Gwar

CONCERT REVIEW: GHOUL/GWAR RAMS HEAD LIVE 10/26/17

GWAR has been one of my favorite bands for the past 30 years now. Known for playing on or around Halloween in Baltimore I took every opportunity to grab some passes to see them now that I’m back in Maryland after many years of being gone from the area. Rams Head Live in Baltimore was the venue on this Thursday night. A good sized club always brings in big acts and is a pretty cool venue with pretty much not a bad seat( all general admission) in the place. GWAR is one band that to see live is one that I would HAVE to cover for a story. My wife Steff had never seen GWAR before, that alone was almost reason enough to go.

By the time we got there GHOUL was just about to go on stage. GHOUL is a fun mix of GWAR, MENTORS, MISFITS with a touch of MOTORHEAD! Keeping in touch with the Halloween spirit with a horror punk sound. I don’t think Gwar could have found a better band to hit the road with. Both lyrically and their stage presence oozes horror. As for starters, if your not familiar with GHOUL, they all wear burlap sack, masks with bloody mouths, have stage actors that they behead and spray blood out on to the crowd and sing of death and graveyards while they have the look of just committed a nasty home invasion. GHOUL ARE  FUCKING AWESOME!! What a great live act and a great bunch of guys as I was fortunate enough to have run into a few of them after the show.

                                           

Finally,…after a bit of a wait from what seemed to have been some technical issues, GWAR makes their way to the stage. By this time the crowd had started to fill up, sadly it wasn’t to overly packed, but then again it was a Thursday ….and the general age of the crowd…well, we aren’t as young as we once were. GWAR come out on stage and its always something new, every tour. The stage show is creative, overwhelming at times, oh..and bloody violent. Kind of makes you feel like your mixing a Lloyd Kaufman film to shock rock extreme music, in one live nightmare!

This was my first time having seen GWAR since the passing of the late great ODERUS URUNGUS, it was hard waiting to hear some of the old classics, and yet only one was done, Black and Huge. It was actually kind of nice that the band left it alone. Regardless, the stage show over the top as always, and for the club only charging $20.00 tickets, makes you wonder how these guys are making a penny because they really do put a lot into it!

Of course, they always touch on a few big media items such as government and religion, that the boys are always more than welcome to slay and befoul on stage and spray gallons of blood and other bodily fluids on to the audience. From a decapitated priest to Blothar ejaculating on the crowd, it was a wet floor, to say the least!

   

 

It was the same day as the show that the heart-wrenching news surfaced about guitarist Michael Derks, best known to the world as Balsac the Jaws of Death. I had noticed from the get go that he wasn’t on stage. So, just kind of assumed that with the recent medical news that maybe he had decided to take the rest of the tour off…I was wrong. It must have been the third song that Balsac made his stage presence, and what a crowd response he was given, and seemed as if he really played his heart out that night.

                                                      
GWAR played for over an hour and a half. For these aging gentlemen, those costumes, props, lighting, stage theatrics and pure energy, I’ve got to give them credit cause most of the people in the crowd were winded. The last song came around, and how suiting, it was a cover of AC/DC’s If You Want Blood. Not only did they do a great job of the song, they also did a great job of making a complete mess of the venue and everyone that was in it! If you were one of the fortunate ones who hadn’t got spewed or gutted on, you were about to! I honestly don’t think there was a dry place in the club by the end of the song.

As I mentioned earlier, my wife had never seen GWAR before. When they came on stage she and I got split up, I went up to the stage to take photo’s and she went front and center stage in the crowd with old friend of mine who catches them every time they roll into town with his daughter no less. So the band exited the stage, house lights came on, ..and they were, the three of them, all blue and red and I do mean from head to toe soaked in stage spray! The smile on my wife’s face was priceless, she had been GWAR’d!!

GHOUL and GWAR thank you both for the passes and thank you both for such a great show, you guys are the goods!!

Visit Gwar on their website and see all the great things you’ve been missing: Gwar-Official Site of the Gods also check out the almighty and amazing GHOUL on their official site..I’m telling you this band is something to look out for. Ghoul-Official site!

