The 20 greatest Ghost songs – ranked

From Opus Eponymous to Prequelle, we rank the greatest compositions from Ghost.

The 20 greatest Ghost songs – ranked

Undoubtedly the breakout band in heavy music over the past decade, it’s been a wild ride for Swedish creeps Ghost . Melding elements of hard rock, doom, classic metal, psychedelia and outright guitar-pop – then daubing on the corpsepaint – their combination of deceptively digestible sound, occultist ethos and anti-ecumenical aesthetic has captured the imagination of music fans and sling-shotted their live 'rituals' into arenas on both sides of the Atlantic.

Of course, mysterious mainman Tobias Forge (aka Papa Emeritus I-IV, aka Cardinal Copia) has had his struggles. In 2013, the band was forced to temporarily rebrand as Ghost B.C. for legal reasons in the U.S. The initially intriguing, fluid anonymity of his bandmates’ Nameless Ghoul personas (even Dave Grohl apparently once donned the cowl) became a sticking point, too, as the collective sued Tobias in 2017, failing in their suit but also dispelling some of the precious mystique.

That Tobias has endured – not just surviving, but flamboyantly thriving in the heightened spotlight – feels like proof his band are here to stay. New music is eagerly anticipated in the not-so-distant future but, for now, we rank the 20 tracks on which Ghost have built their unholy empire thus far...

20 Mummy Dust (Meliora, 2015)

‘I was carried on a wolf's back, to corrupt humanity / I will pummel it with opulence, with corpulence and greed!’ Arriving on a wave of staccato percussion, spiked with gnarls of riffage and flashes of synth, this pounding cut from 2015’s Meliora – named after the insubstantial detritus of years past – plays out as one of Ghost’s most compelling indictments of the avarice of mankind. Although its creeping instrumentation, growled baritone and choral climax don’t exactly show the Swedes at their most inventive, Mummy Dust has been elevated massively in the live arena, with Papa leaning into the lurching malevolence before showering the audience with 'money'. In Ghost we trust.

19 Witch Image (Prequelle, 2018)

Ghost might have traversed a full spectrum from gouging metal via classic rock to shimmering guitar-pop thus far, but the further their sound has strayed into the light, the harder the lyrics have drilled down into darkness. It’s never been truer than on this underrated ditty from Prequelle . A textbook three-and-a-half-minutes built of sweet acoustic and rich electric guitars surging towards its massive chorus, you can practically taste the relish as Tobias ladles the syrup onto some of his darkest words. ‘While you sleep in earthly delight, someone's flesh is rotting tonight / Like no other to you, what you've done you can not undo...’

18 Con Clavi Con Dio (Opus Eponymous, 2010)

After the baroque organ intro of Deus Culpa, it’s the throbbing bassline of Con Clavi Con Dio that truly pulls back the sacristy drapes on Ghost’s compelling debut. Translating crudely as 'With Nails, With God', the title Con Clavi Con Dio is actually an attempt at clever wordplay, drawing comparisons with the nails of crucifixion and the conclave of bishops at the head of the church as Tobias sings, ‘Our conjuration sings infernal psalms and smear the smudge in bleeding palms.’ Theological musing aside, it’s the dark swirl of sound here that truly draws the listener in, with gauzy layers of guitar, synth and vocals – not to mention the devilish tritone interval – building into a towering cathedral of subversion.

17 Faith (Prequelle, 2018)

No relation to the oft-covered George Michael classic, the fourth single from 2018’s Prequelle feels like a defiant statement of the band’s arena-straddling prowess twelve years in. Powered by snarling six-strings and pounding drums – custom engineered to get tens of thousands of fists pumping – it’s seething proof that this band’s heaviest sounds are still among their best. At the same time, we get a furious flash of the man behind the mask as Tobias takes aim at his ex-Nameless Ghouls with some serious lyrical barbs: ‘The Luddites shun the diabolical, a fecal trail across the land / Although it stinks, feels and looks identical / And a pack of fools can take the stand.’ Oooft.

16 Per Aspera Ad Inferni (Infestissumam, 2013)

Riffing on the popular Latin phrase 'Per aspera ad astra' ('Through hardship to the stars'), Per Aspera Ad Infini literally translates as 'Through Hardships To Hell.' Its churning sound diabolically matches up. Layering on riffage that calls to mind the epic doom of heroes like Candlemass , marching-beat percussion and a lyrical treatment revolving around that title chanted as a mantra, there is sinisterness throughout. Its defining quality, however, is the fragility and despair Tobias manages to summon as he begs with ecstatic fervour, ‘Oh Satan, devour us all / Hear our desperate call.’

15 Secular Haze (Infestissumam, 2013)

The lead single from 2013’s sophomore LP Infestissumam immediately built on the spooky foundations laid by Opus Eponymous with broader pantomime atmospherics and – on its live premiere in Linköping, Sweden, where Papa Emeritus II was unveiled – the first branches of their expanded mythos. A carnivalesque organ sets the tone of mischievous eeriness before the pendulous musicality hits full swing with Papa inviting us in: ‘You know that the fog is here omnipresent when the disease sees no cure / You know that the fog is here omnipresent when the intents remain obscure – forevermore!’ As if their mainstream-invading intent wasn’t clear enough, its single release even came with a B-side cover of ABBA’s I’m A Marionette featuring Dave Grohl on drums!

14 See The Light (Prequelle, 2018)

Another barely-veiled reference to Tobias’ struggles with ex-bandmates, See The Light is also one of his band’s most shamelessly uplifting compositions. Feeling like a positivist '80s anthem – shot through with a little venom – its tinkling keys, soaring synths and understated, rumbling riffage propel an effortlessly memorable message about transcending the ill-will of one’s antagonists. Sing it together: ‘Every day that you feed me with hate, I grow stronger!’

