Sunday, September 22, 2013

GWAR - Battle Maximus (2013)

Our favourite obnoxious aliens are back for more carnage, this time with this "celebration" album for their fallen band mate Flattus Maximus. "Battle Maximus" is the 13th installment by the Virginia band that has charmed (and disgusted) the world with their costumes and vile lyrics for almost 30 years. So let us see what Oderus Urungus and the rest of the gang has come up with this time.

For those of you who are well aware of GWAR's sound and style, you will definitely not be dissapointed with this record. There is loads of heavy riffs, groovy tunes and upp your ass attitude, but unfortunately, the band has still not covered up their weakness of the small variety. The album is packed with either fast or semi-fast songs that has similar song structures. There are of course variation in musical styles on this album. From straight forward heavy metal to more rock oriented tracks, but it is not enough to make me satisfied.

Another weak point with "Battle Maximus" is that you get tired of this album pretty quickly, especially the later half of the album has several spots where you can easily skip. One song that is just painful to listen at is "Falling" that fits more in a Papa Roach album. If GWAR made this is a joke, then I did not think it was funny at all. Just a waste of space.

But let's be honest, the strong point of GWAR is not the music, it is the lyrics and the humour that makes the aliens shine. And I can guarantee that there is lots of it in "Battle Maximus". However, that does not mean that GWAR has no musical skill at all. Some fine moments are the groovines and speed of "Madness At The Core of Time", the intoxicating riffing in "Bloodbath", the heaviness in "Torture" and the mood settings in "They Swallowed The Sun".

One thing that surprised me with "Battle Maximus" is the title track, a instrumental song that is a tribute to their fallen band mate Flattus Maximus. The band has not made a instrumental since 1999 ("A Short Story of The End of The World" from "We Kill Everything") so I did not expect this at all. The song itself starts violently fast with lots of shreding and fast double bass beats that eventually is replaced by a steady beat and some solos. A good instrumental, but nothing extra ordinary.

"Battle Maximus" is surely an excellent album and a great way to pay tribute to Flattus Maximus, but it is not the best effort that the band has made. The variety is low and it does not have a long life span. But I still think that Flattus Maximus is looking up from hell and is proud of what his band mates have made without him. Am I proud of the band? no, I expect more from them.

Songs worthy of recognition: Bloodbath, Madness At The Core of Time, They Swallowed The Sun

Rating: 6,5/10 Pig Childrens

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