Fan-filmed video footage of the last-ever GHOST concert to feature frontman Papa Emeritus III can be seen below. The show took place Saturday night (September 30) in Gothenburg and saw the singer apparently being dismissed from the band.
Papa was forcibly removed from the stage by two men during the band’s closing number, “Monstrance Clock”, A short time later, a very elderly man wearing a white and gold version of Papa‘s robes and his signature make-up took the stage and addressed the crowd, saying in Italian, “I am Papa Emeritus Zero. The party is over and now a new era begins. The Middle Ages begin now.”
The band posted footage of the incident to its official Instagram account but has yet to comment on the matter. It appears, however, that the reign of Papa III has ended.
Of course, all this is part of a big inside joke: the band supposedly dismisses the old Papa and recruits a new one on every LP, but they are all the same person — founder Tobias Forge, who will no doubt perform as a new Papa Emeritus on the next album cycle.
Forge recently revealed that he’s been working on the group’s fourth studio album for an early 2018 release. The new disc will follow up 2015’s “Meliora”, which featured the Grammy-winning hit “Cirice”, and last year’s “Popestar” EP, which included the chart-topping “Square Hammer”.
After several years of not revealing his or the rest of the band’s identities, Forge recently confirmed his own while responding to a lawsuit filed by four former members of GHOST, who accused him of cheating them out of their rightful share of the group’s profits.
Forge hired an all-new lineup of the group for touring purposes in the first half of 2017, with the musicians all anonymously performing as Nameless Ghouls.