                                                                    
Keep it Evil

Posted by John Roisland in EVENT REVIEWS, MUSIC REVIEWS, REVIEWS, 0 comments
HORROR NEWS: Balsac the Jaws of Death plagued with Myelofibrosis

HORROR NEWS: Balsac the Jaws of Death plagued with Myelofibrosis

The last few years for the shock rock/metal band Gwar has not been all the best in the way of luck. However, we can say that Gwar though will keep on despite what’s been thrown at them making them, by far, the strongest band in the galaxy.
In 2011, Gwar guitarist Cory Smoot, known by his stage name Flattus Maximus, was found deceased of a heart attack while on tour. Then, in 2014, the greatest frontman to ever take the stage Dave Brockie, known to Gwar fans as Oderus Urungus was found dead in his room, due to a heroin overdose. None of this stopped Gwar from carrying on. One thing that they have always done, is kept going despite the odds. Flattus was replaced by Pustulus Maximus, and Oderus role was filled by Blothar which was the original Beefcake The Mighty. Gwar has been through a few changes over the 30+ years of their time on earth. Now, faced with not another change, but another medical issue within the band's members.
Mike Derks aka Balsac the Jaws of Death is facing a disease called myelofibrosis which is a bone marrow disorder that causes the body’s blood cells to not produce properly. This may have come as a surprise to most people. I know for sure it did for me, I got to see Gwar perform on the warped tour, and Balsac was not on a few dates due to this disease causing him great pain and other physical issues. I was wondering why I didn’t see him on stage, and now I understand.
Over the next several months, Derks will be undergoing some major medical treatment, including blood transfusions, constant monitoring, and eventually a bone marrow transplant in which chemotherapy will be administered to rid the body of the diseased marrow, and then the good marrow put in. None of this monitoring and the transfusion of blood will stop Derks or Gwar, as he is still going on tour with the band this fall/winter and will be utilizing various hospital organizations across the country to monitor his condition.
I love music, I love playing music, but if this were me I’d say, “Fuck it”, and not play until it’s all taken care of. Then again, I’m not a bad ass like the guys in Gwar, and I don’t have fans either. HA! Derks has teamed up with Love Hope Strength to get people in the know, get people to donate and gain knowledge of this condition as well as other bone marrow diseases that people face. You can visit https://www.lovehopestrength.org/ and contribute any way you can.
From all of us at House of Tortured Souls as fans, and people with hearts that care about our fellow man, we wish Mike Derks/Balsac Jaws of Death a speedy recovery and issue a thank you for all you do, keeping the ball rolling and having such a positive outlook on the situation at hand.
Posted by Schock in EXCLUSIVE, 0 comments
MEMORIAL: Dave Brockie

