Here at the flag we love anything that spits in the face of normality so when we interviewed GWAR’s front man is was no surprise he was everything as mental as we hoped he would be. Coming out of that chat we were desperate to get our ears on the new album, and now we have…
I’ve loved GWAR since I was old enough to convince older kids at school to buy me their albums and you may be surprised to hear I was in an exclusive club. For my generation GWAR can be somewhat overwhelming in their constant eccentricity but for me, already a great lover of the old punk, thrash and metal masters GWAR was just the next step.
Battle Maximus is a core continuation of what GWAR never fail to deliver, sheer fun and manic energy with a strong, and usually controversial message. When you skim over the track titles then there aren’t any surprises, they form the usual list of human debauchery and classic abuse. They don’t so much play close to the nerve as reach right in and rip the bastard out, my advice if you are easily offended then steer clear, and probably stop reading this you mincer!!
We are graced with an obscure spoken word opening from Oderus Urungus which having listened to it several times is still a mystery to me what exactly he is talking about, but it leads nicely into ‘Madness at the Core of Time’ which I have to say is timid for GWAR and had me worried but thankfully ‘Bloodbath’ washed away any fears that I may be disappointed. It’s fast, it’s heavy and it’s lyrical content may upset a few people, exactly what the doctor ordered. The rest of the album follows this set pattern of hard hitting metal with lyrics designed to create a reaction, ‘Raped at Birth’ for example may be one to send the kids out the room before you listen to it.
All in all Battle Maximus delivers exactly what every GWAR fan expects but perhaps there’s more than just shock factor to the band, listening to this album is the first time I have thought to myself, if you took away the costumes, changed the lyrics to be less offensive then you would still have a good album, the quality of the band is solid enough on it’s own to stand up without having to be stapled down by shock and awe tactics. There is evidence here that the members of GWAR and there fearless leader are in fact great musicians and can hold there own against most Thrash/Punk bands on the scene technically.
Having said that, we wouldn’t change GWAR for anything, they are and will always be the great thorn in the side of regular metal but for me they represent a small band of heroic performers, such as G. G. Allin, who just don’t give a fuck about what you think and if you are offended by what they say and do. I say, keep fucking going!
Here is the video for opening track ‘Madness at the Core of Time’
And also for your viewing pleasure here is GWAR covering Billy Ocean…