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I can say with a straight face - this is good - 80%

Karamunga, September 12th, 2008

With this album, Gwar have stopped being a comedy act who wrote music to go along with their obscene comedy, to being a full fledged metal band with the occasional bit of silliness and humour. And, as a metal album, this is good. Seriously. I was surprised as well. Gwar have put out a genuinely good album that actually made me get into their earlier stuff to an extent as well.

A rather dull and uninteresting intro that a lot of bands seem obsessed with attempts to set the tone with a sample from the movie Gladiator. Then the first real song starts with power and might and thrashing. Battle Lust is your typical thrashy album opener - it is fast, it is heavy, and it's catchy. Definitely the best song to start the album with, and definitely a highlight of the album. And it stands out because much of the rest of the album is pretty mediocre. It's not bad, and in comparison to their previous efforts, it is very very good. But on its own, regardless of Gwar's career, the album is just a good album. There are six songs ranging from good to very very good, amidst five mediocre songs, and two tracks of complete filler (one of which is the intro, the other of which is the rap track Song of Words. I don't care if it's a parody, rap is not funny. It is just damnable).

The production on the album is good. The bass is audible and easily distinguishable from the guitars despite it just doubling the guitar parts for the most part. The guitars sound good enough, if a little thin at times. The drums sound good, though I do have a problem with the snare during some songs. Because there is a bit of variety in the album, the snare sounds out of place on the heavier tracks, but fits in perfectly with the more rock influenced tracks. Technically, the musicians give an adequate performance. It's Gwar - don't expect soaring guitar solos or grand amounts of shredding. Gwar are simple, fun entertainment. The few solos there are on the album do fit the music well and don't seem out of place.

The undeniable highlight of the album is Immortal Corrupter. Anyone who says otherwise must be on glue. This song isn't just "good for Gwar." This song is simply fantastic. There are a good variety of riffs in here, some tempo changes and a guitar solo in 7/4 timing. There are a lot of bands who throw in a few bars of an atypical time signature just to show they can pull it off - this works. And it works very well.

While there's nothing on the album as great as Immortal Corrupter, Abyss of Woe, Apes of Wrath, Beauteous Rot, Happy Death Day and the aforementioned Battle Lust represent the album very well, ranging from thrash to mid-tempo straight up heavy metal. And then Happy Death Day, which I'd describe as heavy punk if I liked punk. Which I don't. But it is undeniably catchy and fun.

Lyrically, it's typical Gwar. A lot of the songs fit into the Gwar's ongoing theme of being aliens or whatever the Hell they're supposed to be. The lyrics are filthy, vulgar and disgusting. But what's to be expected with a band who previously penned the song "Baby Raper." If you want your average metal love of violence and gore, then you have Battle Lust and Immortal Corrupter. If you like Gwar's penchant for perversity, then Beauteous Rot. And if you want straight up distasteful controversy, how does "Happy Death Day to Columbine" sound for a chorus? One of Gwar's ongoing themes is freedom of speech, and satire. Sick and twisted things happen, and banning any and all references to them doesn't make them go away. Which is what I get from their lyrics.

In short, the album is fun, and much more accessible than their earlier efforts. If you are remotely easily offended by sick lyrics, or aren't interested in skipping some boring songs to find some real gems, it's probably not for you.