Does anyone else remember when GWAR was more gimmick than talent? It’s getting harder to remember those days, isn’t it? Particularly when their last few albums have only been getting better and better. These space-oriented and offensive Metal monsters are still the band they were years ago with their over-the-top and ridiculous sound, but the increased presence of solid song writing and playing has definitely lifted them above the usual practice.
Although perhaps not quite as good as their previous few outings, “Lust In Space” and “Beyond Hell,” “Bloody Pit Of Horror” is still a fun and rambunctious Metal onslaught of short speedy blasts of violence-inspired music. It’s energetic and fist-pumping in its riffing and double bass drum pounding flourishes (although the random ambient “Come The Carnivore” seems rather out of place as the second track) and it still retains enough of that guitar melody through its leads and sing-a-long and/or chant-a-long vocals to make it insanely catchy. Catching myself singing “Tick-Tits” out loud is embarrassing enough, but proves the point nicely. The increased value the band has placed on greater instrumental work is definitely a step up and they are properly letting their Metal roots shine in well-developed soloing and depth of writing (they even do a bit of a ballad on “You Are My Meat” with its Doom-like groove). Combined with Oderus Urungus’ Punk and Hard Rock inspired croons and shouts this is, shall I say, a more mature GWAR that retains their fun spirited romp and sound.
“Bloody Pit Of Horror” still has that fun and rather un-serious vibe that GWAR is known for. Although decades later, it can be a little tired in its ideology, but when one is in the mood for it then it certainly suffices. “Bloody Pit Of Horror” might not be their best work (I still say that “Beyond Hell” was their best), but it’s another great release from these outer space monsters. It rocks and rolls with Hard Rock sensibilities, Punk-like energy, and Metal proficiency. Not bad for a band that looks like a joke on paper.
Songs to check out: “Zombies, March,” “Tick-Tits,” “Beat You To Death.”
(Online May 13, 2011)