MEMORIAL: Dave Brockie

Dave Brockie was born August 30, 1963, and passed away on March 23, 2014. We knew him best as Oderus Urungus, lead vocalist of the shock rock extreme metal band Gwar, but he also assumed the role of vocalist and bass player in bands such as X-Cops and Dave Brockie Experience (DBX).
Dave Brockie/Oderus UrungusDave Brockie left a legacy that took Shock Rock and turned into something of a spectacle. In the beginning of the conception of Gwar, the band saw a lot of flack from the music. Bands like Alice Cooper, Kiss, David Bowie, and Black Sabbath had long embraced their dark sides and employed theatrics in stage performances. Gwar, though, took it to a level that defied all that had been seen before. Gwar literally redefined the concept of theatrical musical performances designed to shock and entertain people. Remaining as the only original member of Gwar before his passing, this legacy truly brought fans something to anticipate and admire whenever the name Gwar was uttered.
Personally, I have seen Gwar 13 times in my life, and I’ll see them every time they come around. During Dave Brockie’s time on earth and as Oderus Urungus, he seriously was the best front man of any band I have ever seen live - and believe me I have seen a LOT of bands in my time. He had a charisma that immediately inspired the crowd to go wild. Not only could he actually sing and had an amazing voice, his on stage antics brought weren’t just for the audience’s amusement. Gwar and Brockieincluded fans in the show, and the fans loved it. From the decapitation of presidential figures and celebrities to jerking his cuttle fish and covering, no…layering the audience in blood, bile, and whatever else they come up with, Gwar always left the audience satisfied. This, partnered with the giant earthworm that ate an audience member (and who knows what happened after that), guaranteed a truly memorable show.
A Gwar show was purely amazing on multiple levels, but when I reflect on all the times I have seen Gwar, I realize the extent to which Oderus fueled that. Gwar, both as a whole and as individual artists, are extremely talented, and original Beefcake, Michael Bishop, ultimately assumed the role of the lead vocalist as Blothar – knowing full well that he had some big shoes to fill after Brockie’s untimely death. Having seen Gwar with Blothar on lead vocals three times now, I can say with confidence that they are still Gwar and are making Dave/Oderusproud. Speaking of which, they have a new album coming out soon titled The Blood of the Gods set for release later this year. House of Tortured Souls will, of course, be reviewing it, so don’t forget to check back for that.
Dave Brockie Experience - Diarrhea of a MadmanBack to Dave Brockie. I also recall getting the opportunity to see DBX live many (many many MANY) years ago at some hole in Muncie, Indiana. Being low key like that, without the entire hullabaloo of Gwar, was a real treat. It was just Dave Brockie and the rest of his band in action - the stripped down, punk rock, roots style. It was an honor just to be in the audience - the jokes didn’t stop, the talent was immense, and the showmanship was godlike. Dave Brockie was not only immensely talented, the best showman in all of rock n’ roll, and a lyrical genius, he was also a genuinely nice guy to everyone he met. I had the opportunity to shake his hand during this DBX performance, and that was better than meeting any other famous person. His friends loved him with a love that could move mountains, which can be seen if you watch the Gwar-B-Q following his death. Just watching through the computer touched my heart with some super strength as the love for Davewas evident and overwhelming. We can say that he was not only loved and cherished, but he was also idolized for his music, his art, and himself as a human - and as an alien overlord who brutally murdered the Republican party and the douche bags that plague this world.
Today, we here at House of Tortured Souls celebrate the day that Dave Brockie/Oderus Urungus was gifted to the world. We encourage you to pop in a Gwar, DBX, or X-Copsalbum and bask in the beauty that was Dave Brockie’s amazing talent. His legacy and creativity will never die as long Gwar keeps going, as long as we not only support the underground music scene that Dave Brockie held close to his heart, and as long as we keep the horror alive! Dave/Oderus, we in the underground love you, brother. You inspired us all to be creative and to push boundaries in what we do. I can honestly say that without you here, life is not the same. We miss you, we will always miss you, but you are still alive in our hearts.
If you wish to follow Gwar, buy merchandise, or see them on tour and whatever else going on in the world of the Scumdogs of the Universe, visit GWAR ONLINE.
Posted by Schock in EDITORIALS, EXCLUSIVE, HORROR NEWS, MUSIC REVIEWS, TRIBUTE, 1 comment
DEADLIEST BREW:  The Coffee Shop of Horrors

DEADLIEST BREW: The Coffee Shop of Horrors

By John Roisland

So you're doing the family thing. You've packed your bermuda shorts and your newest Harley Davidson t-shirt, threw the kids into the family truckster, and headed down I-95 to Disney and or Universal Studios. You've made it into Orlando, O-town, the wife is nagging, the kids are already screaming they're bored, and all you want to do is wake up or kill someone cause you just spent the last 11-13 hours behind the wheel for a family vacation! Well, last I checked, murdering someone IS still illegal, but there is a way to wake you up!

Head on over to The Coffee Shop of Horrors. If you're looking for a good cup of joe to start your day or even just calm you down from the road, this is the place! Located at 16937 Lakeside Dr, in Montverde, Florida, since 2007, The Coffee Shop of Horrors offers you nothing but the best and freshest coffees - always ground fresh per order - and a wide variety of flavors. But why shouldn't you just go to "FourBucks", uh, Starbucks? That's easy to answer: The Coffee Shop of Horrors isn't corporate, they're an independent business, locally owned and putting their all into their dream! They make the kind of coffee they would want to buy. Shop local applies to food and COFFEE, too!

CSoH-logo

Not only do these fine baristas offer you a wide variety of only the freshest flavors, they also offer you delicious pastries and other snacks to enjoy with your coffee. Still not sold on why to go here? Hmmm... Did I mention The Coffee Shop of Horrors is also a horror-based establishment? The name, taken from The Little Shop of Horrors, does not lie - the establishment is a horror fan's dream.

