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GWAR - The Blood of Gods

Format: Download
Released: 2017
Label: Metal Blade Records
Reviewed By: Jack Mangan
Rating: 7/10

I connected with this band decades ago, loving all of their intentionally offensive, over-the-top, lowbrow, sensationalist, grossout humor. GWAR's ridiculous Sci-Fi mythos is hellaciously fun, and surprisingly intricate.


Their sophomore record, "Scumdogs of the Universe," is actually a solid Metal album, full of great tunes, skits, and fun, showing strong musicianship and song chops. Follow-ups were more meh, with only occasional greatness (Saddam A Go-Go!!) - - as if the music had become less important than their infamous live spectacle and gimmick - - but through it all, they always featured one of the best voices in Metal, in Oderus Urungus, aka Dave Brockie.
Sadly, Brockie died in 2014, taking his Oderus alter ego with him.
Their "Blood of Gods" album, released in 2017, is their first without him. Beefcake the Mighty had always done well as GWAR's alternate vocalist in the past; now the guy who sometimes played him has stepped full-time into the lead role as Berzerker Blothar (It’s complicated).
Unfortunately, the music still tends to be middle-par. The jokes are still offensive, but they're not as off-the-wall and funny as in years past. There are occasional flashes of good riffs, like the opening to "Fuck This Place," but ultimately, even that song cycles into mediocrity. The last thing GWAR should ever be is uninteresting.
The great moment on “Blood of the Gods,” is in the final track: a cover of the AC/DC classic, “If You Want Blood (You’ve Got It).” The song sounds like it was written for them. I’ve seen GWAR do a number of stellar covers for the AVClub.com’s “AV Undercover” series. My humble recommendation to the Scumdog boys and occasional ladies is to either get back to writing songs as great as “The Salamanizer,” “The Horror of Yig,” etc., to focus less on songwriting altogether and go full throttle on the musical comedy, or to focus on retrofitting classic covers as GWAR songs, as they’ve done so well.
In summary: continue support GWAR and their mission to ravage the planet, but don’t look to this album as a return to their musical best.


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