Copenhell - 2023

Text: Tobias Nilsson Photo: Lunah Lauridsen

Guns N’ Roses may have been the official headliner of the day, but damnit if Ghost wasn’t easily as popular with the crowd, or maybe even more! They certainly had a stage show to rival the old Americans.

The first thing to hit me was of course the look. Ghost is known for changing shit up from time to time, it’s part of the story timeline of their personas and all that. Since I’m not that much into the band, I can’t speak on any kind of authority on the details here, but since we saw the band last, back in 2019 supporting Metallica, a new full-length album had come out, Impera, and the clergy had obviously taken a new turn in their development. What we saw was something much more brass and steampunk oriented than ever before, and this was visible both in the drumkit as well as on the new costumes and masks. Gone was Cardinal Copia, and in trod Papa Emeritus IV. I liked it, it looked cool.

Well, as it turned out, Cardinal Copia wasn’t completely gone, and neither were the earlier incorporations of Papa Emeritus. You see, for nearly every single song played, there was a pause and a costume change; at first fun and interesting, it quickly turned into an annoying Barbie-like clothes showroom, where I really just wanted some more drive in the show. The momentum of the songs, which were great fun, was completely killed by the constant pauses. The old saying “less is more” would certainly have gone a long way to fix things, but sadly Forge and the phantoms were more enraptured by fellow Swedish musician Yngwie Malmsteen’s take on it, “More is more”.

The show wasn’t all built on the costumes however. There was an elaborate and good looking stage build and integrated backdrop, and after a few songs Ghost started getting into pyrotechnics, and in some songs this was changed out with confetti cannons - no expenses spared, it would seem. These parts also worked better because they became part of the songs without delaying the show between them. I’m not saying the costumes weren’t well made or cool or anything like that, don’t get me wrong; my only concern was that it hindered the flow of the show.

Sadly, Ghost was also plagued by a particularly weak sound, combined with a heavy low-pitched humming noise coming out for most of the show. That’s not on them of course, but it didn’t help the overall experience.
I mean, I still enjoyed singing along to the hits as much as the next person, but overall I found this to be one of Ghost’s weaker performances. Luckily, my voice isn’t the only one that counts, and the impressively huge crowd around me seemed to have a great time.


Misere Mei, Deus (Gregorio Allegri song)
Hunter’s Moon
Watcher In The Sky
Year Zero
Mary On A Cross
Mummy Dust
Kiss The Go-Goat
Dance Macabre
Square Hammer

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