GHOST mastermind Tobias Forge has confirmed to Consequence that he has already mapped out much of the follow-up to this year's "Impera" LP. "I have an album in my head right now that I think is going to be different from the one I just made," he said. "Both [2018's] 'Prequelle' and 'Impera' were ideas that I had since six, seven years back. They were so different from each other in the sense that the 'plague album,' as I call it, was about the little person's annihilation on almost more of like a carnal or a God's wrath point of view, whereas the 'imperial record' was more of a structural demise of the mechanics of society. So they felt like two different things and the idea that I have for the next record is also a different thing from that. It's just a way for me to compartmentalize the ideas of finding new ways to inspire me lyrically and conceptually."
He continued: "At the end of the day, it's just rock 'n' roll records, 40 minutes of rock music, so it's just a way to make it interesting for me to work with, and then as a result of that, luckily for a few times now, we've been able to put that together and compile it in a way that has a lot of our fans also finding it interesting to dive into. I think that it was just luck that we just happened to release it in a matter where it seems a little clairvoyant. But these are old subjects … everything's cyclical, that's the thing, everything just goes in circles so it's not very hard to be clairvoyant, you can just look back on time and sort of alter it a little, draw on, or shave off a mustache and you have a future asshole who will do something similar to something else a hundred years ago, two hundred years ago, three hundred years ago. It's always the same; it's very repetitive."
GHOST's fifth album, "Impera", which sold 70,000 equivalent album units in the U.S. in its first week of release to land at position No. 2 on the Billboard 200 chart. It marked the third top 10 album — and fifth top 40-charting set — for the Swedish act.
"Impera" landed at position No. 1 in Germany and Sweden, No. 2 in the U.K., Netherlands, Belgium and Norway, No. 3 in Australia, No. 5 in France and Ireland, and No. 20 in Italy.
"Impera" was released on March 11. The 12-song effort was produced by Klas Åhlund and mixed by Andy Wallace.
Forge worked on the follow-up to 2018's "Prequelle" with Åhlund and Swedish co-writers Salem Al Fakir and Vincent Pontare, whose credits include Madonna and Lady Gaga.
In March 2020, at final show of GHOST's "Prequelle" tour in Mexico City, Mexico, the band officially introduced Papa Emeritus IV, the new character who is fronting the act for its "Impera" album phase.
Forge performed as a "new" Papa Emeritus on each of the band's first three LPs, with each version of Papa replacing the one that came before it. Papa Emeritus III was retired in favor of Cardinal Copia before the release of "Prequelle".
GHOST will embark on the next North American leg of "Imperatour" this month. The trek will see the Grammy Award-winning Swedish theatrical rock band headlining 19 arenas across the U.S. and Canada (plus an appearance at Virginia's Blue Ridge Rock Fest),kicking off August 26 at San Diego's Pechanga Arena and running through September 23 at the Resch Center in Green Bay. Support on all dates (with the exception of Green Bay which will feature support from CARCASS, and the Blue Ridge Rock Fest) will come from Grammy Award-winning band MASTODON and SPIRITBOX.