GWAR – The Blood of Gods
Release Date: October 20, 2017
Label: Metal Blade Records
I have been a GWAR fan for well over 25 years now. I have seen GWAR live 12, maybe 13 times but all through the years I have stood by one thought: GWAR studio albums are not my favorite things in the world to listen to. Now before you go wanting to feed me into the human meat grinder, let me touch on this a bit. In the past GWAR albums have been pretty hard for me to listen to. Either plagued by shitty production with great songs (Scumdogs of the Universe) or great production with not that great of songs (Lust in Space), GWAR albums have always been hit or miss for me.
When The Blood of Gods made its way across my desk, I have to say that I was a bit more weary yet at the same time intrigued but this album than any GWAR album in a long time. This is the first album to not feature long time vocalist/founder Dave “Oderus Urungus” Brockie and the first album to feature the GWAR lead singer Mike “Blothar” Bishop. In all honesty, I have to say that this album literally took me two listens. The first listen was such a mind fuck because The Blood of Gods almost sounded like a completely different band but the 2nd time around was where this album really proved to be a spectacular album.
If you aren’t or were never a GWAR fan, just give up now because you won’t like this album. I can totally see how GWAR fans will be divided on this one but in my opinion, The Blood of Gods is GWAR’s greatest offering since putting out my personal favorite, This Toilet Earth. The vocal delivery of Blothar is so off the charts and it is such an amazing and embraceable change. Yes, he’s a different singer, much different than Oderus is but he’s almost seems to be a more metal type singer than Brockie was. The songs in general also seem to have taken GWAR into new terratories as well as revisiting ghosts of GWAR past which is exciting as a longtime fan.
The opening song, “The War on GWAR” almost has the band embodying a more Black Sabbath influence with a hint of Danzig thrown in there while “Viking Death Machine” and “El Presidente” feel like they could have come straight off of the America Must Be Destroyed album. “Crushed by the Cross” is a fucking juggernaut that goes straight for the head, rips it off, and then shits down your throat. “Phantom Limb” is a seriously touching yet powerful nod to their fallen leader Oderus but can we also just mention the fact that after all these years, GWAR covered AC/DC’s “If You Want Blood You’ve Got It”? Goddamn that shit fucking ruled my face and not only was it the perfect way to close out this album but it was a loud and proud testament that GWAR ain’t goin’ anywhere.
I may get a lot of shit for this but The Blood of Gods is the most enjoyable GWAR album I have heard in decades. It’s the most diverse and most dynamic album they’ve released tot date and I honestly feel that this album even has the potential to open doors for GWAR fans who may have been on the fence in the past. For those that ever had any doubts as GWAR’s ability to carry on without Oderus, this album very well will put a foot in their mouths. You are either going to love it or hate it and for this longtime GWAR fan, I can tell you that not only do I love it but I firmly believe that wherever Oderus may be roaming, he is doing so with a shit eating grin and a huge ass nod of approval.