Ghost’s Phantomime covers EP is yet another mad journey through Tobias Forge’s head

Tobias Forge tackles on Iron Maiden, Tina Turner and Genesis on new covers EP

Ghost: Phantomime EP cover
(Image: © Loma Vista)

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Ever since 2013’s Infestissumam, it’s become a tradition for Ghost to follow each studio album with a palette-cleansing EP that leans heavily on Ghostified covers of classic songs by everyone from Abba to The Beatles (the notable exception of 2019’s Seven Inches Of Satanic Panic single, which followed Prequelle and threw up the viral hit Mary On A Cross). 

Phantomime upholds this tradition. Unlike 2016’s Popestar EP, which opened with the iconic Square Hammer, this features five cover versions and no new Ghost originals.

The result is fun if not entirely essential. An exhilarating cover of Genesis’ 1991 single Jesus He Knows Me, a takedown of US televangelists, falls so neatly into the Ghost ouvre you'd think Tobias wrote it himself with a gleeful cackle and eye to building his ever-expanding Ghost universe (it's not hard to imagine it sitting alongside Kaisarion in Ghost live shows). 

But elsewhere, things feel decidedly more throwaway. Tobias plays things a little too straight on Iron Maiden’s Phantom Of The Opera, struggling to put his own stamp a classic song, while their version of Hanging Around by punk icons The Stranglers similarly seems the band they're taking on overpower Ghost's own identity. The forgettable cover of 70s New York art-punks Television’s See No Evil seems to exist purely so Tobias can use that title.

They save the biggest and best until last with an epic version of Tina Turner’s We Don’t Need Another Hero, originally the theme to 1980s Mel Gibson blockbuster Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome. If ever they remake that one, they’ve got a ready-made closing song right here.

Phantomime isn't essential between-albums listening for Ghost fans in the same way 2013’s If You Have Ghost EP, Popestar or Seven Inches Of Satanic Panic were, but at this point the band hardly need to prove themselves; this well-oiled behemoth long having passed the point where they can do whatever the hell they want.

Rich Hobson

Staff writer for Metal Hammer, Rich has never met a feature he didn't fancy, which is just as well when it comes to covering everything rock, punk and metal for both print and online, be it legendary events like Rock In Rio or Clash Of The Titans or seeking out exciting new bands like Nine Treasures, Jinjer and Sleep Token.