HotStar: Ghost B.C.

Sweden’s Ghost B.C. has been weaving its heavy-metal spell over fans with its theatrical production of occult imagery, sorcery and horror film influence since forming about five years ago in Linköping.

Frontman Papa Emeritus II, a skeletal Pope in papal-styled robes and hat, and the Five Nameless Ghouls wearing cowled robes with face coverings cultivate the mysterious vibe of the live show. The performers behind those personas are anonymous by design.

The band’s 2010 debut, Opus Eponymous, was nominated for a Grammis Award, Sweden’s equivalent of a Grammy, and its latest release, Infestissumam, has propelled Ghost B.C. from underground status into the limelight.  

ICM Partners’ Nick Storch told Pollstar he signed the band in 2010 based on his love of the music.

“They’re writing legitimate songs with really great hooks and riffs. It isn’t just a bunch of guys growling at each other,” he said. “We booked a show not knowing what to expect. Heath Miller at Webster Hall [in New York] was willing to take the risk with me. Lo and behold, we sold out the show about a week in advance.”

Performances overseas and in the States at clubs and festivals amassed new fans including James Hetfield, Phil Anselmo and Dave Grohl, among others.

“This is an all-encompassing experience. It’s so engaging and I found myself by the end of a show thinking, ‘Oh, is it over already?’’ Storch said. “They do things in such a way that you hang on every word.

“I can’t remember the last time a band was so visually stimulating and interesting.”

Ghost B.C. is scheduled for U.S. club dates leading up to its performance at Lollapalooza and the Rock In Rio Festival in Brazil through mid-September.