One of the most anticipated metal releases of 2018 is Ghost's next album. Last night (April 6) at a private event premiering the album, members of the group performed a three-song acoustic set, including one new song, "Rats," which sounds destined for rock arenas and festivals.

Tobias Forge, the man behind Ghost, met with Loudwire after the performance to discuss the song, and their upcoming album.

"Every record that I've made, so far, started with a song that had prog rock elements," he said. "I love that stuff! I love a lot of music like that. I'm a huge Uriah Heep fan."

However, "Rats" was designed to be a bit more straight-ahead. "When we made 'Square Hammer,' we needed a big opening track. It was inspired by various explosive opening tracks and records. Specifically, when I was a kid, there was a concert called the Moscow Peace Festival. It was broadcast on TV. It's one of those moments that I remember so clearly, I was eight years old. Ozzy Osbourne opened with 'I Don't Know,' and it's such a fucking great opening track. This was in front of like 80,000 people, who went nuts. I wanted to have that feel with 'Rats.' It's supposed to feel like that sort of opening track. A song that could get 80,000 people to jump. If you ever want to play bigger places, you need to have records that sound like you're playing in big places."

Clearly, his ambitions for Ghost are high. But he's cagey on details around the band's upcoming release (including when the album will come out). For instance, when asked about the newly revealed frontman, Cardinal Copia, he simply says, "He's got a long way to go before he earns his scalpings."

In the band's new video, introducing Cardinal Copia, the Sister of Sin mentioned to Papa Emeritus that his sons have a "new mission." What's the mission?

"You'll notice," Forge says with a grin.

In the past week, Ghost has released two video clips: "Chapter One: New Blood" and "Chapter Two: The Cardinal." How many more chapters will the series have? "We'll torture you for a long time about this."

But Forge gets a bit more serious when discussing the new album.  "Essentially, it's a record about survival, even though it's a record totally drenched with the threat of death. But for me, it is pure, very honest, very real, and for lack of a better phrase. very sincere, Ghost has always been about make-believe. And it's still about make-believe. But it feels very good to create something that is totally from the heart — not to say that previous records have not been from the heart. But this is very close to the heart. And still be able to intertwine those things.

He adds, "Once you get people's attention, you have a greater responsibility to tell them something of value."

Sincerity and theatrics: that's a tough combination. "It feels like I've accomplished that now. It feels like I've made a record that merges the two, I feel relieved about that."

Where Do Ghost Rank Among the Top 50 Metal Bands to Release Their First Album in the 21st Century?

Ghost Play ‘Wikipedia: Fact or Fiction?’