Rock music has been in a fallow period over the last decade with very few acts breaking through, but Swedish band Ghost has proved to be the exception to the rule.

The band, who opened for Metallica at Slane in 2019 and are currently enjoying unexpected chart success with their track 'Mary On A Cross', have become the biggest rock band in the world in the face of R&B and dance music dominating the charts.

Speaking to Alabama outlet ahead of a gig last week, frontman Tobias Forge said it was the support of big bands like Metallica, Iron Maiden and Guns N' Roses that helped establish Ghost's name.

"There is a lot of kudos and credit I must give to Duff McKagan, James Hetfield, Phil Anselmo, Jerry Cantrell from Alice in Chains and Dave Grohl, of course - all those guys took us on tours."

"They lifted up the band Ghost, onto their stages and put us in front of a lot of people. Without that, this wouldn’t have happened."

Discussing Ghost's unlikely success story, Forge said there were a few factors in play.

"I think there are various reasons, and it all combined in alignment, sort of created the sum our career."

"I think our sound and our way of not writing the same record every time, but still having a signature DNA in it has helped. I think it has helped we have consistently tried to bring a show to the people. It defies logic for a lot of bands, I think, to try to expand beyond their means."

"In this day and age, especially when rock isn’t the flavor of the day, I think it has behooved us that we’ve sort of moved against the pack," he added.

Ghost burst onto the scene in 2010 with their debut album 'Opus Eponymous', but the band were at odds with rock music trends of the day.

"When we were debutantes, it was still that like emo-core going on, and we stood out like a sore thumb," Forge recalls.

"Somehow, we were lucky enough people started embracing us as well, even though we weren’t part of any major music movement. Maybe there was a murmur about an underground occult-rock thing going on at the time. But that was at such a low level that wouldn’t have affected people in general."

Ghost's most recent album 'Impera' was released in March to strong reviews and sales, with the album topping the charts in their native Sweden along with number one slots in Germany, Spain and Finland, number 2 slots in the UK and US, and a number 5 on the Irish album charts, their highest chart ranking yet.

The band have become the latest rock group to see an old track appear on the charts thanks to a viral TikTok trend, with their 2019 track 'Mary On A Cross' hitting the Irish top 40 this week.