13 Deus In Absentia (Meliora, 2015)

Riding on the metronomic beat of their Monstrance Clock, the closer on Ghost’s third album (translated from Latin as 'In The Absence Of God') is an extravagant exercise in arch theatrics. Benefiting from Klas Åhlund’s grandiose production, Tobias comes across as both demon and angel, extending his dark invitation: ‘The world is on fire, and you are here to stay and burn with me / A funeral pyre, and we are here to revel forever.’ Concluding with a hymn-like Latin chorus, it feels like the ultimate corruptive culmination: a musical sacrament truly touching only to those in the know.

12 Stand By Him (Opus Eponymous, 2010)

The track that started it all. Inspired by that irresistible lead riff – stumbled upon while practising for another band – Tobias foresaw a deep, dark well of potential waiting to be tapped and threw himself in headlong. Although Stand By Him’s schlocky lyrics feel gleefully on-the-chin nowadays ( ‘The Devil's power is the greatest one / When His' and Hers' holiest shuns the sun / A temptress smitten by the blackest force / A vicar bitten blind in intercourse’ ), they paved the way for everything that followed. On top of that, its soaring ‘ It is the night of the witch...’ chorus line even rivals that of Donovan’s Season Of The Witch (an obvious influence) for sheer spellbinding catchiness.

11 Ghuleh/Zombie Queen (Infestissumam, 2013)

One of the less immediate tracks on Ghost’s second album was also its most important. A staggering, seven-and-a-half minute opus that unfolds from its sorrowing piano line and Papa’s desiccated hiss through a swaggering midsection to a conclusion full of proggy bombast; this was proof of the untold breadth and depth of their vision and sound. Pushing from their basis in '80s classic rock through the looser sounds of the '70s and right into '60s psychedelia, this ode to the titular zombie queen ( ‘Up from the stinking dirt she rises, ghastly pale / Shape-shifting soon but now she's rigid, stiff and stale’ ) feels like Tobias’ first real attempt to stretch his (cursed black) wings and remains amongst their most rewarding compositions.

10 Ritual (Opus Eponymous, 2010)

Anyone who remembers Ghost’s ethereal emergence from the shadows likely does so with this earworm writhing in the back of their mind. Combining the slick melodies and wry fatalism of prime Blue Öyster Cult with the crunchiness of Pentagram and Saint Vitus – soothing organs and a driving bassline pulling away – they had the musical formula nailed. It was the imagery contained therein, however (all ‘bedouins and nomads’ , fallen angels and ‘smells of dead human sacrifices from the altar bed’ ) that captured the imaginations of a congregation ravenous for a fresh take on ancient evil. Here, the doors to the sanctum were truly open.

9 Year Zero (Infestissumam, 2013)

Tying into the Ghost B.C. renaming necessitated by their Stateside legal wranglings (the year zero being the pivotal point between the B.C. and A.D. timelines), Infestissumam’s sixth track developed into one of the greatest showcases of their dark majesty. Opening with a powerful Gregorian chant ( ‘Belial, Behemoth, Beelzebub, Asmodeus, Satanas, Lucifer’ ) calling to mind Jerry Goldsmith’s legendary soundtrack to The Omen, Ave Satana, the direct riffage and bludgeoning choruses that follow hammer home a sense of sheer monstrosity. Typically, the Year Zero concept is subverted, with Forge (and, reportedly, guitarist Martin Persner) picturing an ancient antagonist far predating biblical times: ‘Since dawn of time the fate of man is that of lice, equal as parasites and moving without eyes / A day of reckoning when penance is to burn, count down together now and say the words that you will learn.’

8 Miasma (Prequelle, 2018)

Just when you think you’ve got Ghost figured out, they pull something like this. The first of Prequelle’s two extended instrumentals feels like showboating from an outfit whose legitimacy some fans had dared question following the acrimonious departure of so many players. Rearing into view as an expansively primitive space-rock soundscape, layering up into an '80s prog epic, then exploding in a kaleidoscopic whirlwind of synths, Michael Jackson riffs and the best metal saxophone this side of Norway’s Shining, it was proof that Tobias’ vision would not be dictated solely by his own crooning King Diamond fixation and that it, frankly, knew no bounds.

7 Elizabeth (Opus Eponymous, 2010)

Four years since their formation, Elizabeth felt like the break Ghost had been waiting for. Released on 7” vinyl (with the less-ear-catching Death Knell on B-side), the Mercyful Fate comparisons were immediate, with many seeing the sense of eerie grandeur and kitsch luridity at play as directly descended from the great Danes’ 1987 classic Devil Eyes. An ode to infamous Hungarian Countess Elizabeth Bathory – alleged serial killer and bloodbather – sees Papa getting his teeth sunk in lyrically: ‘Her pact with Satan, her disposal of mankind / Her acts of cruelty and her lust for blood makes her one of us!’ The fine balance between sensuality and sin has yet to be bettered.

6 Rats (Prequelle, 2018)

The lead single from 2018’s Prequelle feels like a bridge between the (relative) heaviness of the band’s past and the unfettered theatricality of the album that was about to follow. Powered by a straightforward riff and piercing organs, dazzling solos and a rogue harpsichord, its introduction of the Black Death concept in which the album would wallow (refracting contemporary grievances through the filthy lens of the 14th century bubonic plague) felt both atmospherically appropriate and deliciously alive. The Scandi-pop ‘oooh-aahs’ in the chorus remain one of the band’s most gleefully irreverent touches, too. And the question of whether ‘them filthy rodents still coming for your souls’ is reference to Tobias’ old bandmates has provided rich fuel to keep the metal gossip mill turning.

5 Monstrance Clock (Infestissumam, 2013)

In the Roman Catholic church, the monstrance is an (often ornate) receptacle in which the consecrated communion host is displayed for veneration. A monstrance clock was an aesthetically-similar Renaissance-era timekeeping device capable of displaying date, time and a wealth of other celestial information, often used in church rituals. We suspect that Ghost just liked the faintly cheeky sound of the phrase when quickly spoken. Still, the song they wrought from that initial giggle is utterly unforgettable. Deliberately paced and overflowing with evangelical zeal, a slow build flourishes into a splendiferous closing chorus that’s turned many an arena into a church of the Dark Lord: ‘Come together, together as one / Come together for Lucifer's son!’

