ALBUM REVIEW: GWAR- The New Dark Ages

Released 3rd June via Pit Records

GWAR is one of those fun bands that I admire that don’t take themselves too seriously, they’ve been around since the 80’s, mostly made up of rotating artists and are still releasing and performing absolute bangers.


They are Thrash Metal’s biggest mainstream satire band described as “Gory, Sexually perverse and scatological in the extreme.” All 15 tracks on the album, will without a doubt be listed as explicit.

As a fan, the first few tracks feel rather “samey” compared to previous GWAR albums, I expected something way more unpredictable and way more elements to stand out, but, I did zone in and out whilst I was busy engaged in various activities whilst listening. However, that doesn’t it's a bad thing, It was still enjoyable, I was consistently moving around and nodding to it.

I also felt that although the content was satire, this seemed to have a much mature approach than previous albums too. “New Dark Age” enters with an eerie church bell, I love the quieter elements where the bass takes lead. This track overall draws some Iron Maiden influences especially within the story approach to the lyrics. However, some tracks on the album alike “Rise Again” feels a little more like Metallica, this one is much more melodic and spaced out than prior tracks. “Ratcatcher” I thought was rather hilarious- from a villain point of view “Children in my basement just trying to get out and police searching my neighbourhood I hope they don’t find out” these lyrics reminded me of the Child Catcher from Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. “Bored to death” starts with Maniacal laughter to get you charged. I love the dull vocals in the the chorus that supports the gritty vocal that really pushes for the boring aesthetic, the lifelessness in it kind of makes me laugh. However this song is not like the title as it is includes quite progressive elements. “Temple Ascent” is exactly how you imagine it would sound- a bunch of noise that makes you feel like you’re running through a jungle to a temple. “Dues Ex Monstrum” is quite an interesting and unpredictable track- 10 minutes of ambient noises and blood-chilling echoing screams. It took a whole two and a half minutes to kick in with delicate fractured guitar riffs that soon fades out to more ambient noise and soundscaping, your imagination goes wild at the possibilities of what is happening in the scenario. Before long, I am met with afro-rhythmic percussion that sounds very primal and aggressive and ends the album with the same eerie church bell from the first track- coming full circle. For those that love metal, thrash and dark humour this is a highly recommended album.