CD Review: GWAR “Battle Maximus”

“Battle Maximus”
Metal Blade Records
Tracks: 13
Our Score: 4.5 out of 5 stars

GWAR the rubber clad creatures from Antarctica are back with their 13th studio album titled “Battle Maximus”. The album is being released via Metal Blade Records and features 13 brand new tracks from the heavy metal group that have been slaying audiences and figure heads since the late 1980’s. When a band loses a member there are two things that can happen. The band can either replace that member and continue on or pack it in and call it quits. When Cory Smoot (Flattus Maximus) guitarist and key song writer for the band passed away while the group was on tour in 2011 I was unsure how a role that large could be filled and if there ever would be new GWAR music again. Thankfully the group has decided to forge on and with the addition of Pustulus Maximus (Brent Purgason) Gwar has been able to not only carry on with their signature sludge like sound they have taken it to an entirely new level.

The album kicks off with an acoustic tinged intro featuring the always comical lyrical stylings of Oderus Urungus (Dave Brockie) before blasting into “Madness at the Core of Time” which is a song done in typical GWAR fashion. The song also features several Iron Maiden type lead passages which were spot on. As the album continues to pulverize your senses you come across tracks such as “Nothing Left Alive” which features some stellar double bass technique courtesy of Jizmak (Brad Roberts) before making way for tracks such as “Torture” and “I, Bonesnapper” which gives GWAR’s always entertaining sidekick Bonesnapper a chance to strut his stuff and tell stories of his days on the Scum Dog slave ships. The album closes on several high notes such as “Falling” which features even more great solos and a trippy vibe reminiscent of “Dark Side of the Moon” before ending with the track “Fly Now” which upon close listen plays like a tribute to the bands fallen brother Flattus.

All the performances on “Battle Maximus” are well crafted and executed flawlessly. I have to give it to the groups newest members as with this being their first record with the band they are certainly worthy the Scum Dog armor in this writers eyes. GWAR fans both new and old will definitely want to grab a copy of this for their collection as it ushers in a new era for the wart covered creatures known as GWAR.

Track Listing:
1.) Intro
2.) Madness at the Core of Time
3.) Bloodbath
4.) Nothing Left Alive
5.) They Swallowed the Sun
6.) Torture
7.) Raped at Birth
8.) I, Bonesnapper
9.) Mr. Perfect
10.) Battle Maximus
11.) Triumph of the Pig Children
12.) Falling
13.) Fly Now

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