Ghost Frontman Provides Track-By-Track Breakdown Of ‘Impera’

dr_zoidberg, CC BY-SA 2.0 , via Wikimedia Commons
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As an exclusive via Metal Hammer, Ghost frontman Papa Emeritus IV has shared a personal track-by-track guide to the band’s upcoming album Impera. Forge is also featured on the upcoming new issue of Metal Hammer.

Forge had previously shared that much of the fifth album is rooted, lyrically and subject matter-wise, in the Victorian era and involves “dark shit.” With Metal Hammer, Forge shared the following, as a means of introducing Impera:

“I think people need to understand that my albums are never conceptual in the way that King Diamond’s are. It’s never a story that starts in the beginning and finishes at the end of the story. It’s not a rock opera. To compare it to other artists, it’s more like Iron Maiden’s concept albums – like a record that loosely dabbles with the concept of pharaohs or time. On Powerslave, there are other songs that aren’t technically about pharaohs. Or like on Somewhere In Time, the songs have a chronological element in them. Impera is similar, where the songs are shining a light on various things within an empire. I guess you could say they show the cracks inside of it.”

Without further ado, here is Forge’s personal track-by-track breakdown of Impera.


“That’s meant as a national anthem opening. In the illustrations that come with the record, there’s a big city landscape and this cart rolling into town at sunrise. It has a beginning element that I like.”


“That’s the violent start of this new empire. The call to arms. Burn down everything from the past to build something new and burn the books and kill the whore.”


“This is an elegy for the darkness that most people have inside. When you have a dam, spillways are the run-offs so the dam won’t overflow. That darkness inside us needs to find its way out.”


“It’s the Devil, basically, speaking to the little person in front of his or her computer or in their little room, calling out for them, ‘I’m always here for you.’ In this context, it’s not a good thing.”


“An ode to classic horror. There was something nostalgic and longing in that track that drove me to write it. Like coming back to the playground at nighttime. Also the empire of childhood.”


“It enthusiastically explains how we can utilise science to make the world smaller and to reverse scientific things. Basically a flattened Earth, which I found amusing.”


“A segue, where we go outside the city to this vast landscape – meadows and all that, so you see another part of the empire. It’s meant to sound majestic – like some of those space movies like Dune.”


“A call to arms. It could be a very optimistic song about a future where we can grab people by the pussy and just fuck shit up. So it’s meant as a party track, if you like that stuff.”


“This is about people promoting all of these values under the guise of being God-fearing and righteous while they practise none of it. It’s just for cash and power.”


“About people who will say or do anything to advance themselves. Like these Bible-thumpers, they don’t believe in that shit. They’re boosted. They’re triple-vaccinated. If their daughter gets pregnant, do you think they’re going to keep it? Fuck no.”


(Short instrumental segue)


“About Jack the Ripper, who was never caught. As a horror fan, the Victorian era has so many cornerstones of gothic darkness. I’ve always been fond of that Victorian part of London and its dirt and industry-meets-posh, white glove aristocracy.”

Impera will be available on March 11th. The new issue of Metal Hammer featuring Forge is on sale March 3rd.


Words by: Michael Pementel