In the last few months, we have witnessed the legal implosion of the band Ghost; another in a long line of supposed greed-driven betrayals in popular society. I have been a fan of Ghost for many years, since their meager beginning and ascent into the stratosphere of stardom. My first album, Opus Eponymous, was sent to me by a friend in the UK. The album is vinyl (yes I am old school) and I was impressed with the “In your face” manner of delivery and unabashed praise of Satan (Sathanas). Very few things make such an impression so indelibly in my mind. The tunes were singable and melodic (not that I do not appreciate a growl or two from other bands) and the song Ritual was so infectious – you want to jump right into the chorus. That was in 2011 and needless to say, I awaited the sophomoric release that would prove Opus Eponymous and Ghost were simply a fluke or built to last. Enter Infestissumam.
Receive, Consume, Digest, Defecate
I followed the labor pangs of Infestissumam through contacts in Nashville, Tennessee although it was not praise. Having solicited vocalists to provide backing vocals, singing psalms for Satan in the “bible belt” was met with an overall rejection from all offers, including a quasi-ban through the local musicians union. The project backing vocals were provided later in Los Angeles; the City of Angels will never say “No” to money, regardless of the subject matter. Then came the issue of pressing the recording to be distributed. The problem being most manufacture of vinyl and CDs is accomplished by a limited number of companies; again located in and around the Nashville area. Who said the media is controlled by “the few”? Once released, the album substantiated Ghost as a band “who could go the distance”.
Fast forward to 2017 and we see the results of ego and avarice; the vital ingredients which actually created a sound like no other and propelled Ghost during the rise from Linköping to a place in music history, including a Grammy Award. Whether this was a band collaboration or one person’s vision, it required the work and contribution of many. The question will be answered in the courts, penance paid as prescribed, and the mystique of Ghost…..lost forever. To me, this is the real tragedy of the situation. It is almost a betrayal of all the fans, similar to the first time seeing Kiss without makeup and the fallout of the band members conducted in the public forum. Perhaps the human love and worship of “Mummy Dust” is ultimately to blame however, everything changes and all things ultimately become history.
Cry for Absolution
For me, all of this opens a wound which I have unhappily nursed since my own betrayal by my former manager in 2014. When someone from outside the circle takes a shot, it is easily dismissed; almost expected. When the knife comes from within, it is sometimes difficult to put into perspective. As they say, “opportunity makes a thief” but it is still a shock when it really happens but we must remember humans are animals and as such, we will lie, steal, etc. to further our own agendas and acquire as we desire. We as Satanists should understand this fact more than anyone else on the planet. Ultimately, we each have a primal obligation to improve our particular situation. Anyone who denies this tenant is simply lying to himself / herself. Turning the other cheek results in two cheeks slapped.
The life of a Satanist is sometimes a two-edged sword. From the circles in which we travel to the way we reconcile our lives, the knowledge we possess sometimes fails to adequately shield our feelings and deepest thoughts. We look to each new day with cautious optimism, always cognizant of those orbiting our relationship nucleus and remaining wary of climatic changes in those relations. We know full well that any moment the knives may become unsheathed and just like that, the dreaded deed is done.
Until next time,