Gwar ‘Blood of the Gods’ – Album Review

        The Scumdogs of the Universe have returned, and in triumphant form!!!!! On October 20th, they will discharge all over our collective faces…I mean, release their new album, The Blood of Gods; well, actually, if you got a show, there is a very good chance that Gwar will splatter their discharge all over you. Gwar, unleashed from the ice in Antarctica by Sleazy P. Martini, has been churning out their unique form of shock rock (I fucking hate that term) since 1984. I have been listening since 1990, and have loved every album I’ve heard, and TBOG is no exception.

        In the last few years Gwar has suffered some losses. Corey Smoot, who was guitarist Flattus Maximus, died in 2011, due to a pre-existing heart condition. In 2014 Dave Brockie, who was Oderus Urungus, and the voice behind this band of interplanetary crack smokers, died of a heroin overdose. Most fans thought the band was done, but, in a stroke of brilliance, Michael Bishop stepped behind the mic after the death of Oderus. Bishop was Beefcake the Mighty, bassist, back in the Scumdogs of the Universe era of Gwar. He sang on several songs throughout his time in the band, and they were always among my favorites. They gave Oderus a Viking Funeralat GwarBQ, toured a few times, tried out and dumped a new character (I personally was glad to see Vulvatron go), and now we approach the release of a fantastic new album.

        First off, I miss hearing Oderus’s voice. The way he executed his vocals was heavy, punky, and hilarious all at once. When Blothar (Michael Bishop) joined to helm vocal duties, most fans were critical of his ability to do the old songs, or even move forward. I’m am here to tell you this, Blothar was, and is, the perfect choice to take over. He has way more range than most people would think, and is an imposing figure onstage. In the song “I’ll be Your Monster” he has an almost 80’s hard rock thing in his voice, just raspier. While I really dig this tune, some Gwar fans won’t be as happy with it. It’s a little stripped down, and could be heard on some of the edgier radio stations. That doesn’t make it a bad song, I mean, fan favorite “Sick of You” was a memorable, chant-worthy song; not much difference if you ask me. “Death to Dickie Duncan” is a jab at the fast food industry, and how their poisonous food is garbage to the masses. “I am the one who’s gonna feed you murder on a bun, I am the one who won’t stop until you weigh a ton”. I love it, and Dickie sounds like Granbo from The Morality Squad. The song “War on Gwar” has a doom metal, Black Sabbath vibe going on, and is the album opener. It’s about 7 minutes long, but you’d never realize it unless you looked. “Auroch” sounds like Kerry King helped write it, and then showed Pustulus (Brent Purgason) how to play the lead. It is a very Slayer-ish track, and my personal favorite on the album. They covered a song by a band that I despise, the highly over-rated, and not as talented as you all seem to think, AC/DC. Thankfully they picked a song that Bon Scott sang on, which is the only time I ever thought AC/DC was even remotely listenable, and is one that fits the bands stage show; as they spill copious amounts of fake blood on the fans as they hack, and butcher, everyone and anyone who probably really deserves it in real life.

         Old school Gwar fans, real Gwar fans, will thoroughly enjoy this new album. For if you are a Bohab (Gwar Fan) then you will love anything they do. Picky Gwar fans will talk shit, even though they don’t know twice around their own asses. Dave Brockie would be proud of the band for moving forward, for persevering through all the loss, the bullshit, and naysayers. The Blood of Gods releases on October 20th. Go buy that shit, crank it up, and revel in the glory that is Gwar.

Tom Hanno

Chimera Magazine