He Is (Ghost song)

"He Is" is a song by Swedish rock band Ghost. The fifth track from the group's third studio album Meliora, it was released as a promotional single on May 31, 2015. The song reached number 64 on the Sverigetopplistan chart.[1] A live recording was later released in 2017.

"He Is"
Artwork used for the 2017 live version
Promotional single by Ghost
from the album Meliora
ReleasedMay 31, 2015
RecordedJanuary 2015
GenreProgressive rock, folk rock
Length4:13
LabelLoma Vista Recordings
Songwriter(s)Forge, Åhlund, Persner
Producer(s)Klas Åhlund

Background and release

The song "He Is" was written in 2007. The band attempted to record it for 2013's Infestissumam, but after trying to get it to "sound like Ghost" and adding and subtracting aspects, ultimately put it on the shelf. One band member said that he just did not know what to make of it, explaining that "When you're a rock band, it's always a little hard to play softly", "you've got to take your pulse down to be able to approach a different kind of energy level." Upon starting pre-production for Meliora they added "He Is" to the list and, after praise from producer Klas Åhlund, recorded it as it was.[2]

A Nameless Ghoul told Loudwire that there are various degrees of personal meaning within the song, one of which is the lyrics. He explained that the original demo lyrics were "bogus" and did not have any "bite", but following the 2014 suicide of Selim Lemouchi, guitarist of the Dutch rock band the Devil's Blood who was friends with members of Ghost, the lyrics materialized.[3]

Ghost performed an acoustic version of "He Is" at the Bandit Rock Awards on January 19, 2016 at the Hard Rock Cafe in Stockholm.[4]

A 10" picture disc vinyl single of a live recording of "He Is", that was limited to 500 copies, was released in 2017.[5] Its content was also made available digitally on iTunes.

Videos

A lyric video for the song was made by Mattias Erik Johansson/Claudio Marino/Nicklas Lindahl. It was uploaded to the band's official YouTube channel on November 9, 2015.[6]

On August 24, 2017, Ghost uploaded the final music video from Meliora for "He Is". It was directed by Zev Deans and premiered at Saint Vitus Bar in New York City the day before.[7] An extended director's cut of the video was released exclusively in collaboration with Metal Injection.[8]

Reception

Upon Meliora's release, "He Is" was quickly cited as a stand out track[2][3] and became a fan favorite at concerts.[9] PopMatters's Nathan Stevens wrote that it "could be mistaken for a worship song in a mega-church and that's not a demerit against the track. The chorus is massive and begs for a sing along."[10] Sputnikmusic wrote that the track "showcases Ghost's keen attention to integrating doom-infused, progressive elements with glistening, pop-oriented sensibilities." They praised the harmonized guitars as "marvelous" and the "ethereal" vocals.[11]

In an interview with one of the guitarists, Joe Bosso of MusicRadar cited the guitar solo as the musician's best. The Nameless Ghoul then explained the solo is not a tapping one, but a "tapping-like technique" and that it is one of many parts of the song that is exactly as it was on the demo.[2]

In Rolling Stone's readers' poll of The 10 Best Songs of 2015, "He Is" was ranked fourth. Brittany Spanos wrote that with the song Ghost "hit a psychedelic note, going back to metal's folkier roots from the Sixties and Seventies."[12]

Track listing

2015 Promo single
No.TitleLength
1."He Is" (Radio Edit)3:31
2017 10" Vinyl single
Side A
No.TitleLength
1."He Is" (Live in San Francisco)4:17
2."He Is" (Ghost X Alison Mosshart)3:51
Side B
No.TitleLength
3."He Is" (Health Remix)3:41
4."He Is" (The Haxan Cloak Remix)6:37

Personnel

References

  1. "Discography Ghost". swedishcharts.com. Hung Medien. Retrieved 2016-02-25.
  2. "Ghost's Nameless Ghoul talks picking Papas, playing Gibson RD guitars and new album Meliora". MusicRadar. 2015-07-15. Retrieved 2015-12-14. [...]one of their best songs[...]
  3. "A Nameless Ghoul From Ghost on Themes Within 'Meliora' + How a Friend's Suicide Inspired 'He Is'". Loudwire. 2015-11-11. Retrieved 2015-11-19. [...]one of the album's standout tracks[...]
  4. "Video: GHOST Performs Three-Song Acoustic Set At Sweden's BANDIT ROCK AWARDS". Blabbermouth.net. 2016-02-06. Retrieved 2016-02-25.
  5. "Ghost - "He Is" Limited Edition 10" Vinyl Picturedisc". Loma Vista Recordings. Retrieved June 3, 2018.
  6. "Ghost Premiere Lyric Video for "He Is"". Revolver. 2015-11-10. Archived from the original on 2016-03-09. Retrieved 2016-02-17.
  7. "Video Premiere: Ghost's 'He Is'". Blabbermouth. August 24, 2017. Retrieved August 24, 2017.
  8. "The Cult Of GHOST: Behind The Scenes and Extended Director's Cut Of The "He Is" Music Video". Metal Injection. August 25, 2017. Retrieved June 3, 2018.
  9. "Ghost Release Lyric Video for 'He Is'". Loudwire. 2015-11-09. Retrieved 2016-02-17.
  10. "Ghost - Meliora". PopMatters. Retrieved 2016-02-17.
  11. "Review: Ghost (SWE) - Meliora". Sputnikmusic. 2015-08-15. Retrieved 2016-02-17.
  12. "Readers' Poll: The 10 Best Songs of 2015". Rolling Stone. 2015-12-16. Retrieved 2016-08-19.
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