Gwar are invading our orifices once one again. This time around with The Blood Of Gods, the band’s first album since the fall of their leader, Oderus Urungus, who’s presence is astronomically missed. With the title of the record alluding to his loss, The Blood Of Gods reflects the adversities they overcome as they took on the task of rediscovering themselves as a band with Blothar now at the helm. Regardless of the challenges they’ve faced, the Scumdogs of the Universe are returning as resilient as ever with their 14th full-length to wreak further havoc upon the human race.
Opening up is a whopper of a track, “War on GWAR,” which clocks in at 7:21. Blothar enters, accompanied only by the guitar, as he calls out, “Father of War, What troubles my sight, A raid against us, The armies unite.” Not long after, a cataclysm of doom-filled, sludgy riffs bombard you, transforming later into this thrashy, high energy tempo. With a change in intensity throughout, “War on GWAR,” is a dynamic and fun opener that instantly gets the blood pumping. “Viking Death Machine” follows with a more punk attitude, but it also has a strong rock n’ roll presence. Chorus-wise, it features one of the best moments on the entire record, and its infectious melody only further amplifies that.
Gwar – “El Presidente” (Official)
“El Presidente,” their previously released single, comes in with what sounds like a horn section. I have to say I was surprised to hear a Nightmare Before Christmas-esque section on the song. At first, I was unsure about that, but it ended up really growing on me over time. Though the singles, like “I’ll Be Your Monster” and “El Presidente,” are great tracks, they’re next two, “Auroch” and “Swarm” are two of my favorites. “Auroch” features a thick bass as well as some strong vocal moments for Blothar, particularly heard in the Joey Belladonna-like howl he does towards the beginning. A blazing guitar solo also rips out from the chaos, adding further to the track’s ferocity. “Swarm” features the steadiest drive I’ve ever heard on a Gwar track, and it’s unusually refreshing to hear. Blothar calls out, “Stop pissing! Stop shitting,” a lyric so completely Gwar it doesn’t even surprise me.
Thus far, not a bad apple sits amongst the bunch, but then “Death to Dickie Duncan” comes in. In comparison to what we’ve heard thus far, it just doesn’t hold up, especially in terms of song composition. There’s so much going on in this one, that it comes off a little too topsy turvy. Luckily, you get the bad taste out of your mouth with the four explosive, high-powered tracks that follow it, “Crushed by the Cross,” “Fuck This Place,” “Phantom Limb,” and their closer and cover of ACDC’s, “If You Want Blood (You Got It).” “Fuck This Place” is still one of the top tracks on the album, given that it highlights all that Gwar does best, and it’s a classic track in the making. Instrumentally, it’s also one of the most entertaining with this almost crazed energy. “Phantom Limb” is more of a ballad, but it’s one of the most encapsulating listens on the entire record. It is also something entirely new for Gwar sound-wise, making it a true standout track on The Blood Of Gods.
Gwar – “Fuck This Place” (Official)
Bringing it all together is “If You Want Blood (You Got It),” which as far as covers go, is great; However, it felt more like a bonus track rather than an album closer, but it’s still an amazing addition to their live show. Gwar have always turned heads, but they are set to do so even more with the release of The Blood Of Gods this Friday. A new era of Gwar may be here, but it’s clear they’ll never lose sight of where they came from. Still holding on to their roots, but also looking into the future, Gwar have created something that’s completely original. Most of all, The Blood Of Gods is proof that nothing in this world, not even time, can kill the all-mighty Gwar.
Gwar’s The Blood Of Gods releases tomorrow, October 20th. If you still haven’t picked up your copy of the record, you can do so here. If you’re looking to hear some new songs live, you can catch Gwar out on the road this Fall/Winter with Ghoul, Doyle (10/20-11/5), He Is Legend (11/7-12/10) and U.S. Bastards. Check out a full list of dates and pick up your tickets here.
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