Hell Just Wasn’t Enough
Those scumdogs of the universe GWAR never say die, releasing Beyond Hell a full twenty years into their career. Oderous Urungus, Flattus Maximus, Balsac the Jaws of Death, Beefcake the Mighty and Jizmak Da Gusha this time find themselves attacked at their Antartican base by the Nazi Pope forced to flee inside the earth, down towards Hell and inevitably Satan himself.Even though GWAR hath smote many a glorious foe throughout their storied quest to destroy Earth before escaping it, Hell is positioned as their greatest challenge. Continuing the solid forward momentum started with 2004’s anti-war satire War Party, Beyond Hell is metal to the max. Double-bass drums pummel, dual guitars chug with palm-muted riffs and throaty shouts belt over it all.
“War is All We Know” starts things off with the signature frantic combination pentatonic/power chords GWAR have made their calling card, tied to the hysterical refrain “But excuse me now / there’s a tank at the door / and that slave’s head / just rolled ‘cross the floor” during the song’s sludgy breakdown. This coupled with “Murderer’s Muse” serve as the entry to the story chronicling the band’s journey towards the inner circle of Hell.
The bass-driven “Go to Hell!” features female backing vocals as Oderous extols the virtues of attempting to conquer Hell: “From what I’ve heard it’s a pretty cool place / a sea of urine where rats eat your face.” From there the story shifts to chapters about the under-bosses GWAR must vanquishâ€šÃ„Ã®”Tormentor,” “Eighth Lock” and “I Love the Pigs” â€šÃ„Ã®before reaching their final goal. Things only get more ferocious after that as “Destroyed” is a non-stop gutter-slime drum roll and the final battle with you-know-who, “The One That Will Not Be Named,” is a doom-y romp ripe for an epic assault on stage.
After it all, the band find themselves back in their demolished fortress, greeted by their manager Sleazy P. Martini with a nine-ton boulder of crack. Thanks to help from Strapping Young Lad’s Devin Townsend serving as producer, Beyond Hell depicts GWAR at their finest: abrasive, engaging and downright hilarious.