A battle for the ages is brewing in this week’s ARIA Charts as operatic metal icons Ghost take on The Wiggles & friends in a no holds barred battle for the #1 spot ahead of Friday’s results.
The Wiggles are in contention (currently sitting at #1 in the mid-week charts) with their covers album ReWiggled; a multi-generational spanning release which is split into two parts – one features various artists such as DZ Deathrays, The Chats, Dami Im, Custard, Spacey Jane and more performing classic Wiggles songs, and the other consists of The Wiggles tackling big hits from acts like Queen, Fatboy Slim, AC/DC, Dropkick Murphys and their earworm mashup of Tame Impala‘s ‘Elephant‘ meets “Fruit Salad‘. If you have kids, you’ll know every single word to that aforementioned tune, but not by choice…
Ghost‘s new offering Impera on the other hand (currently at #2 on the mid-week charts) – which scored a perfect 10/10 by WoS writer KJ Draven – is continuously winning over fans (new and old) with a collection of fresh & unique melodic metal/rock anthems that we can only imagine will sound incredible in a live setting when we finally get to lay our eyes and ears on the band again. Their last trip down under was for Download Festival and its Brisbane sideshow in 2019 (revisit our gig review here).
In terms of Impera‘s place in the back catalogues of Ghost canon, KJ also stated:
“As a follow up to Prequelle it is right on the money, and it’s heavier than their last EP release (which featured ‘Kiss the Go-Goat’), so those in the clergy who were thrown off by that should come back and pray at the altar once more…”
So now, more than ever is the perfect time to jump in on the band’s hype train, especially if you’ve come and gone throughout the years the band has been active.
Time has been limited with frontman Tobias Forge aka Papa Emeritus IV and his Nameless Ghouls, but in an interview provided to media by the label, the charismatic Swedish man behind the vocal performance went into detail about the album’s themes and inspirations:
“Visually, it’s supposed to be echoing the late 1800s sort of industrialism and London and England with such a perfect example of exactly that Victorian industrialism and, you know, the hope for the future. And but also, you know, the downsides of industrialism where you know you make people superfluous, you know, which is kind of similar to today. A lot of our angst in society, it’s because a lot of us has been, you know, replaced by machines. You know, that’s practical in one way, but not everyone is reaping the benefits from being replaced from machine. So you end up having a lot of people with a lot of time to think about this, that and the other. And I don’t think that we’re really cut out for all that time to ponder that much, because that leads to anger and discontent and lack of purpose. And when people have lack of purpose, that’s when they start thinking that maybe we should reinstate the flat Earth because flat Earth was so much better than this new world. I don’t like the new world. I wanted to become what it was.”
For those who have been questioning the band’s evolution in heaviness over the years, Forge also discussed with the record label the way the music is conceived and how in the end, the process will decide if it’s going to be a heavier or softer track:
“I just try to write, you know, around 10 interesting songs that I haven’t written before, and I try to write the song to the best of my ability in the way that I think serves the song to be as good as it can get. And sometimes the song is asking to be softer, and sometimes the song is asking to be harder. It’s kind of like solving a riddle. When I write music, it feels almost like finding something that you need to excavate and explore…”
So whether you’re a fan of the beautiful melodic side of Ghost, the always outlandish (and large scale) production or the soothing dulcet tones of Tobias Forge – there is something for everyone in this band and album. If you haven’t jumped on board yet, give it a spin this week!
Words by Paul ‘Browny’ Brown
Stream/purchase Impera here
Ghost – Impera tracklisting:
4. Call Me Little Sunshine
5. Hunter’s Moon
6. Watcher In The Sky
9. Darkness At The Heart Of My Love
10. Grift Wood
11. Bite Of Passage
12. Respite On The Spital Fields