Gwar - Beyond Hell Review
by Matt Hensch
A vast majority of those who enjoy the heavier side of music could easily conjure up an image of Gwar upon hearing the band's name. Gwar been known for many things: their vile lyrics, those awesome costumes, and spraying blood, bile and cum over their fans during live shows, but they have never really been known for their music. Sure, they have some good songs like "Meat Sandwich" and "Biledriver," but nothing they've released could be considered ground breaking.
My interest in Gwar began to grow when I heard some tracks from "War Party," which was Gwar's fastest and heaviest album to date. "War Party" was different from previous Gwar records because it was heavier, faster, and just more metal. The once punk goofballs began to play some heavy f***ing thrash. Two years have passed since "War Party," and Gwar have sent forth their next unholy creation, "Beyond Hell." "Beyond Hell" is a continuation of Gwar's thrashier sound that is better balanced than "War Party" and very well might be Gwar's crowning achievement.
Fans of "War Party" will appreciate the similar musical direction on "Beyond Hell." Just like "War Party," "Beyond Hell" is heavy, fast and is total thrash. Every track is filled with thrash riffs that are swift and catchy. Balsac and Flattus Maximus have their best shredding moments when they solo. The solos are fast and technical, (basically what you would expect from any thrash band); they have some nice dueling solos too!
Who could be better on vocals then the legendary Oderus Urungus? Urungus's vocals have become one of the key trademarks in Gwar's music because of his raw and gruff voice. "Beyond Hell" features Urungus's at the top of his vocal game. The attitude and hateful tone in his voice is present during most of the tracks and they really help the music seem much more heavier. Urungus sounds really evil during the bass line on "Go To Hell" when he uses a semi-narrative style voice. I really liked the chorus of "One Who Will Not Be Named" because he sounds serious and somewhat epic.
"Beyond Hell" also appears to have some semi-hardcore influences. There are some quasi breakdowns during the chorus of "Muderous Muse" and "Back In Crack," but they aren't similar to what you would find in a typical metalcore or hardcore band. These "breakdowns" reach a healthy medium of thrash and some hardcore sounds; "crossover," if you will.
I never thought I'd be this impressed with Gwar. "Beyond Hell" is actually a great album and I recommend you give it a try. It will surprise you!
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