LIVE: Ghost with Zombi, Cardiff 25/3/17

On the second day of the Popestar World Tour, Ghost rocked into Cardiff with supporting band Zombi in tow.

Perhaps not your usual support act, Zombi are a progressive space rock duo. The pair did well to fill the room with atmospheric, in places eerie music. Despite a vocal minority continuing to talk through the set, the band received a positive response from the crowd, seeing cheers and applause after each track.

The band played the majority of their set from their 2015 album Shape Shift, opening with the entrancing Pillars of the Dawn. The musicianship of the two artists was truly impressive, with Steve Moore occasionally plucking the bass whilst simultaneously playing synthesisers on the keyboard. Anthony Panterra kept the set rolling with stellar drumming performance, barely stopping through the band’s 45-minute span. [7/10]

It’s clear that the vast majority of the crowd were eagerly awaiting headliners Ghost. Throughout the crowd there were audience members dressed up as Papa Emeritus III, nuns, or other similarly occult outfits. Before appearing on stage, Ghost had several hymns playing out hauntingly over the speakers to build suspense.

First, several Nameless Ghouls came on stage playing the iconic introduction to Square Hammer, before Papa Emeritus III burst on scene as the vocals began. The performance was electrifying, Ghost incredibly close to the quality of their recorded material. The crowd belted back every word. A euphoric start to their set.

The band followed Square Hammer with another favourite, From The Pinnacle To The Pit, providing another atmospheric performance. From then on, the set was in gear and Ghost moved through their material with style.

The similitude of the Nameless Ghouls’ outfits drew most of the attention to Emeritus himself, who moved about the stage conducting both audience and music, drawing attention to a Ghoul playing an impressive solo or drum flair. That said, the Ghouls were a display of themselves, leaning forward to glare out at the crowd.

Introducing Cirice, both of the band’s guitarists had a humorous play-off of the opening riff before launching into the song fully. Emeritus provided amusing discourse between songs, laughing off the morbid themes of Ghost’s songs. His eminence also had a swift costume change halfway, from papal vestments to slick velvet suit.

Ghost are masters of their craft, and demonstrate it with excellent on stage. Aesthetically pleasing and musically inspiring, they controlled the room with a passion second to none. [8/10]