Cleopatra Records has announced the signing of synthwave act PRIEST, featuring former members of Grammy Award-winning Swedish rock act GHOST. Hailing from the same icy darkness of the Scandinavian inland that birthed GHOST, PRIEST consists of a trio of musicians — vocalist Mercury, who was known as Water when he played bass for GHOST, keyboardist Salt, formerly known as GHOST keyboardist Air, and programmer/ keyboardist Sulfur — who came together in 2017 and started releasing their own unique brew of electronic music that bears little sonic resemblance to their former band yet still shares the same creative DNA. But whereas GHOST borrowed their theatrics from old school horror and '80s rock, PRIEST comes steeped in cyberpunk and industrial music.
Cleopatra owner Brian Perera states: "We've been living in this genre since the '90s so we have a pretty good feel for when bands do it right, and as soon as we heard PRIEST, we knew they were something special. We see an extremely bright future ahead for the band and are thrilled to be partnering with them to make that happen."
PRIEST concurs, saying: "Signing with such a legendary label like Cleopatra will probably be the biggest step in our career. With great knowledge of the genre we're in, we can't think of a better match for PRIEST. Our next album is by far the best yet and we can't wait to unleash it to a wider and more diverse audience."
Watch for PRIEST's new full-length album, produced by another GHOST alumni Simon Söderberg (GHOST guitarist and producer/engineer of debut album "Opus Eponymous") as well as a full-scale U.S. tour in summer 2022.
Last year, PRIEST released a new album called "Cyberhead", the follow-up to its debut, "New Flesh". "Cyberhead" was the first album since original singer Tom Åsberg (also known as Ginger Khan) left the band to pursue other projects. PRIEST mastermind Linton Rubino has taken over on vocals, which are performed by a masked character they call Mercury.
Back in 2017, GHOST leader Tobias Forge was sued by four former members of the band after being dismissed by the group's founder the previous December. They accused the singer of cheating them out of their rightful share of the profits from the band's album releases and world tours. The lawsuit was filed in the district court of Linköping, Sweden, where GHOST was originally based. It claimed that a partnership agreement existed between Forge and the four former members, all of whom performed anonymously in the band as Nameless Ghouls. As a result of the lawsuit, Forge was forced to reveal his identity after years of performing in a mask as Papa Emeritus. He has maintained that "no legal partnership" ever existed between him and the other members.
In May 2018, Linton, who played bass live in GHOST from 2013 to 2014 in the role of the Nameless Ghoul Water, blasted the band's latest album, "Prequelle", saying he was "ashamed to have been part of that" and calling the music "a joke" and "mainstream shit."