Machine gun fire, and cries of pain introduce you to the atmosphere of a live GWAR concert. Oderus says "This isn't a f***ing rock n' roll show, this is a war!" and you are plunged right into the song Salamidizer
. As you can tell, GWAR put tons of energy into their performance. The studio version of this song is alright, it borders on joke and serious song. But here it becomes a great heavy song. It's a fairly fast paced thrash song with a lot of harmonics, and while Oderus's usual vocals are here, you also get some growls it the chorus. It really is a good song to start with, introduces you to the newer GWAR sound. To most people listening Krossitka
will automatically strike a resemblance to Megadeth's Holy Wars. It has a riff similar to the famous Holy Wars one but for the most part is heavy groove oriented. Something I find odd about this is the bridge riff. It sounds Steve Vai-ish, with a harmonic whammied up and down sounding like a robot. The song itself is a bit repetitive, but still full of energy, and it isn't too bad. Before Bring Back The Bomb
Oderus's gay lover with a nuclear warhead for a dick comes out. It is none other the infamous Osama Bin Laden. The song maintains a triplet feel at a fast pace. There's some great lead playing, and the lyrics are amusing. It's all about bringing back the nuclear bomb, and why it really isn't that wrong. The chorus slows it down a bit but it doesn't last long. The bridge has the most interesting lyrics, and is mostly slow groove oriented, with the occassional war siren. Osama even does some vocals, which aren't really vocals, more like just moving your tongue, and yelling jihad. The song never really regains speed after this. This is actually one of my favourite GWAR songs, it just sounds amazing and is 100% thrash metal. As you may know, GWAR has had two different sounds(if you simplifiy it) over their career. The jokey/experimental sound which is the middle of their history. They still did metal songs, but mostly just joke stuff, and by experimental, I meant a wide range of styles, like country, punk, rock, dance ect. They fused these to get less than stellar results. Their early career, and recently have been metal. Earlier it was punk metal, and now it's thrash metal. I consider these to be better musically.
Ham On The Bone
is a punk metal song. It starts with a pretty sweet rhythm riff before the vocals join in. This doesn't last too long, before the song builds-up with some stop-start rhythm, and drum soloing. Some throat lizard vocals come in just saying ahahahahahahahah. The song starts to repeat itself here until the 1:00 minute point where you go into the bridge. This is what I don't really about the song. It's fairly simple with some country-like vocals which annoy me. The guitar starts doing a lead, and building into a solo. Except instead of doing that it repeats the same repetitive lick for about 20 seconds. It's pretty annoying. The song finishes by going back into the chorus which I guess is the part with the lizard vocals. I really don't like this song that much, but luckily it's short at two minutes long. GWAR redeem themselves with one of my favourites, and a definite epic song, Immortal Corrupter
. It doesn't have the epic length, but it definatley captures the feel. It starts off pretty good, with some clean guitar playing, and accenting drums. Some middle-eastern sounding guitar leads come in, just before the songs takes a left turn and goes heavy. It has a pretty dark, and hopeless atmosphere after this where the drums, match up with the heavy riffs. What is exceptional here is the singing. Not only do you get great lead vocals from Oderus, but the rest of the band does back-up choir like vocals as well. As soon as the first guitar solo of the bridge hits the song is orgasmic until the end. There are a total of three solos here with a catchy(in a very subtle way) transitioning between each solo. After the bridge the backing vocals are used very effectively, and it sounds like the band is just having a blast. This is easily one of my favourite GWAR songs.