4 Dance Macabre (Prequelle, 2018)

If Rats was pandering somewhat to the existing fanbase, Dance Macabre was the other side of the coin. A shamelessly retro '80s-style power ballad that’s as light on overt Satanic references as it is heavy on the cheese, some fans saw it as a form of selling-out: a dilution of devilish imagery in service of greater American radio-rock appeal. Perhaps they had a point. From its fist-pumping percussion and effervescent guitar solo to that ‘wanna, be wit chu’ chorus hook, however, it’s executed with enough committed precision and knowing panache to stand on its own terms, and a whole legion of new fans couldn’t help be swept along through the gateway and on to far darker delights. Tobias’ explanation that this is a soundtrack for people living like there’s no tomorrow – as many literally did during the plague – adds an extra dimension. Best experienced with the gleefuly vampiric music video.

3 Cirice (Meliora, 2015)

It’s strange how things work out sometimes. Originally conceived with producer Klas Åhlund as a nine-minute instrumental deep cut, Cirice was chopped down and reworked into Meliora’s irresistible lead single – becoming the song that really kickstarted Ghost’s stratospheric ascent. An insidious opening combusts into an infernal crescendo before lurching into the band’s most bludgeoning riff to date. All the while, Papa’s beguiling vocals reach out, full of dark romance, for new converts to their corrupted congregation. 2016’s GRAMMY for Best Metal Performance felt like just reward for such inspired work. The Roboshobo-directed music video – featuring a school talent show that’s almost as horrific as the ones we remember – is another stone cold standout.

2 Square Hammer (Popestar, 2016)

Following the unprecedented success of Meliora, Ghost found themselves suddenly commanding crowds far larger – and more diverse – than they’d seen before. Most of the ingredients for these grander live rituals were already in place, but they lacked the barn-burner early in their set to get these massive rooms onside. Dropped as the standalone original track on the Popestar covers EP, Square Hammer gave them just that. Abstractly melding the cultist themes of Satanism and Freemasonry, the concept of selling one’s soul – ‘ready to swear right here, right now, before the devil’ – was hardly new, but the outright pop energy of those surging synths and that exuberant chorus clearly signalled that the game had changed.

1 He Is (Meliora, 2015)

If Ghost’s diabolical mission statement is to make the Luciferian ideals more palatable to the masses, then He Is must be their masterpiece. So perfectly camouflaged – with twanging acoustic guitars and reverberating vocals that could’ve been nicked from the golden age of AOR – is their message, that they could drop this at any Christian rock festival and only the most switched-on devotees would know the difference. Openly indebted to giants like Kansas and Journey (and less openly to more recent occult acoustic acts like Ancient VVisdom), there’s a burning light to the sound. The use of divine-sounding Latin ( ‘Nostro Dispater, nostr'alma mater’ ) to identify the titular 'He' as the dark lord of the underworld is just another characteristically twisted masterstroke. Kneel at their altar.

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Fan Poll: Top 5 Ghost Songs

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Order Revolver's new Ghost collector's issue and exclusive colored vinyl — plus merch, action figures and more— at our shop.

As we lovingly dubbed them earlier this week, Ghost are one of the most polarizing bands in metal history. The Swedish occult-rockers led by the inimitable Tobias Forge, and filled out by his masked associates, have become one of the biggest heavy (or perhaps heavy-adjacent) bands in the world with their peculiar blend of explicitly Satanic doom metal and delightfully theatrical, catchy and Grammy-baiting pop-rock.

Since the band is such a heated discussion starter, we asked our readers to think back and choose their favorite Ghost song of all time. As a testament to their catalog, the top five picks came from five separate releases. See the results below, ranked accordingly.

The lead single from Ghost's latest album, 2018's Prequelle , is one of their heaviest and most epically metal tracks since the band's early days. Drawing inspiration from Eighties-era Ozzy Osbourne (specifically Blizzard of Ozz 's intro, "I Don't Know"), Forge wrote "Rats" with the intention of making it his go-to concert opener. With a hefty riff, beaming guitar solos and the snarling recitation of the song's titular animal during the hook, he definitely achieved his desired bombast.

4. "Square Hammer"

"Square Hammer" is one of Ghost's most popular and commercially successful songs, but even OG fans can't deny how much of a banger this thing is. Taken from their 2016 Popestar EP, the eerie keyboard line, palm-muted guitar chugs and deceptively Satanic sing-along ("Are you ready to swear right here, right now/Before the devil") are undeniably catchy — plus, it has an incredible music video.

3. "Ritual"

"Ritual" is a great song to play for someone who's never heard Ghost before. This standout from their 2010 debut, Opus Eponymous , kicks off with a Sabbath-ian doom riff that'll make any metalhead delightfully grimace, but then Forge's power-pop harmonies come in during the hook and showcase the band's signature icy-hot dynamic. Is it metal or is it straight-up rock? It's both, my friend.

2. "Year Zero"

From the very first chant of "Beelzebub," it's immediately clear that "Year Zero" is going to be a doozy. The second single from the band's 2013 sophomore album, Infestissumam , is one of only two Ghost songs for which Tobias Forge wasn't the principle songwriter, and its new-wavy bass line, jittery drums and space-age vocal layering gives it a unique flair within their catalog. However, once the words, "Hail Satan, welcome year zero," are sung with the help of grand choir-like harmonies, it becomes unmistakably Ghost.

1. "Cirice"

"Cirice" isn't necessarily the most obvious pick for Ghost's best song, but it's objectively one of their most beloved — and deservedly so. The first taste of their 2015 LP, Meliora , hits that doomy/rocky sweet-spot that Ghost achieve during their finest moments. There's a pounding groove and a gripping vocal delivery from Forge, but there's also a smattering of haunting, John Carpenter-esque musical embellishments that make this feel like a horror soundtrack. Fitting, then, that its music video is a twist on Stephen King's classic, Carrie .

