Gwar Discography

Jack Biggs

Left to Right: Balsac the jaws of death played by Mike Derks, Pustulus Maximus played by Brent Purgason, Gizmak da Gusha played by Brad Roberts, Blothar played by Michael Bishop, Bonesnapper played by Bob Gorman, Beefcake the mighty Played by Caset Orr and Sawborg Destructo played by Matt Maguire.

Gwar is a great band that people who like thrash metal should listen to at least once. They are very interesting because they make great music, they have a good sense of humor and have amazing live shows, and have a very unorthodox way of sending their message.  Their best albums are Scumdogs of the Universe, Violence has Arrived, War Party and Battle Maximus. 

Live Shows

Gwar is a heavy metal band started in 1984 in Richmond, Virginia. They are known for their gimmick of dressing up as aliens, and performing mock killings of famous people in effigy. A key component of live Gwar shows is the use of fake blood, during one show they use 100 or more gallons of dyed water to represent blood and other fluids that are then shot on the crowd by high pressure water cannons.

Losses and lineup Changes

 In 2011 they lost their lead guitarist Cory Smoot to a cocaine induced heart attack and then in 2014 their lead singer, David Brockie, to a heroin overdose. Both have been replaced by Brent Purgason and Michael Bishop respectively.  Gwar has had very many lineup changes, from new guitarists to even lead singers, many are just characters, like the changing of their bassist in 2013, and even as early as 1985, when their lead singer, known as Joey Slutman, stripped naked and ran out into the street during a live show. The only person who knew the lyrics to the song was David Brockie, who then took the place of lead singer. 

Common terms

Some common terms used by the band. A slave is a stagehand or a musician out of costume, as not break character they refer to themself as a slave, adding to the bands theme of being genocidal aliens. A bohab is a fan, based on the word slowhab. 

Hell-o

Hell-o was Gwar’s first album. It was stated by Chuck Varga, a stagehand also known as a slave, was physically repulsed when first hearing it. During this time the band was squatting in an abandoned bottling factory with other strangers. The sound of this album could be described as punk rock, but it is difficult to hear the talent of the musicians because of the muddy sound and the poor production quality.  Some fans would appreciate a remastering of the album as they have with their second album, Scumdogs of the Universe. This album can be summed up as sub par, although the music isn’t necessarily bad, it isn’t good.

Scumdogs of the Universe

Scumdogs of the Universe has a comedic, thrash sound. Featuring Chuck Varga as the sexecutioner and Don Draculich as Sleazy P. Martini, who each cameo in the songs “Sexecutioner” and “ Slaughterama”. This album is known as their greatest hit, with a massive increase in music quality, a sound that flows through the album with each song leading into the next, and a lot of characters to shoot blood onto the crowd. Some featured songs are Sick of You, Horror of Yig and Sexecutioner. All the songs play into each other, starting and ending with similar riffs that then become their own, helping lead to a better listening experience as each song is not a cold start and stop. Scumdogs is a great album for beginners, it really shows who the band is.

America Must be Destroyed

America Must be Destroyed is just as controversial as all the rest, featuring a bold album name. This album keeps with the comedy, shock rock theme. This album is very much a political statement, with songs like “The Morality Squad”, about a group of people designed to be a parody of the American way. The leader of The Morality Squad is Edna Granbo, a shotgun wielding grandmother in a wheelchair. Another important character is her grandson, Corporal Punishment, a superhero clad in an American flag skin suit and cape, who is secretly involved in a gay relationship with his underling, Private Parts. Other monsters that come into play are, Gor-Gor, a T-rex who was formed by adding crack cocaine and miracle grow fertilizer into a T-rex egg, and Yig, a creature from the Cthulhu mythology. America Must be Destroyed is a political commentary that shows the band’s views in a very extreme context.

This Toilet Earth

This Toilet Earth was the first censored Gwar album, this was because of their gain in popularity and being featured on MTV, uncensored versions can be found online and on CD. The album keeps their signature thrash sound, with some comedic themes and songs. This album was supposed to coincide with the movie, Skulhedface, which can be found on Youtube. The movie is a story about Gwar’s encounter with the villain, Skulhedface, a creature who was sent to Earth to collect jizmoglobin, which in the Gwar universe is responsible for creativity. The character does this by fronting as a conglomerate music label company, he then extracts the musicians jizmoglobin. The album is very much a statement about Gwar’s hatred for conglomerates and sell out musicians. 

