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  • Tracy Heck

Ghost and Volbeat team up for hard-hitting night in Toledo

Swedish satanic rockers Ghost are currently out on a co-headlining U.S. tour with Danish rockers Volbeat. The shows are being opened by Satanic Doo-Wop duo Twin Temple, who hail from Los Angeles.

Ghost's unique mix of progressive rock and metal and Volbeat's mash of rock, metal, pop and rockabilly make for an interesting partnership and draw a wide-range of crowds.

Last Tuesday, the tour made a stop in Ohio where the bands stormed the stage at Toledo's Huntington Center.

Twin Temple kicked things off with their hypnotic melodies and vibrant satanic imagery and props.

Husband and wife duo Alexandra and Zachary James are devout satanists who love the ancient spirit of 50's and 60's rock and roll while still enjoying the pounding beats of black metal.

Onstage it is hard to turn away from the pair as Alexandra's soulful voice complements Zachary's driving arrangements on guitar.

Tuesday's show saw the pair entertaining the crowd with a six-song set that included their latest single, "Let's Have a Satanic Orgy" and crowd favorite, "Satan's a Woman."

Volbeat is out touring in support of their 2021 album, Servant of the Mind and the band performed a number of those songs during their 16-song set on Tuesday in Toledo, including "Temple of Ekur," "Wait a Minute My Girl" and "Shotgun Blues."

Throughout the set, the fiery foursome blew through a number of the band's biggest hits as a eye-popping light show moved around them and images burst out behind them on the massive video screen.

The band jumped right into things as they kicked into "Seal the Deal" and "Pelvis on Fire."

Later, they would pull out crowd favorite "Sad Man's Tongue" and premiere one of their new songs, the catchy, "Step Into Light."

Volbeat went on to finish things off the way they started: with a bang as they wrapped things up with "Die to Live" and "Still Counting."

Vocalist Michael Poulsen has one of the most unique voices in music with a cross between Metallica's James Hetfield's growls and a mash of Elvis/Johnny Cash crooning.

That combined with the heavy riffs of guitarist Rob Caggiano and bassist Kaspar Boye Larsen and the driving drum work of Jon Larsen, makes for a stunning display of musicianship that seems to come across effortlessly and gave the crowd a jolt.

Ghost is gearing up for the release of their new album Impera on March 11th and Tuesday's closing set kicked off with one of the songs from the forthcoming release, "Kaisarion" before leading into one of the biggest hits from their last album "Rats."

During their 16-song set, they also performed another new track "Hunter's Moon," which is featured on the Halloween Kills soundtrack and will also be on their new album.

Ghost frontman Tobias Forge (Papa Emeritus IV) has shared that the new album will harken back to the 19th Century and the Victorian Age and deal with the rise and fall of empires.

For those unfamiliar with the band, the occult rocker's act revolve around Forge's devil pope (the many incarnations of Papa Emeritus) and his servants, the Nameless Ghouls.

Tuesday's show found Forge and his "ghouls" performing in a dramatic recreation of a three-dimensional cathedral that featured eye-popping stain glass windows representing the various Papa's.

As the evening moved on, Forge would lead his eight-piece band through some of Ghost's biggest hits from "From the Pinnacle to the Pit" and "Cirice" to "Ritual" and "Mummy Dust."

Along the way, Forge performed a number of costume changes and kept up a running banter with the audience as he glided from one end of the stage to the other.

His infectious joy at performing moved through the audience prompting a number of sing-a-longs, impromptu dance-offs and even a furious mosh pit.

The band wrapped things up with their cover of Metallica's "Enter Sandman" before climaxing with the one-two punch of "Dance Macabre" and "Square Hammer."

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