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Every Ghost Song Ranked From Worst to Best

Ghost exploit the music of the church to create a weapon against itself. By utilizing the dynamics of religious hymns, Ghost inject their Satanism not with the point of a needle, but with the secrecy of a mosquito. A scourge in the guise of sanctity, Ghost have compiled the strongest metal discography of the 2010s, and we’ve gone through each original track to rank the best of the beast.

Ghost have never made the same album twice, creating an “apples and oranges” situation. Comparing the raw occult power of “Con Clavi Con Dio” to the flamboyant “Pro Memoria” is a twisted task we challenged ourselves to complete, so with 37 total songs to deconstruct, let’s walk the left-hand path from least to most glorious.

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Are they Nameless Ghouls? Who is the real Papa Emeritus? Ghost are perfect enigmas. Here are ten facts you need to know about Sweden’s heavy metal icons.

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Ghost Prequelle 2019 Press shot 2 1000 CREDIT Mikael Eriksson

Image goes hand in hand with music, whether it’s the skinny black jeans and white hi-tops of thrash metal in the 80s, the flannel and combats of grunge in the 90s, or the comic-book space demons of KISS . Few bands today, however, push the envelope to the point where their theatrics are as important as their music. Ghost is a rare exception. Their very existence comes with a concept, backstory, and elaborate visuals, with these embellishments being as inherent to the band’s performances as guitars or drums. Here, then, are ten facts that uncover the mystery behind the Swedish heavy metal band Ghost.

Listen to the best of Ghost on Apple Music and Spotify .

The Satanic cult

Religious imagery and satanism have forever been intertwined with heavy metal music ; genre pioneers Black Sabbath were masters of marrying the two. But Ghost takes the construct to the next level. Their stage set during live concerts is dressed as a church. The idea is to present music as salvation, with the live show playing the role of a religious service. Then are the musicians: fronted by a satanic priest-like figure in papal regalia who possesses a voice with an unexpectedly enticing charm and vulnerability, backed by a group of cardinals known as the “Nameless Ghouls.”

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Ghost has so far appointed four frontmen. First was Papa Emeritus, who took on vocal duties for their debut album, Opus Eponymous , and its consequent tour. He was replaced in 2012 by Papa Emeritus II, for the Infestissumam cycle; in 2015, his younger brother, Papa Emeritus III, took over for the Meliora run. In September 2017, Papa Emeritus III was publicly ousted while performing in Gothenburg, Sweden, to be replaced by the significantly older Papa Emeritus 0 – later named Papa Nihil, an ancestor to all other Papas. However, Ghost’s new leader was named, in April 2018, as Cardinal Copia, an “apprentice” priest yet to earn his full Ghost regalia.

Ghost - Chapter Two: The Cardinal

Since the band’s inception, in 2006, Ghost has maintained a strictly anonymous existence. The various frontmen never gave interviews, instead press duties were handled by the Nameless Ghouls. These are likely to be Ghost mastermind Tobias Forge, who also portrayed each of the Papa characters and is currently serving as Cardinal Copia. Forge was forced to give up his identity in 2017 when former bandmates sued him over royalties. His backing band retain their anonymity and maintain their mystery at record store signings by stamping their ascribed alchemical symbols for fire, water, air, earth, and ether.

Ghost formed around one song

Prior to forming Ghost, Tobias Forge was in the death metal band Repugnant, and sleaze metal band Crashdïet. In 2006 he came up with a riff that he described as “probably the heaviest metal riff that has ever existed.” To accompany it, he penned a chorus that “haunted my dreams.” The song developed into “Stand By Him” from Ghost’s debut album, Opus Eponymous , but Forge knew that he couldn’t carry off such a dark sound with his clean-cut looks. Instead, he created the concept and characters of Ghost as a vehicle for his new musical project.

Forge’s brother died the day Ghost came alive

Further to “Stand By Him,” Forge penned the tracks “Prime Mover” and “Death Knell,” and in 2008 entered a recording studio with former Repugnant bandmate Gustaf Lindström to lay them down. Those songs were later posted onto MySpace on March 12, 2010 and would attract immediate attention from record labels and managers wanting to sign the group. Little did Forge know that, as he uploaded the songs, his brother, Sebastian, would succumb to heart disease later that day. Forge looked up to his brother, who was 13 years older, and introduced him to many of the artists that would later influence Ghost.

Wide-ranging influences

What you see is not necessarily what you get, musically speaking. Though Forge’s main influence was the black metal of King Diamond and Mercyful Fate, you might be surprised to hear a far more prominent pop and AOR influence in Ghost’s music. Though genres as diverse as doom metal, hard rock, prog rock, arena rock, and psychedelic rock have been used to describe Ghost, their sound is rooted in black metal, with Forge adding that they are influenced by “everything ranging from classic rock to the extreme underground metal bands of the 80s to film scores to the grandeur of emotional harmonic music.”

The live band is not the same as the studio one

When the identity of Ghost’s various frontmen was revealed by way of the 2017 royalties dispute, Forge went on the record to describe exactly how he saw the band. He described Ghost as a solo project that utilized hired musicians to translate his work in the live arena. Forge often records all the instruments himself in the studio, calling in his favorite musicians where he feels they will be of good use. And since all touring members of Ghost have other bands anyway, Forge prefers to give them time off between tours so that they can tend to their other projects and come back fresh.

Dave Grohl was once a Nameless Ghoul

Though the identities of the Nameless Ghouls remain a mystery, members are very approachable to fans who hang around the backstage door after the show. However, those die-hards remain respectful to Ghost’s anonymity and any shameless selfies are kept away from social media, so speculation abounds as to who the other members might be. But it was confirmed in an interview with Jack Osbourne, for Fuse News , in August 2013, that Foo Fighters frontman and one-time Nirvana drummer Dave Grohl once donned the Nameless Ghouls costume to play with them live. He had also produced Ghost’s 2013 EP, If You Have Ghost .