After a very epic song becomes perhaps the exact opposite. While Womb With A View
may be a joke song in terms of lyrics, musically it is actually very good. It starts off with a shredding solo which carries on into the verse. The riffs are very thrashy, and lock up with the drums quite well. None of them really stand out, but they aren't completely generic metal riffs. the lyrics and vocals are what are meant out in this track. "Your womb is a membrane/I must penetrate/Your womb is a sewer/I grunt at the grate/Your womb is a sewer/Your womb is manure/but still, I'm worse". Those aren't even the most ridiculous lyrics in the song. Lacy Peterson(she and her unborn baby were killed by her husband on a lake) AKA "fat slut with cottage cheese for a vagina" come out for the next song. Have You Seen Me?
is a welcome change from the thrash metal goodness of the previous songs. The first half of the song is actually pretty funky, with an awesome bassline. But I don't really like it. The vocals annoy me, because he tries to sing in a very weird way. The lyrics are interesting but that is of little importance. Another part comes in which I'm not a fan of either. It's just too overly simple with not much going on. These two parts repeat until the second half of the song, which picks up a lot actually. A punkish metal riff comes in before the song gets fast and goes to my favourite part. Oderus and the baby switch up vocals and then he starts chanting "have - you -- seen - me" in a very punkish way. The song repeats all these parts until the false ending. After which the band goes full speed until the realy ending. This song would be much better with a bit more variation, and if they took out some of those annoying vocals.
Horror Of Yig
starts off oddly enough with some bagpipe playing. Jizmak joins in with some of his trademark drumming with lots of toms, the occassional snare hit, and the accents that add flavour. The guitars come in doing some weird noise, and this carries on for 40 seconds until they start ploaying a harmonized melody. The song becomes really punkish after this. I really enjoy the riffs they use hear. They keep things interesting, with solos thrown in from time. There is a slight lapse in speed for a slow build-up part. Ther song doesn't get these fast parts back until the end of the song. What I like about this song is something that the previous lacked. Variation. Everytime you thought it was becoming predictable the whole thing changes completely. With Crush Kill Destroy
you really hear the punk side of GWAR. It has a bit of technical leads, but focuses on fast punk power chord riffs, and is mostly sung by Beefcake, the bassist. TYhe song is over before you know it, but it's short and sweet. Crack In The Egg
brings back some of GWAR's metal touch. The song stays on the same page pretty much the whole time with Oderus just singing over a midpaced metal riff with the occassional break for some lead guitar. The song itself is alright but nothing more.
Is there really someone or something that can challenge GWAR's mastery of this planet? Maybe Reaganator
, a killer robot with the brain of dead president Reagan which dwells beneath the pentagon can answer this call. This midpaced metal song is fairly interesting. The lyrics are a big draw here but it even has a neat breakdown, and a bit of catchiness. With a bit of lead guitar thrown in aswell this is a solid song, far better than Crack In The Egg. The transition between these songs are so smooth you might not even realize you're listening to a different song. Bonesnapper
begins with a bit of tribal like drumming. This is actually one of my favourite songs from GWAR, however I was disappointed with the removal of the clean intro. It still retains the epic feel though. The chorus of this song gets everyone involved with some group shouts. The clean section I mentioned earlier has a few parts of it repeated leading into the shred solo(which lasts until the end of the song) however it just isn't the same. The outro is extended and really shows you how much energy GWAR has.
Nearing the end we get to hear perhaps GWAR's most popular song, Sick Of You
. It's easy to see why, it has good rock riffs, and is very catchy. This live really has tons of energy put into it, with all the background vocals, the lead guitar, and some enthusiastic singing. All at once, so it is a pretty big draw for me. Afterwards it is a bit too long, you're pretty much just listening to the crowd chant for 2 and a half minutes. Biledriver
is the last song on here, and a fastpaced one at that. It starts with a fast rhythm riff with some higher notes playing over it. This part continues for a while but stays interesting because of the slight variation, and different drum beats. While there are a few different parts the song pretty much stays like this the entire song, but it isn't bad. The song remains fresh so it isn't hindered by this slight repetitiveness.
Overall this is a very good live album, and incorporates songs from many points in GWAR's career, although it has the most from their newer albums, and doesn't contain many joke songs. GWAR fans will love this and it will make a good introduction to people who haven't heard these guys yet. Although I may have mentioned a few, there a lots of skits, and GWAR interacting with the audience in here. So you get a sense of their humor in that entertaining way.
Rating: 4 out of 5
Vocals - Oderus
Rhythm Guitar - Balsac
Lead Guitar - Flattus
Bass - Beefcake
Drums - Jizmak