Rendezvous With Ragnarok

A somewhat overlooked album, Rendezvous with Ragnarok has a thrash sound, but also features rap and surf rock themes in certain songs. This album is a drastic change in music stylings, having 6 different singers. This album features songs poking fun at catholicism, with the song Surf of Syn, the AIDS epidemic, and human greed. The main villain is Cardinal Syn, a giant space robot who is supposed to be an embodiment of extreme catholic views. Much more than a comedic jab at the current events of the album, this still holds standings in today’s society with the church still being very prevalent in our society.

Carnival of Chaos

Carnival of Chaos is very overlooked as it was produced in a time when people started shifting over to rap as a popular genre. This Album features an experimental thrash sound with some punk. Not much can be said about the live performances as they were sub par.

We Kill Everything

We Kill Everything is decidedly the worst Gwar album. With many lineup changes, censorship and an inconsistent sound the album doesn’t feel like it belongs. The sound is very thrash but in a very joking tone.

Violence Has Arrived

A very strong return, Violence has Arrived features a hard thrash sound. This album has many themes, the most prevalent being vulgarity, like the song Licksore, about a cat eating its owner’s corpse. The song of words tells a story of Gwar fighting a war against humanity, loosely based on the French poem named The Song of Roland.

War Party

War Party is a political satire mainly aimed at the war in the middle east. With a heavy thrash sound, the main story of this album is that the band wants to start a nuclear war with Iran, so they start the war party, a political party aimed at nuclear annihilation of the human race.  Seeing our recent withdrawal from parts of the middle east, this album still holds some truths.

Beyond Hell

Beyond Hell was very experimental, straying from the main sound of thrash, the album is more hard rock and thrash. It is a story about humanity rebelling against Gwar and overtaking their base in Antarctica, so Gwar retreats to the lower parts of their fortress and discovers the opening to Hell. Throughout their album they kill and maim their way through hell, killing other rockstars, a corrupt police officer, and rekilling Gor-Gor. The finale is the death of satan, an almost 7 foot tall muscular man and bird hybrid, he tries to make a deal with Gwar to make them famous, they promptly dismember him.

Lust in Space

Lust in Space is a story of Gwar’s escape from Earth after they steal a rocket ship and name it the scumship. A hard rock and thrash sound is prevalent in this album. They visit places and people such as metal metal land, a place where heavy metal is the only music and it’s always night. They also visit their old friend, General Zog, only to discover he is a shell of his former brutal self, so they kill him.

Bloody Pit of Horror

Bloody Pit of Horror is a heavy metal album that started as a side project of then lead guitarist Corey Smoot. There is no main plot, but it does have a theme of general brutality and vulgarity.  The first song, Zombies March, is above Gwar using necromancy to raise an army of dead people to kill everyone. A somewhat comedic twist, the album mentions an army that is “ 6 billion strong” and only ten years later there are 7 billion people on the planet. 

Far right, Flattus Maximus played by Corey Smoot. Center, Oderus Urungus, Played by David Brockie. Both deceased.

Battle Maximus

Battle Maximus features a thrash sound but is a sad topic, dedicated to Corey Smoot, who died after taking cocaine without knowing he had a heart condition. According to the lore he went back to his home planet to live out a rockstar lifestyle. The song dedicated to him, Fly Now, is a slow, melodic song about him and his life.

The Blood of Gods

The Blood of Gods is a thrash album with a sad undertone. Featuring Michael Bishop as the new lead singer, the album is dedicated to Dave Brockie, the original lead singer who died of a heroin overdose. The song phantom limb is dedicated to him and speaks of how the band feels emptier without him, and the struggles of carrying on in his shadow. 

Final thoughts

All in all, Gwar is a good band for those who like storytelling in music, funny themes or just like violence. To get the best experience of their music start with Scumdogs of the Universe, then Violence has arrived, and listen to any others, We kill Everything, Hell-o and Carnival of Chaos should be last on the list though.