Ghost - If You Have Ghosts (Roky Erickson Cover)

Banned in the USA

Ghost’s controversial image, lyrical themes, and artwork haven’t always worked in their favor. When they required a choir for the Infestissumam album, they were unable to find one in Nashville – where they were holed up in the studio – willing to commit the band’s lyrics to tape. Then, when it came to pressing the album, no US manufacturer was willing to take on the project due to the graphic nature of the artwork. In Ghost’s earlier days, too, no chain stores, TV shows or commercial radio stations would touch their music. Mainstream America seems to have warmed to them over the years: Ghost appeared on a Halloween-themed Late Show with Stephen Colbert in October 2015.

Ghost have won multiple awards

Further to their acceptance into mainstream culture, Ghost has won multiple awards in their Swedish homeland. The Grammis are the Swedish equivalent to the American Recording Academy’s Grammys, and Ghost won the award for Best Hard Rock/Metal Album in three consecutive years, for 2014’s Infestissumam , the following year’s Meliora , and the 2016 EP Popestar . They also won a coveted Grammy for Best Metal Performance, for the Meliora track “Cirice,” in 2016, and earned further nominations for Prequelle as Best Rock Album and “Rats’ as Best Rock Song in 2019.

Ghost - Rats (Official Music Video)

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Charley Pride - Photo: Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images

Listen: Ghost Drop New Compilation Featuring Song Previously Unavailable on Streaming ‘Zenith’


Having formed back in 2006, Sweden’s Ghost stands today as one of the most riveting and prominent bands in the world. For 17 years Ghost has crafted hauntingly thrilling and enchanting music, and in recognition of their work, the band has dropped what is essentially a greatest hits album.

Titled 13 Commandments , this compilation features an incredible mix of tracks from throughout the band’s career, including both LP and EP tracks.

Among these songs though, the band has included one particularly special tune, titled “Zenith.”

For those unfamiliar, “Zenith” was originally a bonus song on the special edition of the band’s album Meliora . Until today, the track was not available on streaming services or digitally.

As noted by Ghost on social media:

“We wish to inform you that these times call for a divine compilation of some of Ghost’s most sinful psalms and the most observant shall find the wider release of Ghost’s cult tune ‘Zenith.’ Ghost’s 13 Commandments: so let it be written, so let it be done…. Listen now everywhere. ”

You will find the tracklist for 13 Commandments and can listen to “Zenith” below. In other Ghost-related news, did you know the band was recently nominated for a Grammy ? Also, at some point in the future, the band will be releasing a movie .

Ghost’s 13 Commandments tracklist

  • “Square Hammer”
  • “Year Zero”
  • “Mary On A Cross”
  • “Call Me Little Sunshine”
  • “Darkness At The Heart of My Love”
  • “Dance Macabre”
  • “Rats”
  • “Spillways”
  • “Cirice”
  • “If You Have Ghosts”
  • “He Is”
  • “Zenith”
  • “Phantom of the Opera”
[MESSAGE FROM THE CLERGY] We wish to inform you that these times call for a divine compilation of some of Ghost’s most sinful psalms and the most observant shall find the wider release of Ghost’s cult tune “Zenith.” Ghost’s 13 Commandments: so let it be written, so let it be… freestar.config.enabled_slots.push({ placementName: "wearethepit_inarticle_3", slotId: "wearethepit_inarticle_31059078367" }); — Papa Emeritus IV (@thebandGHOST) December 1, 2023

Ghost – “Zenith”

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Song Meanings and Facts

Song Meanings and Facts

by Amanda London · Published May 10, 2023 · Updated May 10, 2023

This is a Swedish rock collective, which formed in 2006 in the city of Linköping. The group’s style and formation was actually orchestrated by singer and guitarist Tobias Forge, who previously was a member of such metal groups as Repugnant and Crashdïet.

Ghost released their maiden album titled “Opus Eponymous” in 2010, and then issued “Infestissumam”, in 2013, as their second studio album. Both projects were very successful, earning the group several important accolades.

Another huge project from this group is their fifth studio album, “Impera”, which they released in 2022. This record topped multiple album charts around the globe, and reached number 2 in the UK and the US.

Notable Songs

Some of their most popular songs include:

“Year Zero”

“Mary on a Cross”

“Square Hammer”

What Style is Ghost?

Over the years, this Swedish ensemble has released songs mostly in the following genres:

  • Heavy metal
  • Psychedelic rock
  • Progressive rock

In 2016 Ghost landed their first Grammy award. This accolade was for their single “Cirice”, which won the “Best Metal Performance” award category. In addition, the group has picked up a number of nominations at the Grammys. This includes two nominations alone in 2019. Their album, “Prequelle”, and song, “Rats”, were respectively shortlisted in the “Best Rock Album” and “Best Rock Song” categories. The latter award went to US singer St. Vincent for her track, “Masseduction”.

Related posts:

  • “Call Me Little Sunshine” by Ghost
  • “Twenties” by Ghost

Ghost’s “Kaisarion” Lyrics Meaning

  • “Darkness at the Heart of My Love” by Ghost
  • Ghost’s Mary on a Cross Lyrics Meaning
  • Ghost’s “Year Zero” Lyrics Meaning
  • “Square Hammer” by Ghost
  • “Hunter’s Moon” by Ghost
  • Meaning of “Ghost” by Ella Henderson
  • Justin Bieber’s “Ghost” Lyrics Meaning

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Tags: Ghost Impera Mary on a Cross Opus Eponymous Square Hammer Year Zero

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Song Meanings & Facts

  • Terms and Conditions

The Meaning Behind The Song: Ghost Band by Rancid

As a music journalist, I am always on the lookout for songs that have a deep and profound meaning. One song that has always struck a chord with me is “Ghost Band” by Rancid. I first heard this song on a lazy Sunday afternoon, when I stumbled upon it at a friend’s house. From the moment the opening chords started playing, I was captivated.

