Go away it as much as GWAR, in any iteration, to riddle even essentially the most critical of topic issues with comedic fodder in a manner that isn’t reductive or dismissive, however successfully cheeky. We’ve recognized 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 record of individuals you are taking severely, since their complete schtick is sci-fi satire. Nonetheless, their fifteenth studio report The New Darkish Ages reaches peak poignancy and relevance advised 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 special 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 enjoying out in a smaller sense throughout 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 report 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 function 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 actually maintain issues categorically “easy” (or so simple as a band like GWAR might ever presumably 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 “grow to be 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 the same 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 remaining type. The guitar solo that begins earlier than the three minute mark is Guitar Hero worthy for certain, earlier than Bishop comes again with an Iron Maiden-esque sort drive. 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 completely different tones with ease. Of all of the songs on The New Darkish Ages, this one is assuredly the gang 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, however it additionally solidifies Bishop’s college in a frontman function. 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 advised by a special narrator. Hopefully, there’ll be a number of extra chapters to go.
Choose 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 under 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.