Go away it as much as GWAR, in any iteration, to riddle even probably the most severe of topic issues with comedic fodder in a means that isn’t reductive or dismissive, however successfully cheeky. We’ve identified GWAR for many years now to be masters of the stage present first, maestros of metallic second, and progenitors of prosthetics and costume third — none of which places them excessive on the checklist of individuals you’re taking significantly, since their complete schtick is sci-fi satire. Nonetheless, their fifteenth studio file The New Darkish Ages reaches peak poignancy and relevance instructed by a very ridiculous but classically GWAR lens.
The New Darkish Ages is a conceptual companion piece of kinds. It accompanies GWAR: Within the Duoverse of Absurdity, a graphic novel offering visuals to, effectively, the absurdity of all of it. Each inform the story of Blöthar the Berserker and firm battling alternately evil variations of themselves in a distinct realm. Seemingly, it’s a commentary on the duality of man as a complete — the wanting for higher however sustaining the worst, consumption versus conservation, energy versus peace — primarily, all the pieces occurring in a bigger sense is taking part in out in a smaller sense inside the plot of the story. On the album, within the graphics novel, and in a number of methods, in actuality, we’ve entered the brand new Darkish Ages.
However saying all of that’s actually simply to say this — the file rips, in its personal proper.
It’s been 5 years since The Blood of Gods got here out, the primary album with out beloved founding member Dave Brockie as Oderus Urungus, and the primary to characteristic the Berserker (Michael Bishop) as chief of the intergalactic barbarians. What Blöthar began on Blood of Gloods, he’s persevering with on New Darkish Ages, transgressive storytelling dynamic in aesthetics and inherent with dramatics. His vocal vary is expansive, and pays off in the course of the many moments on the album when GWAR select to essentially hold issues categorically “easy” (or so simple as a band like GWAR might ever probably get). The title monitor kicks issues off with a steadying construct of prototypically 80s-adjacent heavy metallic as Blöthar describes sides of what the brand new darkish ages are like — notably, how lies have “develop into contagious” (how becoming, particularly going into “Blood Libel,” a monitor about antisemitic blood ritual propaganda). Whereas tracks like “Ratcatcher” and “Rise Once more” are in an identical vein, it’s the thrashier ones the place Bishop and the album actually shine.
“Berserker Mode” is pushed by pummeling drums and an deliberately sneering vocality from Bishop that appeared to unlock his closing kind. The guitar solo that begins earlier than the three minute mark is Guitar Hero worthy for positive, earlier than Bishop comes again with an Iron Maiden-esque sort pressure. It, plus the extra doomy sensibilities on “Venom of the Platypus” nearly give the standout monitor a run for its cash. “Mom F**king Liar” is an anthem — it’s pit and chant prepared, transitioning by totally different tones with ease. Of all of the songs on The New Darkish Ages, this one is assuredly the group pleasing sing-a-long, as a result of the one factor all of us collectively hate is a mom f**king liar.
At a hefty 15 tracks — the final one being 11 minutes of cave dwelling atmosphere — The New Darkish Ages not solely reinforces GWAR’s capability for entertaining and satirical folly, but it surely additionally solidifies Bishop’s school in a frontman position. It’s not a matter of evaluating the eras or Oderus and Blöthar, however extra a matter of appreciating the variations. It’s the identical e-book, simply instructed by a distinct narrator. Hopefully, there’ll be a number of extra chapters to go.
Decide up GWAR’s new album The New Darkish Ages by way of the band’s official merch retailer, and seize tickets to their present US tour by way of Ticketmaster. Stream the whole album beneath by way of the Apple Music and Spotify gamers, and don’t overlook to take a look at the band’s line of “Bud of Gods” CBD merchandise.