The lyrics of “Ghost Band” tell a story of loss, longing, and the power of music to transcend the boundaries of life and death. The chorus repeats the line “There’s a ghost band, girl, playing our song” multiple times, emphasizing the presence of a band that keeps playing the song, even when the lovers who inspired it are long gone.

In the verses, the lyrics take on a more melancholic tone. The singer describes how the ghost band knows all the lyrics by heart and plays in the perfect key. Their tombstones are silhouetted, and the band is barely visible. This imagery creates a sense of haunting and longing, as if the spirits of the lost lovers are still trying to connect through the music.

The lines “Well our spirit fades, hard and cheated, when the funeral’s over, I can’t leave it, everyone’s gone home, I’m defeated” paint a picture of deep sorrow and a struggle to move on. The singer feels defeated and unable to let go, as if the memory and presence of the loved ones continue to haunt them, even after their funeral.

But the song also offers a glimpse of hope and escape. The energy of the music is described as overwhelming, and the echo from the crowd is deafening. The music conveyed is convincing, and suddenly the world doesn’t seem so daunting anymore. The shimmer of light dances in sequence, and the mood accelerates. It’s as if the music transports the singer to a different realm, where they can temporarily escape their grief and find solace in the power of the song.

“Ghost Band” is a beautiful and poignant song that speaks to the universal experience of loss and the healing power of music. It reminds us that even in the darkest of times, music can provide a glimmer of hope and help us find our way back to the light.

Released in 2003 as part of Rancid’s album “Indestructible”, “Ghost Band” showcases the songwriting talents of Matt Freeman, Lars Frederiksen, and Tim Armstrong. Their ability to capture raw emotions and convey them through music is truly commendable.

In conclusion, “Ghost Band” by Rancid is a song that holds a special place in my heart. It reminds me of the power of music to heal and connect us. The lyrics speak of loss and longing, but also offer a glimmer of hope and escape. Whenever I hear this song, I am reminded that music has the ability to transcend time and bring us closer to the people we have loved and lost.

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"I want to make a record where I don’t have to play by the rules or have any hit singles": Bruce Springsteen on his acoustic masterpiece The Ghost Of Tom Joad

Inspired by the classic novel The Grapes Of Wrath, The Ghost Of Tom Joad became a staple of Bruce Springsteen’s live shows, and led to The Boss teaming up with RATM’s Tom Morello

Bruce Spingsteen onstage in 1995 with an acoustic guitar

Tom Joad, the hero of John Steinbeck’s classic 1939 American novel The Grapes Of Wrath , has had a pretty good life as an apparition, thanks to Bruce Springsteen and some of his friends.

Inspired by the book and John Ford’s 1940 film adaptation, as well as by Woody Guthrie’s The Ballad Of Tom Joad , Springsteen wrote The Ghost Of Tom Joad , a modern-day appropriation of the same Great Depression-era concerns, during the early 90s. 

It became the title track for his stripped-down 1995 acoustic album, and a staple – usually the opening number – for the live shows that supported it. The song was also rocked up, dramatically, two years later by Rage Against the Machine , and in 2014 Springsteen – with Rage guitarist Tom Morello in tow as part of his E Street Band – released yet another version for his latest album, High Hopes .

“I want to make a record where I don’t have to play by the rules… have any hit singles or none of that stuff,” Springsteen said of the Tom Joad album, backstage at an early stop on his solo acoustic tour to support it. “I can make whatever kind of music I want to make. I hadn’t done that in a real long time. I guess I wanted to see if I could do it again.”

Tom Joad was actually the latest in a series of curve balls Springsteen had thrown his audience since Born In The USA . There was the calculated come-down of Tunnel Of Love and the shocking subsequent dismissal of the E Street Band. The group’s reunion for the early 1996 Greatest Hits album was just as surprising, and The Ghost Of Tom Joad was one of the songs he worked on with the band at that time. “It started out as a rock song. But It didn’t feel right, so I set it aside,” Springsteen wrote in 1998 lyric book Songs .

He returned to the Los Angeles area, where he was living at the time, and began work on starker material, “just myself and my guitar”, and the new version of Tom Joad became a linchpin for his next project, a kind of musical sibling to ’82’s Nebraska .

“Once I cut Tom Joad , I had a feeling for the record I wanted to make,” Springsteen said. “It was an acoustic album where I picked up elements of the themes I had worked on in the past and set the stories in the mid-90s.”

That was certainly true of the set’s title track, which chronicled the other side of the Clinton era’s prosperity, using subtle and minimalist instrumentation and a mournful melody to deliver timeless images – ‘ Families sleepin’ in their cars in the Southwest / No home, no job, no peace no rest ’ – of ordinary Joes, along with migrants and a criminal or two, grasping desperately for an American Dream made elusive by class schisms and corporate greed.

But Springsteen rejected any notions of despair. “There’s always something being revealed – about them, about you. That’s always exciting,” he explained. “Even if the stuff is dark, even if there’s tragedy involved, it’s still exciting. The truth is always hopeful. It’s always inspiring, no matter what it is.”

It wasn’t an easy sell, however; Tom Joad was the first Springsteen album since 1973 to miss the top five, although it did win a Grammy for Best Contemporary Folk Album. “I knew [the album] wouldn’t attract my largest audience,” Springsteen wrote in Songs . “But I was sure the songs on it added up to a reaffirmation of the best of what I do.”

Rage Against The Machine certainly heard the truth of Tom Joad and found in it a firm fit with the group’s own populist, leftist leaning. “I was a huge fan of The Ghost Of Tom Joad ,” Morello recalls. “It was my favourite record for a long time. I think I gave the CD to Zack [De La Rocha, Rage’s frontman] for Christmas that year. 

"We were about to set off with U2 on the PopMart tour, and we didn’t have any new material. I suggested that we do a Rage-ified cover of The Ghost Of Tom Joad . I think at first that suggestion was met with some scepticism, but then it came together and sounded great on the tour. The lyrics were certainly not out of context for Rage Against The Machine. And I brought a bulldozer riff or two to it that worked very well.”

