When Ghost introduced Cardinal Copia for the Prequelle album cycle, it presented an interesting new twist in the band's lineage of frontmen. With each album cycle, the three previous incarnations of Papa Emeritus were led offstage at the end of touring never to be heard from again. But Cardinal Copia still has yet to reach such exalted status, so what does that mean for the future?

Leader Tobias Forge teased a bit of what is to come with Kerrang!, asked about the Cardinal's status for the next studio album. “I just know that person will have the name Papa Emeritus IV,” reveals Forge. “It will be the fourth Papa Emeritus. But who that is, we don’t know yet.”

That leaves the door wide open for the next album, given that the slick dancing Cardinal could still graduate to "Papa Emeritus" status. Or you could see Sister Imperator deciding another change in leadership is needed. Only time will tell.

What is known is that Ghost are winding down their current tour cycle for Prequelle. Forge recently stated that aside from one concert, Ghost would not be touring in 2020. He's also reiterated that he expects to fully dive into the creative process for the next album in January, though he does have a wealth of ideas to sort through already.

“I look at many fifth albums as a guide as to the urgency for what that record will need to be, with [Iron Maiden’s] Powerslave being a great example,” Forge told Kerrang! “By the fifth album you’re at a point in your career where you have this momentum built up, and you have the expectancy of people depending on you, so you have to put something special in those many spotlights."

Look for the next Ghost album expected to arrive in 2021, and catch them while you can at their remaining 2019 tour dates.

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