Following the death of Gwar's foulmouthed ringleader Dave Brockie (aka Oderus Urungus) in 2014, there was no question about continuing the disgusting legacy that had been built over three decades; the alien overlords promptly recruited former bassist Mike Bishop (aka Blothar) to fill the void and continue on their mission to enslave the human race. But while it's fantastic that Gwar found a suitable replacement and are continuing forward, their latest album, The Blood of Gods, shows they have a lot of work to do to make it worth listening to new material without Brockie.
Although Gwar have never been strangers to rock-leaning tracks, their thrash metal and punk roots are heavily downplayed on this latest album. Songs like "I'll Be Your Monster" and "Viking Death Machine" would appeal more to fans of AC/DC or Motörhead than those of Slayer or Exodus, and too often come across as lacklustre filler. The band find success on songs like "El Presidente," "Fuck This Place" and "Auroch," which more closely resemble the tongue-in-cheek thrash punk that they are known for.
Replacing a well-known vocalist of a band that has become as notorious as Gwar is a difficult task, and while Bishop displays a good vocal range, the music has suffered overall without Brockie at the mic. Longtime fans of Gwar will surely find a track here and there that's worthwhile, but in general, they would be better off returning to their back catalogue. (Metal Blade)