It sounded so good that, during the tour, Rage ducked into the studio to record a version of Tom Joad for a CD single accompanying the group’s self-titled 1997 home video. Rage later re-cut it for a version that appeared on their 2001 covers set, Renegades , and later on the No Boundaries: A Benefit For The Kosovar Refugees benefit album. It became Rage’s second-highest charting song.

Morello first performed Tom Joad with Springsteen and the E Street Band in April 2008 in Anaheim, California, when Springsteen surprised the guitarist by asking him to sing some lead vocals as well as play on it. “That was the first time I ever sang with an electric guitar in my hands,” notes Morello.

Springsteen & co had already turned Tom Joad into a powerhouse electric showstopper inspired by the Rage version; when Morello stood in for Steve Van Zandt for Bruce and his band’s 2008 tour of Australia, it was a regular part of the set. It was also a logical inclusion for High Hopes when Springsteen decided to make Morello an integral part of the album.

“ [Tom Joad] was the one I felt I really had to hit the nail on the head with,” Morello says. “It’s been such an exciting live moment and a great melding of the two worlds of the E Street Band and my playing on it. I was hopeful that we were going to be able to capture the spark of those live performances and I think, in my humble view, we may have surpassed it. It’s a really great recording of that song."

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Gary Graff

Gary Graff is an award-winning veteran music journalist based in metro Detroit, writing regularly for Billboard, Ultimate Classic Rock, Media News Group, Music Connection, United Stations Radio Networks and others. Graff’s work has also appeared in Rolling Stone, Guitar World, Classic Rock, Revolver, the San Francisco Chronicle, AARP magazine, the Detroit Jewish News, The Forward and others. Graff has co-written and edited books about Bob Seger, Neil Young and Bruce Springsteen. A professional voter for the Grammy Awards and the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, Graff co-founded the Detroit Music Awards in 1989 and continues as the organisation’s chief producer.

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10 Songs That Have Become Synonymous With Specific Movies

Posted: January 5, 2024 | Last updated: January 6, 2024

  • Songs in movies can create strong associations and bring forth images from the film they were featured in.
  • Songs used in movies are different from scores, which are orchestral arrangements composed specifically for the film.
  • Some songs, like "All Star," "You've Lost That Lovin' Feelin'," and "Hooked On A Feeling," are strongly associated with the movies they were featured in and have benefited both the film and the artist who performed the song.

A song can mark a memorable moment in a movie, and the right music can cause an irreversible connection between the two. A song can earn its association with a movie for various reasons . For example, it could add atmosphere to a montage or fight sequence, but sometimes a piece can be performed by the characters themselves. Regardless of how the song works its way into the fabric of a film, hearing it can often bring forth images from the movie in which it was featured. There are even movies where the soundtrack is the best part of the production.

Songs used in movies are not the same thing as a score , which is bespoke and often orchestral arrangements that have been composed to augment large portions of the film in question. It's not unheard of for a song to be written to be used in a specific movie. However, many of the best cinematic moments involve a song that pre-dates the movie in which it appears.

10 Movies That Feature Music Exclusively From One Popular Band/Musician

"all star" by smash mouth, shrek (2001).

A fresh take on the fairytale genre, Shrek opens up with a bait-and-switch from dreamy strings to late-90s pop-rock. "All Star" sets the backdrop for Shrek's morning routine of bathing in mud and brushing his teeth with similarly vile substances. The tone and lyrical content of the song suit the scene well, unintentionally chronicling how content the title character is with being alone.

Smash Mouth released "All Star" in 1999. So, given the length of time it takes to make CGI movies like Shrek , the movie was likely in production long before then. The inclusion of the song benefited not only the movie, but also Smash Mouth's career. As a result, "All Star" isn't just strongly associated with Shrek , but rather the band as a whole. Part of the reason for this was the movie's huge success, along with the fact that Smash Mouth also contributed a cover of The Monkees' "I'm a Believer" for the movie's closing sequence .

"You've Lost That Lovin' Feelin'" By The Righteous Brothers

Top gun (1986).

"You've Lost That Lovin' Feelin'" didn't need a single note of the original recording in order to play a part in one of cinema's most iconic musical moments . Instead, Tom Cruise's a cappella performance as Maverick for Kelly McGillis' Charlotte Blackwood takes center stage . The Top Gun scene hits its crescendo as the rest of the bar's partons lend their voices to the rendition. Maverick's ploy is successful, and Charlotte asks him to sit with her following the display.

"Danger Zone" is another song that has become strongly associated with Top Gun .

"Hooked On A Feeling" By Blue Swede

Guardians of the galaxy (2014), guardians of the galaxy.

Blue Swede's 1974 hit is used in James Gunn's first MCU movie, and the upbeat feel of the track juxtaposes the misery of Peter Quill and his fellow Guardians as they're processed by Nova Corps prison guards. Guardians has a carefully curated soundtrack that also serves as Quill's mixtape that he received from his mother as a child. "Hooked on a Feeling" is one of the more memorable songs to feature in the movie, but not just because of its placement. The energetic chanting in the song's introduction makes it stand out from the crowd too.

"Hooked on a Feeling" is a cover of a 1968 song by B.J. Thomas.

The 10 Best Movie Soundtracks of All-Time, Ranked

"send me on my way" by rusted roots, matilda (1996).

Considering how short and simple the pancake scene is in Matilda , it stands above the rest as one of the most iconic parts of the movie. This could arguably be due to Matilda's culinary prowess being accompanied by Rusted Roots' "Send Me on My Way." Its repetitive lyrical content and the unorthodox vocal style of Michael Glabicki make the song a difficult one to forget, and the memorable image of freshly made pancakes has locked the piece into the minds of many.

"Send Me On My Way" was also used in 2002's Ice Age , a movie with which the song is also commonly associated.

"Afternoon Delight" By Starlight Vocal Band

Anchorman: the legend of ron burgundy (2004), anchorman: the legend of ron burgundy.

