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“It’s always one hell of a party, when Ragnarok rolls around.”
Infamous words such as these are often attributed to literary greats such as Twain, Poe, or Shakespeare. It is of rare occasion that such a cultured genius can forego the limited medium of written word and fuse their innate talent with harmony, heavy metal, jazz, and punk fused into an amalgam of destructive bliss. This genius is the ambiguous Oderus Urungus of the hellish Alien pirates GWAR who have come to champion our limited and pathetic human musicians.
“They come for MEAT…SANDWICH!”
Yes, us pitiful mortals have come to GWAR seeking a tasty meat sandwich to satiate our aural and needs that is just what these marauders have produced. Every single cut of this “Meat Sandwich”, Ragnarok, is stiff and full of spice. It is far from tender the sharp riffing hits us like a drumstick in the face. We are treated to delicious slabs of intense vocal work overlaid on droning guitars in which our gods and beliefs are laid waste. While it is quite obvious GWAR do not seek to dazzle with flurrying guitar solos and technical riffing, but rather to penetrate our minds with utterly fulfilling and simplistic riffs which dig into your brain and cannot be dislodged. The vocal work is on par with riffing in that you will find yourself unable to resist and can’t help but reach out an devour this Meat Sandwich.
“Why don’t you just admit it you’re a dirty rotten sonofabitch!”
Dirty is the perfect word to describe the experience of this album. Picture yourself at the tender age of 2 in your back yard rolling around in a large puddle of mud (much more fun than listening to puddle of mud), gleefully unaware of all problems in the world and embracing the dirty, filthy fun of now-this is Ragnarok. Nearly every piece of musical genius on this album is standout. Several songs possess infectious 80’s thrash style gang chorus’ in which the bystander walking by and faintly catching the incessant chanting of “Crush, Kill, Destroy” can’t help but scream along.
“Anarchy, chaos rule the street, it's a RagNaRok party town!”
It's already been stated the guitar-work is rather simplistic and the riffs could easily be mastered by anyone who’s picked up a guitar for more than a month. The drumming is in somewhat of the same vein although on the more punk-influenced pieces the speed and aggression begins to tear its way out of your speakers (Dirty Filthy, Martyr Dumb, Nudged, Fire in the Loins). There are several interesting fills which could almost convince someone these guys can play (well Jizmack at least), and indeed they can if one takes a listen to GWAR’s more recent albums. I’ll have to admit, the lyrics and downright twisted atmosphere are the selling point for these misfits. Anyone who hasn’t enrolled in the seminary should get a chuckle (if not collapse from laughing) at this hilarious outfit. Who doesn’t like getting stares from people who overhear you listening to “You’re just a person with AIDS!” pouring out at high volume from your speakers. The main genre I’m acquainted with is Black Metal, and even I have found a coveted spot in my CD collection for such a unique band. I would highly recommend this album to all fans of metal and punk in general and would urge you to check out GWAR live as their shows do overshadow their music, but with that being said one cannot discredit classics such as these. We may all have AIDS but we should all have this album.