REVIEW: GWAR – “The Blood Of Gods”
Few bands have the sheer presence like the one cultivated by GWAR. The characters, the stories, and the music all have such a unique spin that makes you chuckle while you headbang. They’re one of those unforgettable live bands that really have the entertainer portion of musicianship on lock. Their sound is as much fun as their look. It’s some goofy rock and roll for sure, but the songs stick with you for a long time, which is really the mark of a quality tune. This is their first record since the passing of Oderous, who is sorely missed but never forgotten. As the band put it, “Born of adversity, “The Blood of Gods” is a sonic scar…a question asked and answered…Death cannot kill GWAR. Nothing can.”
Starting off the record is ‘War on GWAR.’ It’s a slow building tune that eventually picks up a catchy groove and begins getting the blood flowing. The riffs and gang vocals feel very familiar and are that classic GWAR sound that I know a lot of people will be looking for.
‘Viking Death Machine’ starts off with a thick, driven bass jam that kicks off a fairly catchy tune. There is a gang vocal break about halfway through the song that didn’t feel right, however. It felt forced, but otherwise really doesn’t do much to impede my enjoyment of the song.
‘El Presidente’ is another example of GWAR done right. It has catchy, memorable riffs and great lyrics. One of the unique styles GWAR uses so well is implementing multiple different voices with different inflections to add more depth and dynamics to the sound. The late Lord Oderous had this style down to a T, so it is cool to see the band keep it around.
If I had to find an issue with the album, I’d only be able to come up with a small one. The album as a whole doesn’t feel as quirky as previous works. Understandably, most of the quirky nature of GWAR’s sound came from Oderous with his vocals, like the seemingly random scatting and odd noises. Those aren’t really around on this record, which leaves a small sense of longing for me. The album is so good, but it isn’t the same. However, looking at it as an entirely new chapter of GWAR’s legacy, the album definitely stands strong on its own. Blothar’s vocals are not an entirely new sound as he’s been around for a few records now, so there is no real shock of an entirely new vocal sound.
As a whole, the production quality on the album is rock solid. The guitar tone is fatter and meaner than ever while the bass tone is thick and meaty. As far as the instrumental aspects of the album go, I think the band nailed it. It feels like every track has at least one really catchy lick that has you nodding along without even knowing it. ‘The Sordid Soliloquy of Sawborg Distructo’ is one I found myself repeating a few times, both the name and the song.
Without a doubt, my favorite track on the album is ‘Fuck This Place’. Now I have a song to jam every time I’m forced to go somewhere I don’t want to be. It is insanely catchy, from the opening line to the chanting chorus. The upbeat tempo drives the song along with gusto and Blothar’s lines are killer.
All in all, this album is a lot of fun. It is GWAR back at what GWAR does best, which is making some catchy tunes. The songwriting is rock solid and the lyrics are as goofy as ever. From beginning to end, “The Blood of Gods” is a great ride. I would recommend the album to anyone and everyone that likes laughing and rocking, especially at the same time. In my opinion, GWAR did right by their fallen leader and put out an album he would be proud of, as they should be, too.