Review – Gwar: Bloody Pit of Horror

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Review – Gwar: Bloody Pit of Horror
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Gwar: Bloody Pit of Horror
Thrash Metal
Metal Blade Records
November 9th, 2010
Release length: 37:03
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Gwar. Oh, what, you want more? Are you new to this planet? Gwar is a name that practically everyone knows at this point, Metal fan or not, and for good reason. Formed back in 1985 in Richmond, Virginia, the group adorns monster/alien costumes, composes music that varies between Thrash and Punk, and had a novelty sound going on for a little while, and has an insane stage show that uses life size puppets, gallons of fake blood and other foul bodily fluids, and much more that has made this band an infamous name in the music world. Coming off their highly praised Lust in Space (which was a runner up in 2009 for album of the year on this very site), Bloody Pit of Horror, named after the movie of the same name, makes for the band’s triumphant twelfth full-length effort, and for as much force as there is behind the kicks that this album gives square in the ass, it just doesn’t quite live up to the overall epic Metal/Punk atmosphere of the previous release.

Bloody Pit of Horror features a variety of music on the release, carrying the torch of the Thrash sound that has been the foundation of their recent releases, however this release actually comes across a little too serious at times for it’s own good. One of the things fans expect from Gwar most of the time is a somewhat fun mixture of Punk and Metal mixed with sarcastic lyrics that carry a rather serious tone to them, delivered with a great vocal range that suits the delivery of certain serious threats and satirical punchlines. While there are plenty of song names on here that inspire that kind of musical hope, such as “Come the Carnivor”, a song name that gives off vibes of being something along the lines of the well known track “Gor-Gor”, “Zombies March”, and “Tick-Tits”. However, these songs are actually a little more serious then Gwar fans would be accustomed to, as if being more along the lines of War Party, though the progression of the songs does follow the lyrical progression off Lust in Space. “Zombies, March”, of course, does have a fun vibe to it, being a classic Gwar song in the Thrash style with vulgarity and zombies, which seems to be the main theme of this release. However, the following track, “Come the Carnivor”, is actually a very slow paced track that sets up a dismall atmosphere through low, clean singing vocals, but the song winds up sounding a little amateurish in the long run, and will quickly be skipped after the first few spins, despite the fact that it acts more like a set-up for “A Gathering of Ghouls”, as it bleeds into that track, which is something that works well with this album, as the songs often don’t end and just continue in that same manner. Of course, “A Gathering of Ghouls” bleeds into “Storm is Coming”, which is a very technical, fast paced, and hard hitting track that just takes command as soon as it starts, and is it’s own song by not bleeding into “Tick-Tits”.

But, in true, classic Gwar fashion, “Tick-Tits” takes the material away from the more serious zombie-horror approach. The song features some more technical musical skills that show off a shade of Punk in the guitars, with some comical lyrics about some woman called “Tick-Tits”, as well as having ticks on your tits, and Oderus having obtained a job to clean up the ticks through eBay, all leading to a very humorous song that hits the listener hard with pounding drums, complex guitars, great vocal range that matches every set of lyrics, and a fantastic guitar solo that suits the music nicely. “Beat You to Death” is another more serious song, but the malicious lyrics about murder are performed by another member of the band (who I believe is Beefcake but don’t quote me on that), which works with the serious tone of the heavily Punk song, capturing Gwar‘s roots in that style, and winds up being a fantastic song that gets the blood boiling and makes you want to run to the nearest living thing and attack, especially with the slowly breakdown that appears near the end of the song. “The Litany of the Slain” is an obscure little song, being another slower paced track like “Come the Carnivor”, but features a very obscure approach to the vocals, being almost a spoken word approach with some singing in the background, aiding the music’s pounding march-like sound, while the lyrics are a little off the wall, and often seem to take jabs at celebrities like Marilyn Manson. It’s an interesting song that is rather unique and really stands out on this release, especially when they mention Paris Hilton, taking you off guard from how random it is, though not the only time you’ll laugh during this track. The only song on here that really hurts is “Sick and Twisted”, which takes a more Alternative Rock from the early nineties approach in it’s chorus, which isn’t necessarily a sin, but the song fades out before the vocals are actually done. This happens in “The Litany of the Slain” as well but the general direction is comprehended by the listener and it works out in the long run, but this track clearly has more to say and feels like it’s cut off before the track really should have ended.

Gwar always mixes things up with their album, so it’s never the same experience as the last, but Bloody Pit of Horror isn’t really the band’s greatest album. There’s no denying the music here is as heavy as you would expect for a Gwar CD, but sometimes the material just isn’t as strong as it could very well be. Despite the lack of sarcasm and satirical approaches in some of the songs, the zombie-horror approach is still an enjoyable one, though the music seems to be a little too serious for the band, finding many of the songs to be slower then normal, which just doesn’t work well for the band in the long run due to the chords often feeling a little weak or bland, though the faster tracks typically feature some great complexity to them that really causes them to become addicting songs you’ll run to again and again on this effort. Either way, Blood Pit of Horror is an album that any Gwar fan will find countless hours of enjoyment with.


01. Zombie March – 4:33
02. Come the Carnivor – 2:23
03. A Gathering of Ghouls – 2:07
04. Storm is Coming – 3:54
05. Tick-Tits – 3:18
06. Beat You to Death – 3:39
07. You Are My Meat – 2:33
08. Hail to Genocide – 2:19
09. KZ Necromancer – 3:19
10. The Litany of the Stain – 4:16
11. Sick and Twisted – 3:42
Initial Pressing Score: 7/10

Gwar
Gwar

Digital review copy of this release provided by Metal Blade Records
via Freeman Promotions.