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Anti-pope band reschedules black mass

JASON NARK, Daily News Staff Writer, narkj@phillynews.com, 215-854-5916

Updated: Sunday, August 16, 2015, 6:58 PM

Ghost (Courtesy photo)

POPE FRANCIS may have won the battle for the souls of Philadelphia, but a Swedish metal band’s quest to blanket the world in darkness continues.

The band Ghost was scheduled to play a sold-out show at Union Transfer on Sept. 26 to promote its new album “Meliora,” the same day Pope Francis arrives for the 2015 World Meeting of Families. It’s doubtful the date was a coincidence as the theatrical group’s lead singer, Pape Emeritus III, is more or less an anti-Pope, dressed in black robes with his own ceremonial “mitre” hat complete with upside-down cross.

Last week, the band put out a video with a sinister spokeswoman condemning Pope Francis’ “oppressive effect on Philadelphia” from behind a dark pulpit.

“Children of Philadelphia, you are a special city. We have been pleased with growing unrest and incivility toward Frankie’s visit next month, and we were especially pleased to register a sold-out concert on the same day Frankie would be blathering to the minions,” the woman said with delight.

The unholy power of the traffic box, the perimeter designed to limit automotive traffic in Center City during the pope’s visit, and its effects on Union Transfer on Spring Garden Street, compelled Ghost to reschedule its black mass to Sept. 29.

“Concession is sometimes hard. Our quest to topple a church will be won across many battles,” the woman said.

Sean Agnew, of Philly’s R5 Productions, told Newsworks.org that Ghost was really hoping to lay it on thick for Pope Francis, including having its own motorcade drive around the city.

Ghost was formed in Sweden in 2008 as a six-piece band with Papa Emeritus at the helm. Everyone else in the band is a “Nameless Ghoul.”

According to a bio, Ghost’s latest album is a “futuristic/preapocalyptic sounding record.”

“The gods are all dead. Even art is pure commodity,” the band’s bio reads. “But some still fight, quietly at first, but soon they will rise and make the glorious noise of the ancients, donning their masks, these nameless ghouls led by Papa Emeritus III.”

@JasonNark

JASON NARK, Daily News Staff Writer, narkj@phillynews.com, 215-854-5916

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