GHOST lead singer and founder Tobias Forge — who performs as Papa Emeritus and does the act's interviews disguised as a member of his backing band of Nameless Ghouls — says that he has spent the last few weeks working on the group's much-anticipated fourth album for an early 2018 release. "We've been in the studio for about a month now," Forge revealed after accepting the "Metal Anthem" award at this year's German edition of the Metal Hammer Awards, which was held last night (Friday, September 15) in Berlin. "And by the end of the year, if everything goes according to plan — knock, knock — we're gonna have a new album, not out, but we're gonna have a new recorded and mixed and delivered. And hopefully that means that we're gonna have a new album out by April — possibly, hopefully."Forge recently told the Albuquerque Journal that even as he is recording GHOST's fourth studio album, he's thinking about the one after that. He explained: "It's a pick and mix of a lot of different ideas and stuff laying around, a lot of new stuff being added to the pile. Yeah, it's a constant thinking ahead, and now, already now, I'm thinking about album number five, because there are songs coming out now or coming up being written that I feel like that won't fit into the new album, so I'll put that one on to the next one instead." Forge hinted at the lyrical themes of the next record, saying: "Having in mind that the previous record was about the absence of God or the absence of deities, this new one is going to be about the return of God. You know God's wrath cast upon the suffering humans, so it will be a little bit more biblical in that sense, which in turn makes it darker, a little bit more apocalyptic, I think." Forge told the Dallas Observer that GHOST's plan is to come back to America in April or May of 2018. "We have a tendency to do American tours in April, so we like that tradition," he said. "It's a good one and we'd like to keep doing that." Forge recently revealed his identity while responding to a lawsuit filed by four former members of GHOST, who accused him of cheating them out of their rightful share of the profits from the group's album releases and world tours. In his court documents, Forge — who had previously played in several other rock bands, including REPUGNANT, CRASHDIET, SUBVISION, MAGNA CARTA CARTEL and SUPERIOR — took credit for developing GHOST's image and stage show and blamed his ex-bandmates for "destroying the mystery" surrounding the group by lifting the lid on GHOST's business dealings.
GHOST is known for its eccentric performances and is composed of six members easily recognized for their satanic attires. Five men who call themselves as Nameless Ghouls play the instruments while the lead vocalist is known as Papa Emeritus. The Nameless Ghouls who are wearing identical devil masks and costumes represent the five instrumentalities or elements (fire, water, air, earth and aether or quintessence) while their leader Papa Emeritus represents the group's anti-pope symbol.