Ghost frontman Tobias Forge said the band's upcoming album Prequelle is informed by the “pre-apocalyptic aura” that he feels is prevalent in the current political tensions between the U.S. and Russia.

The band’s fourth full-length release is set to arrive on June 1. Forge previously said that some elements of the record were inspired by the deaths of Lemmy Kilmister, David Bowie and Prince.

“Over these last couple years, or last year especially, you had a lot of Cold War situations between, obviously, your guy [U.S. President Donald Trump] and his equal over in Russia," Forge said at a recent live promotional event (via Blabbermouth). “What happens, without going too political, is the populations of all these countries become the children when the parents are fighting. It obviously affects everything – it affects the stock market, it affects the general well-being – so there's this sort of pre-apocalyptic aura in our thinking.”

He added that, in an environment of “all these threats,” people felt like they were “being attacked, or potentially could become attacked by anyone.” However, he argued that the situation was far from new.

“I think that the end of the world has already happened many times," he explained. "If you bumped into someone in Berlin in March 1945, he'd probably think that we're done. It's over. Same thing if you go to Aleppo, [Syria], you'd probably feel that sort of Armageddon is happening right here. I think that especially if you think about the plague, the Black Death. When it hit Europe in the mid-1300s, it wiped out half of the population. … It wiped out complete villages, and maybe that one peasant who was a bit too far off or a little bit too secluded, that was the only person that survived. Then you had other villages that miraculously lived, but that created a lot of shifts. After the plague faded out, it also led to a resurgence and a lot of bloom, basically.”

Forge noted that his chosen subject had been covered before, especially in the death metal and black metal genres. “But usually it's focusing on the idea of the half of the population that died, whereas I wanted to make a record that sort of shone the light on surviving through a turmoil like that," he said. "This is a record about survival, but through somewhat troubled times."

He had previously referred to the concept of survival through challenging times, and said that continuing Ghost after his identity had been revealed offered a better opportunity to deliver a “pure, very honest, very real and, for lack of a better phrase, very sincere” album. Their Rats on the Road U.S. tour begins on May 5 and runs until May 27.

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