammy-winning, devil-worshiping rock band, Ghost, will spread their unholy gospel at Stephens Auditorium Sunday night.

The decade-strong Swedish “ministry” is famous for their eccentric stage presence and genre spanning sacrilegious rock. Ghost’s stop in Ames, Iowa is one in many during their first headlining North American arena tour.

Five of the band’s six members are referred to as “Nameless Ghouls” and remain anonymous behind identity concealing costumes. The lead singer has performed under four incarnations of the anti-pope character “Papa Emeritus” and on Ghost’s current 2018 tour performs under the equally eerie “Cardinal Copia.”

Ghost’s lyrical and thematic content in their music is prominently satanic. Members of the band have spoke in interviews explaining their image as somewhat ironic and putting forthright that Ghost is an entertainment group. However, Ghost’s music still contains real thoughtful messages and statements to be made on religious topics.

Throughout Ghost’s four albums the band continuously makes it harder to categorize their musical style. They’ve earned various labels such as heavy metal, psychedelic rock, pop rock and arena rock. Ghost’s unique take on metal through lighter tones clashed with a ritualistic atmosphere is a creative light in the mainstream rock darkness.

“Prequelle,” Ghost’s fourth album, released in June of this year, is the band’s biggest dive into a poppier and anthemic sound, which takes influences from classic rock of the 70s and 80s. The album peaked at No. 3 on US Billboard 200 with the single “Rats” hitting number one on Billboard’s mainstream rock songs chart.

With Ghost’s increasing popularity the mainstream has grown to accept their satanic themes. The band previously unable to perform on late night television or have their music on sale in major stores eventually won a Grammy for best metal performance for “Cirice” in 2016. In 2018, the band is headlining arenas in almost every major city in the United States.

Ghost’s live shows have been described as a mesmerizing and haunting symphony-like spectacle.

The show starts at 8 p.m. on Sunday, Nov. 4. Doors open at 6 p.m. Tickets start at $27.50 and are available at Stephens Auditorium’s box office, online at or by calling 800-745-3000.