Bloody Pit of Horror by Gwar
Release date : November 2010
Reviewed by Mark Fisher
For 25 years Gwar have provided the metal underground (and, occasionally, the metal above-ground) with loads of music and live shows that fascinate, sicken, and pummel. After the more-solid-than usual Lust In Space (2009) album, the band has returned quickly with the much heavier Bloody Pit of Horror. A title, which the band claims has nothing in common with the movie of the same name, aside from the fact that they stole it from the movie.
For some fans, Bloody Pit of Horror will feel like a return to the band’s “glory days”. The heavier vocal approach and the generally angrier feel of the record is full of pummeling riffs. “A Gathering of Ghouls” is a good example of the heavier sound as I think it’s one of the most “metal” songs the band has ever done - and it’s scary as hell to boot. “You Are My Meat” is a stoner anthem in the best sense, incorporating creepy narration and acoustics with down-tuned spiraling guitar riffs that leave you feeling like you are coming down fast. “Storm is Coming” is a riff heavy monster that will likely be opening their shows before long. And... well... ”Tick Tits” speaks for itself.
What I love the most about this record though is how much it covers both eras of Gwar. Personally, I prefer the more alternative groove the band did so well on Ragnarok (1995). “Beat You to Death” has the kind of light thrash / punk feel to it that Gwar do so well. “Hail, Genocide!” and “Zombies, March!” are album highlights in my opinion because they make you want to start a circle pit in your living room, even at my age. “KZ Necromancer” bounces back and forth between both styles but finds a nice groove that carries it on long after the song finishes. Lest we not forget the musically all over the place “The Litany of the Slain,” which calls by name every slain foe of Gwar.
Overall, Bloody Pit of Horror reminds me of the unapologetic beginning of Gwar. It’s less generic and less accessible than Lust In Space and decidedly grittier. It’s been awhile since Gwar showed us their seedy underbelly (of course, the over-belly is kind of seedy as well, truth be told) and it feels good to get a closer look. Gwar are at their best when their albums are wildly chaotic and this one is exactly that. Gwar fans will not be disappointed.