When Ron Burgundy's news team asked him what love is in this 2004 cult classic, they were obviously aware of the possibility of him giving his answer in the form of a song. The rest of the Anchorman stars quickly join in with Ron to create a four-part harmony , impressively performing an a cappella version of Starlight Vocal Band's, "Afternoon Delight." The numerous deceptions regarding when the performance is over keep the audience on its toes as well as adding to the comedy of the scene. Starlight Vocal Band may have performed the original, but Will Ferrell and company make the song their own in the scene.

Will Ferrell often does his own singing in movies, including an operatic rendition of Andrea Bocceli's "Por Ti Volaré" in 2008's Step Brothers .

"Eye Of The Tiger" By Survivor

Rocky iii (1982).

The go-to song for a training montage tends to be Survivor's "Eye of the Tiger" due to its hugely influential use during Rocky III . The piece was written to be the theme song of the 1982 Sylvester Stallone movie , and the synergy between both parties helped elevate their respective levels of success. The song is very relevant to what's happening on screen, but that makes sense when it's considered why it was created in the first place.

"Unchained Melody" By The Righteous Brothers

Ghost (1990).

Mentioning the movie Ghost brings to mind the same scene for many , and part of the reason is the perfection of the song that was chosen to play alongside it. Although "Unchained Melody" is actually playing within the world of the movie , it eventually transitions into being the soundtrack for the famous love scene between Patrick Swayze's Sam Wheat and Demi Moore's Molly Jenson.

"Sunflower" By Post Malone And Swae Lee

Spider-man: into the spider-verse (2018).

A movie character singing along to a song is bound to draw attention to the piece, which is what happens in Into the Spider-Verse . Miles Morales, voiced by Shameik Moore, is shown trying his best to rap along to "Sunflower," but not quite being able to get the words right. The relatable performance of "Sunflower" helps solidify the song's presence in the world of the show, with the Post Malone and Swae Lee effort perfectly fitting the vibe of the movie.

"Stuck In The Middle With You" By Stealers Wheel

Reservoir dogs (1992), reservoir dogs.

A torture scene can be a difficult thing to forget, which is especially true when it's paired with an inappropriately joyous 1972 pop song. This was what Quentin Tarantino did in his debut as a professional director, which created an immovable link between Reservoir Dogs and the Steelers Wheel hit. Tarantino has always had a unique approach to film music , opting to soundtrack his films with songs rather than a traditional score. The use of this technique in Reservoir Dogs contributed to his impressive streak of success and was one of the best uses of music in a Tarantino movie .

The 10 Best Movie Soundtracks Of The 1970s

"you've got a friend in me" by randy newman, toy story (1995).

Randy Newman's musical footprint was instrumental in establishing the success of this Pixar franchise. The veteran musician was not only responsible for writing the movie's orchestral scores, but also for every song that appears in Toy Story . Of these pieces, the very first to rear its head is the most memorable. "You've Got a Friend In Me" has become a companionship anthem , inspired by the platonic love that exists between Andy and Woody. This piece of music sets the tone for the movie's opening sequence, as well as becoming forever associated with not just the film, but the Toy Story franchise at large.

10 Songs That Have Become Synonymous With Specific Movies

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    1. "Cirice" "Cirice" isn't necessarily the most obvious pick for Ghost's best song, but it's objectively one of their most beloved — and deservedly so. The first taste of their 2015 LP, Meliora, hits that doomy/rocky sweet-spot that Ghost achieve during their finest moments.

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    Ghost frontman Tobias Forge knows how to make someone else's song his own, tackling heavy metal giants like Metallica and Iron Maiden with as much zeal as he does the likes of ABBA, Tina Turner or The Beatles.

  19. Ghost Facts: 10 Things You Need To Know

    Ghost are perfect enigmas. Here are ten facts you need to know about Sweden's heavy metal icons. Image goes hand in hand with music, whether it's the skinny black jeans and white hi-tops of ...

  20. Listen: Ghost Release New Compilation Featuring Rare Song 'Zenith'

    Published on: Dec 1, 2023, 3:55 PM. by Michael Pementel. Having formed back in 2006, Sweden's Ghost stands today as one of the most riveting and prominent bands in the world. For 17 years Ghost has crafted hauntingly thrilling and enchanting music, and in recognition of their work, the band has dropped what is essentially a greatest hits album.

  21. Ghost

    Ghost. This is a Swedish rock collective, which formed in 2006 in the city of Linköping. The group's style and formation was actually orchestrated by singer and guitarist Tobias Forge, who previously was a member of such metal groups as Repugnant and Crashdïet. You can view the lyrics, alternate interprations and sheet music for Ghost's ...

  22. The Meaning Behind The Song: Ghost Band by Rancid

    The lyrics of "Ghost Band" tell a story of loss, longing, and the power of music to transcend the boundaries of life and death. The chorus repeats the line "There's a ghost band, girl, playing our song" multiple times, emphasizing the presence of a band that keeps playing the song, even when the lovers who inspired it are long gone ...

  23. The Ghost Of Tom Joad by Bruce Springsteen: The story behind the song

    The group's reunion for the early 1996 Greatest Hits album was just as surprising, and The Ghost Of Tom Joad was one of the songs he worked on with the band at that time. "It started out as a rock song. But It didn't feel right, so I set it aside," Springsteen wrote in 1998 lyric book Songs. He returned to the Los Angeles area, where he ...

  24. 10 Songs That Have Become Synonymous With Specific Movies

    Release Date 1992-10-09. Director Quentin Tarantino. Cast Quentin Tarantino, Tim Roth, Michael Madsen, Chris Penn, Steve Buscemi, Harvey Keitel. Genres Thriller, Crime. Reservoir Dogs Tarantino ...

  25. Ghost

    [MESSAGE FROM THE CLERGY]We wish to inform you……. It's a Hunter's Moon.🌕Ghost's new album IMPERA is out now. Buy & stream it here: