Review Summary: Very satisfying and pleasant
I’m not particularly fond when a band attempts to provide comedy in their music, but GWAR is an exception. They do their best at entertaining. Their outfit consists of highly-gimmicky costumes(no pun intended), and goofy yet occasionally serious lyrical themes. However, describing GWAR isn’t complete without mentioning their famous ’sick and twisted’ potty mouth humor, which they showcase in live shows to create a robust shock value. And believe me, it works. Their shows are programmed to either leave you speechless, or absolutely disgusted. The group generally includes massive amounts of blood and guts in their shows. Sometimes, they even spew out gallons of the red stuff out at the audience( like seriously, they do), and it creates a huge rush for the fans. Between the two far-sided themes of funnies and thoughtfulness, they slide both into Ragnarok. The seriousness and quirky/fun themes pay off, because they end up producing an immense portion of GWAR that is like a ‘flea-in ear’ compared to most of their other releases. Despite what a lot of fans may say, this is one of GWAR’s best albums.
Ragnarok is simply a fun album to listen to. I mean, the cartoony-like vocals and catchy riffs make it both uplifting and enjoyable rather than dull or inconsistent. The technicality of the drums are also, in no short, astounding. Like, according to Ragnarok, making a simple drum beat is like making a highly complex drum pattern involving nearly all of the pieces itself. It can take multiple guesses to find out what’s happening sometimes. GWAR isn’t particularly famous for including guest vocalist on any of their works, (except for some of Lust and Space and others), but with Ragnarok, that whole position is completely drawn out. They have guests on nearly every track, each remaining VERY distinguishable. The criteria spreads from corky rappers like Sleazy P. Martini (who is featured in 'Think You Outta Know This'), and unpredictable ones like Oderus Urungus and Slymenstra Hymen (who are both featured in the energetic song, Fire in the Loins). But what is so good about the vocalists themselves, is they all deliver variety. There’s no way in any shape or form that you will find the same, repetitive styled vocal ranges here. The execution and pitches are what crown it as diverse. Altogether, these captions are with what drive this album as fun, and just plain hilarious.
Upon listening to the first track, ‘Meat Sandwich,’ you’re bound to find something funny here. And that’s exactly what you’ll find. The tune features a catchy chorus, and a killer guitar riff. The lyrics are funny to listen to and is sure to put you in a good mood. ‘Whargoul’ is both spacey/atmospheric, and angst-ridden. It’s also the longest song on Ragnarok, providing us with complex parts involving credible guitar and drum work. The serious tracks are (until leading up to their most mature one, None but the Brave), ‘Stalin’s Organs‘, and ‘Martyr Dumb.’ ‘Dirty, Filthy’ is characterized as the band’s goofiest, mainly because of the whacky yet good-humored vocals that are performed by the vocalist himself, Dave Brockie. It’s quite the trip. Onto a serious note, (and serious is the correct word), ‘None But the Brave’ marches in as one of their most intelligent and ambitious songs. Everything from the bright guitar riff to the perfectly-written lyrics, it’s unmistakably one of GWAR’s best. ‘None but the Brave’ is the best song on this album too.
Please, don’t be a victim and let GWAR fans fool you into thinking this album is crummy, because in all honestly, it is far from it. It’s an amazing journey, and expresses a completely different shape of GWAR. ‘Ragnarok’ just may end up stealing my soul.