Ghost mastermind Tobias Forge said the band’s upcoming album Impera was full of “dark shit” about the world today, but that he retained a “quite positive” view of the future.

While 2018’s Prequelle explored themes around Europe’s late Middle Ages, the new work is set mainly in the 19th century, during a period where an empire is beginning to crumble while leading members of society seek to protect their positions at the expense of others.

In a new interview with Kerrang!, Forge noted the concept bears a resemblance to what he sees in the world today. “The past couple of years, we've been regressing so hard,” he said. “A lot of the things that almost felt like fiction, like a lot of our lyrical content that seemed like we were singing about things that happened in the past and way in the distance, now are, like, ‘Wow, this is all over the place!’ People are really working hard to destroy progress and ultimately create a time machine that will set us back hundreds of years in terms of mental evolution.”

He noted that "the one important thing that I, as a person, want to do is sort of shine a light, and to see the fluidity of things.” He argued that “linear religions,” which teach that the function of life is to prepare for an afterlife, were “really bad for us” because they gave the impression that life was just “one thing” to be dealt with singly. He explained that "we’re sort of able see similar thinking in what we do in society, where we believe in some sort of status quo, where things can just remain. And that is not sustainable.”

Despite the negativity, Forge insisted, “I'm actually a positive guy. … In my hopes and what I believe in, I am actually quite positive. I think that things are going to be better. I believe in the fall of the shitty empires and the rise of the good ones – you can decide yourself which you think I’m talking about. I believe that our will to survive and love each other is actually greater than our will to destroy everything that we have.”

Impera will be released on March 11. Ghost are currently touring North America.

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