From The Pit! Ghost @ El Corazon - 10/20/15

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By Grady Tyree

Ghost, or Ghost BC, as they were previously known, are smack dab in the middle of their 2015 North American tour, dubbed ‘Black To The Future’, supporting their third LP, Meliora, and the third incarnation of their frontman, with Papa Emeritus III helming the microphone and transfixing their audiences across the country. I had the chance to see Papa Emeritus III and his Nameless Ghouls don the small stage at El Corazon and preach to their choir… a very packed, sweaty and energetic choir!

This is the second time Ghost has graced the stage of El Corazon and on this night, the band unpacked their gear as if they were playing across town on a larger stage as both sides of the stage were flanked with large lighting rigs that flooded the cramped venue with vibrant blue, purple and red lights that accentuated the menacing masks on stage. Following a twenty-minute intro that featured classical compositions evoking apprehension, the Nameless Ghouls crept out from the shadows to face a sold-out crowd…

As the Nameless Ghouls perched themselves across the stage, they ripped into the first two cuts from Meliora – “Spirit” and the charging “From The Pinnacle To The Pit” – before revisiting a few cuts from Opus Eponymous (“Ritual” and “Con Clavi Con Dio”), followed by two songs from their sophomore release, Infestissumam. The crowd roared with pleasure as Papa Emeritus III led the congregation in song, stepping out in his “demonic anti-Pope” ensemble, in all black. The Nameless Ghouls were roaming the stage like jackals, hammering out power riffs that harkened back to the days of Black Sabbath and Mercyful Fate. The band jumped back into newer songs, playing “Devil Church” and “Cirice” before Papa Emeritus III disappeared, only to re-emerge sans Pope outfit and lead his followers in a beautiful rendition of their single, “Year Zero”! It was followed by “He Is”, which I can only describe as a gospel hymn for Satan… and the crowd was all-in, holding up their hands as if they were feeling the energy from the Dark Lord himself as the band serenaded the flock.

The night ended with a few more songs from the new album (“Absolution” and “Mummy Dust”) as well as crowd favorites “Zombie Queen” and their cover of Roky Erickson’s “If You Have Ghosts,” a haunting track that would be a perfect fit into any Halloween playlist! The band did emerge for one encore, as they covered “Monstrance Clock” from Dead Can Dance. All in all, if you live on the West Coast or in the Southwest corner of the country, go and see this awesome show! Ghost are not to be missed, ever.