Year Zero By Ghost: Lyrics Meaning And Interpretation

Year Zero by Ghost: Lyrics Meaning and Interpretation


Ghost is one of those rare bands that have seamlessly blended genres from different eras and made it work in their favor. Their shock rock themes combined with great instrumental work has made them a breath of fresh air in the rock and metal scenes.

They do not hide their pop influences which are very prominent in their choruses and also happen to have a story from album to album. With Tobias Forge being the Papa Emeritus which is the latest avatar of his, Year Zero is a great song that tells us about the beginning of a new time sans a calendar.


Released in 2013 in the “Infestissumam” album, it is a great way of knowing the band and what they are capable of. Interestingly Tobias said that “Zenith” and “Year Zero” were written with the help of the band’s guitarist – Martin Penser. They changed the lyrics to fit in with the instrumentation and also added a few sections to it.

It was first uploaded on Facebook and then promoted across all platforms. This is the same time when Tobias asked the Catholic Church to appoint him as a pope. Drawing inspiration mainly from the Vatican the visuals of the band as a whole are closely related to the catholic church.

Vocal Chants 1 – What do they mean?

“Belial, Behemoth, Beelzebub

Asmodeus, Satanas, Lucifer

Belial, Behemoth, Beelzebub

Asmodeus, Satanas, Lucifer”

The song starts off with a choir section singing the words Behemoth, Belila, and Lucifer amongst others. All these words are a reference to what the church refers to as Satan or demonic creatures. Setting the pace for the track these chants will lay the foundation for the dark and gritty mood of the track.

In apocalyptic literature, all of these names including Asmodeus are a reference to the creatures that spawn from hell. In Judeo-Islamic lore, Asmodeus is the prince of demons.

Loosely speaking all of these are references to the apocalyptical new world order that will be headed by Satan or demonic forces in general.

Verse 1 – What does it mean?

“Since dawn of time the fate of man is that of lice

Equal as parasites and moving without eyes

A day of reckoning when penance is to burn

Count down together now and say the words that you will learn”

After the vocal chants, we get to the first verse that says that the fate of humanity has always been written and we are headed towards doom. And when that day comes we will start from “Year Zero”. Humanity as a whole is just a tiny tick on the map of the universe. The day of reckoning is coming when each sinner will pay for his/her sins.

As the countdown begins, if humanity says the words they will have a chance to learn. Making macabre lyrics fit with a pop-based catchy chorus. This has been a mainstay in the Ghost catalog since the start of the act. They have found the perfect way to add deep lyrics in a pop format.

Chorus – What does it mean?

“Hell Satan, Archangelo

Hell Satan, Welcome year zero

Hell Satan, Archangelo

Hell Satan, Welcome year zero”

As the new chants come in there is a dramatic shift from the first ones. At first, only the names were being chanted but now there is an emphasis on praising them. The term Archangelo is used because before his fall Satan was also an Archangel.

The chants proclaim that the new beginning has come and that “Year Zero ” begins now. It is the start of new world order and it would be in the best interest of the people to accept it now.

Vocal Chants 1 – What do they mean?

“Belial, Behemoth, Beelzebub

Asmodeus, Satanas, Lucifer”

We again see the vocal chants that were there at the start which set a macabre mood for the coming verse. It once again reminds the listener of the new world order and how everything is starting from scratch.

This is also a preface for the next verse in which Tobias expands on what he meant in the song before.

Verse 2 – What does it mean

“Crestfallen kings and queens comforting in their faith

Unbeknownst to them is the presence of the wraith

Since fate of man is equal to the fate of lice

As new dawn rises you shalt recognize now behold the Lord of flies”

Speaking about how the kings and queens of the past era have now fallen, he insists that humankind is still not cognizant of the wraith. The humans are still in blissful ignorance and do not know what is headed their way.

He once again insists that humankind is like lice and in the grand scheme of things not as significant as they think.

As a new era starts the humans should recognize their new overlords and accept that the old era is no more.

Chorus – What does it mean?


Hail Satan, welcome year zero

Hail Satan”

Now as “Year Zero” is started Tobias sings about the new lord coming to the center stage of the world. It is now imminent that the king has come to claim his throne and the world shall know his wraith.


Verse 3 – What does it mean?

“He will tremble the nations

Kingdoms to fall one by one

A victim to fall for temptations

A daughter to fall for a son

The ancient serpent deceiver

To masses standing in awe

He will ascend to the heavens

Above the stars of God”

In this verse, Satan has finally come after the nations and seeks to wipe out whoever stands in his way. Kingdom after kingdom falls because he is too strong to be contained by anyone. He defeats all not just with brute strength but also with their own temptations.

He uses deceit as a way to get to his means and garners enough power to ascend to the heavens. Tobias describes him now as more powerful than the gods that have been ruling since time immemorial.

The more power he gains, the more unstoppable he becomes. The masses will only be in awe as the new ruler gains more and more power until he transcends that of the gods themselves.


The apocalyptic nature of the lines combined with 80s pop sensibilities is the genius that Tobias and Ghost are now famous for. All their albums follow a theme and this is not an exception too.

They have been doing this to much critical acclaim and people have responded well to it too. They focus on the storytelling aspect of their music and the imagery that goes with it too. They have released album skits that tie the story of different albums together and also explain the characters better.

As they release more and more music they have solidified themselves as a great band with dark yet catchy lyrics. The corpse paint makeup along with the over-the-top catholic imagery have helped them set themselves apart from everyone else.

Their story has progressed even further and the band regularly releases new music in the same vein. Their originality and mix of popular genres have given them a great fan base that promotes them all year round.

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