16th June - Arena Armeec - 8:00 pm
Publication date: 22 April 2014
The Swedish heavy metal band GHOST will be the support act for IRON MAIDEN’s concert in Sofia. The band was formed in 2008 and gained popularity with their debut full-length album Opus Eponymous, which went on to be nominated for a Grammis award (the Swedish alternative to the Grammys) in 2011 in the "Best Hard Rock" album category. Their second and much anticipated album Infestissumam was released in 2013 with a major label backing (Universal Music group), debuted at number one in Sweden, and won the Grammis Award for Best Hard Rock/Metal Album in 2013.
GHOST are easily recognizable because of their eccentric on-stage presence. Five of the group's six members wear hooded robes and the vocalist appears wearing skull make-up and dressed as a Roman-Catholic pope. The band's members keep their identities secret and their names have not been publicly disclosed; the vocalist calls himself Papa Emeritus II and the musicians are only referred to as Nameless Ghouls.
Here is how the band describes itself:
As the tides change and the flames mount, Papa Emeritus II and the Group of Nameless Ghouls reflect upon man’s fall and the Antichrist’s rise.
In the year of 13, the second phase of papa Emeritus II and the Group of Nameless Ghouls begins with the release of the sophomore psalm Infestissumam. Papa Emeritus II succeeded Papa Emeritus at the conclusion of phase one in the year of 12, and the Nameless Ghouls joined him under the unholy church’s current moniker Ghost B.C. – the “B.C.” is silent when spoken aloud, please remember that. Their rituals demand reverence and praise, fortified through a delivery of sweetly satanic melodies, snaking distorted riffs, and vaudevillian keyboards.
The world’s introduction to the troupe, the year of 10’s Opus Eponymous, closed with “Genesis”, a foretelling of the Antichrist’s coming. He is here now on Infestissumam and shall be treated accordingly.
Infestissumam – Latin for “The greatest threat” – refers to the Antichrist as being the biggest danger to the Christian world, and ironically a choir conducted by Papa Emeritus II heralds His onset.
Speaking of life, Papa Emeritus II and the Group of Nameless Ghouls invite all to witness their rituals on stage. The front row remains continually comprised of females willing to do anything for Papa Emeritus II as a dramaturgical exposition of the Antichrist’s ascent unfolds on stage. Rituals have taken place in front of sold out audiences across the world and at festivals such as Download, Orion Music + More, Coachella, and more. The congregation has grown to include such high-profile members as James Hetfield of Metallica, Phillip Anselmo of Down and Pantera, Fenriz of Darkthrone who has the honor of being the first public supporter, and Dave Grohl of Foo Fighters and Nirvana, who participated in the recorded ritual on a cover of ABBA’s “I’m a Marionette”.
The age of Infestissumam is formally underway. Allow Papa Emeritus II and the Group of Nameless Ghouls to open your mind or simply play witness. Either way, you’re under their spell now.
Of course, the big stars of the night on June 16th will be IRON MAIDEN. Sofia is one of the last stops on their super successful MAIDEN ENGLAND WORLD TOUR. It started with 34 dates in the USA and Canada in June 2012, moved on to Europe and Latin America in 2013, and in summer of 2014 the sextet is returning on European soil.
IRON MAIDEN’s fans should prepare for an mindblowing show in Sofia. “Arena Armeets Sofia” hall will be blown to bits by the British metal legends who promise that this will be a truly spectacular evening, indeed. Except for some set list changes, the concert will feature an incomparable light show, including pyrotechnics, and a unique new look for the band’s mascot – EDDIE the Head.
When the tour ends on 5th July at the Sonisphere Festival at Knebworth, UK, IRON MAIDEN’s show will be watched by over 2 million exalted fans all over the world. This would be just another proof that the band does not have plans to slow down or to lose the passion, which is the reason why it continues to be at the top of metal music for more than three decades.