When guitarist Martin Persner left Ghost, it was only a matter of time for Magna Carta Cartel to rise again. For those who don’t know them, Magna Carta Cartel is a Swedish band that included many musicians who were later involved in Ghost (including Ghost’s mastermind, Tobias Forge); when the new band started to get attentions MCC had to be put on hold.
Last year, finally, they made a comeback with their single “Sway”, soon followed by a new album, “The Demon King”; the only thing left was to get back on stage and this happened this year, first with a brief performance in Norrköping, Sweden, then with two sold-out shows in London and finally with a proper European tour, the first in their career.
The show in Stockholm marked the beginning of the tour, and the band probably could have hardly wished for a more successful one: in just a few days since the ticket sales begun, the show had to be moved to a larger venue because of the high demand.
In the beautiful frame of the 130 years old Nalen the night was opened by True Moon, a Swedish band which plays a pleasant Post-Punk that reminded me of Joy Division and Siouxsie And The Banshees. The performance was enjoyable and the crowd seemed to appreciate it.
When the main act got on stage, the crowded venue erupted in a big applause, all the fans very excited for the return of Magna Carta Cartel. In this new formation of the band Martin Persner took over the vocal duties, and the core band of three members was accompanied by guest guitarist Niels Nielsen.
The setlist of the show was evenly split between the first album, “Goodmorning Restrained”, and the new songs, showing that the band is looking ahead to its future and doesn’t want to focus only on older music; the crowd was hence treated to old songs such as “Sunsettlers” and “Valiant Visions Dawn”, but also to new tracks like “Sway” and “The Sun and the Rain” which was played live for the first time.
Persner’s voice is at times remarkably similar to Forge’s and the band sounds very cohesive, showing the new formation and the many years since the last performances (with the exclusion of the three other recent ones) haven’t affected in any way Magna Carta Cartel; their dreamy sounds, together with the soft colourful lights, transported the crowd to a peaceful dimension and made the show a beautiful experience. As the last notes vanished in the air, my only regret was that the show didn’t last longer.