Album Review: GWAR – The New Dark Ages (Pit Records)

By: Jesse Striewski

For nearly any metalhead kid growing up in the ’90s, GWAR was a dysfunctional American institution as relevant as Beavis and Butt-Head, and to attend one of their over-the-top theatrical shows was indeed a twisted rite of passage.

If I’m being completely honest, I haven’t really paid much attention to the band in quite some time, so the prospect of a new GWAR album wasn’t exactly something I was patiently waiting for. It also does not help that the first song (“Ratcatcher”) that introduced me to The New Dark Ages was one of the weakest tracks found among the whole collection.

But when I actually dove in, I recognized those unmistakable thrash-y riffs that I once knew and loved so well as a teenager, apparent on such tracks as “New Dark Ages,” “Blood Libel,” “Completely Fucked,” and “Bored to Death.” There are still some filler tracks of course (“The Cutter” comes to mind), but overall The New Dark Ages is a surprisingly admirable effort.

Chances are I won’t be going out of my way to catch them the next time they come through town (already been there, done that many a time now). But I can’t deny I wasn’t filled with some nostalgia while listening to The New Dark Ages; far from perfect for sure, but escapist fun good for killing some time none the less.

Rating: 3/5 Stars

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