Ghost have released the latest instalment of their ongoing video story, in which it is hinted that current frontman Papa Emeritus IV could be killed off later this year.
Tobias Forge’s on-stage alter ego has gone through different incarnations with each album cycle, so the death of Papa Emeritus IV may well herald the end of the ‘Impera’ era. The album was released last March.
In the last instalment of the video series, titled ‘Chapter 16: Tax Season’, Papa is seen sitting on a sofa playing an old-looking video game based on the 1989 film Driving Miss Daisy.
In the middle of this, Sister Imperator calls to ask him what he’s doing and informs him, after some tax-related jokes, that a second show at LA’s Kia Forum on September 12 has been added to the end of their upcoming US tour. As they talk, Papa notices Mr. Saltarian wheeling a glass coffin past his door.
When Papa asks Imperator what’s going on, she ominously replies. ‘That wasn’t an old coffin… that‘s a brand new additional coffin,” adding: “Remember, Jesus is coming.”
After she hangs up, Papa returns to his game, but the screen now reads: “Game over”.
The video is accompanied by a Message From The Clergy: “We wish to inform you that in this world, nothing is certain except death and taxes.”’
In a previous video that dropped at the end of last year, Mr Saltarian told Papa Emeritus IV, “The shows are scheduled, I know when your time is up.”
Elsewhere, Forge discussed in an interview with Metal Hammer last year what fans can expect for Ghost’s future projects. “We’re going to come out with a little bit of change before [the expanded tour] – good change”, he said. “We’re not going to go silent. Some things are public, other things not in public view, but there are a lot of things brewing.”
Forge’s comments around change echo that he made last November, when he told Rolling Stone that he’s “trying to build a new vibe for writing this record”. He elaborated: “There are a lot of things in my head that I feel like I want to explore… I want to evoke a few good things from the past and try to eradicate some of the things I didn’t like.”