From horror-themed decor to t-shirts, they also bag and sell their own brand of flavored coffees and all with horror related names, such as Burial Grounds, a dark roast named in honor of Cemetery Prints, a horror-themed photographer (Sid Graves) from Fort Lauderdale. At certain times of the year, even their pastries are horror-themed, and who wouldn't like a dozen little wolfman cupcakes?

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The atmosphere is comfortable, and there is plenty of space to unwind and relax. They even have a coffee table that looks like something out of a GWAR video. (I must have that table!) While you're there, be sure to check out the hand-crafted work from local artists/horror fans Freakshow Designs. Trust me when I say that you will be sorry if you miss out on their work!

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Matt Allen of FREAKSHOW DESIGN

The Coffee Shop of Horrors can also be found at charity events as well as a vendor at Spooky Empire, Florida's largest horror convention.

Now, don't worry if you live in BFE, and this is to much of a travel for you. This is the age of technology, so The Coffee Shop of Horrors is online and ready to ship their products to your door! After you place your order, head on over to their Facebook page and give 'em a like.

So the next time you're in family vacation hell... or just looking for a great cup of coffee, with fellow horror family, be sure stop in at The Coffee Shop of Horrors.

Keep It Evil.

Posted by John Roisland in PRODUCT REVIEWS, REVIEWS, 2 comments
COMING SOON: The 7th Annual GWAR-B-Q

COMING SOON: The 7th Annual GWAR-B-Q

Feast With Gwar

By John Roisland

7th Annual GWAR-B-Q banner

House of Tortured Souls prides our selves on bringing you horror - from our universe and all others. That's why we're thrilled to announce that on August 20, 2016, legendary shock rock band Gwar returns to Hadad's Lake in Richmond, Virginia, for the 7th annual GWAR-B-Q!!

Gwar first hit the music scene in 1985 and have been shocking audiences and appalling both parents and censors with their violent, sexual, and blood-filled stage shows ever since. (I, personally, have been a fan from the start.)

On top of having a powerful and unique sound, Gwar has a stage show that is like no other stage show you will ever see. Combine A Serbian Film, The Evil Dead, The Rocky Horror Picture Show, and the Price Is Right into live stage theatrics with badass music and you have a show that has to be experienced to believed.

In addition to their extreme live shows, the band hosts what is appropriately called the GWAR-B-Q (as mentioned earlier). This will be the 7th year running of the mini festival and, just like the previous years, the festival has an all new line up, including Eye Hate God, Lamb of God, Against Me!, American Nightmare, Lagwagon, and many more still to be announced. Don't panic, though, because Gwar will be playing and torturing humans in the pit as usual.

Gwar logo - GWAR-B-Q

Gwar has been kind enough in these financially stressful times to help us out attendees by contacting Richmond hotels and securing the best rates possible. (I figure Gwar threatened to slay off if they didn't help out, but I can't confirm this.) So, for the hook-up, check out the GWAR-B-Q website.

Also, (and I found this to be extremely cool) the GWAR-B-Q website has a section where you sign up to help out at the event. It doesn't specify whether or not helping means you'll be hand feeding Beefcake the Mighty small children before his show or scrubbing his toilet after, but, hey, either way you'll get to say you were there!

If you're going to have a Gwar weekend in Richmond, VA, you must dine at GWARbar. (For those of you who don't know, Gwar have a restaurant/bar in Richmond at 217 W. Clay Street. GWARbar offers both meatfilled and meatless fare and all is inspired by the band! Michael Derks, AKA Balsak the Jaws of Death, has drawn upon his 30+ years of restaurant experience and is executive chef for the establishment. (This would be a must for me!)

John with Beefcake the Mighty and JiZMak da Gusha - GWAR-B-Q banner

Tickets for the GWAR-B-Q officially went on sale Friday, June 10, 2016. The gates open at 10:00 (yes, AM), and the first band goes on at 10:30, so get there early and prepare to become a slave to none other than Gwar!

Long Live Oderus!

Keep it Evil.

Posted by John Roisland in COMING SOON, EVENTS, HORROR NEWS, 0 comments

VIDEO: A Message From Beefcake the Mighty!

A Message From Beefcake the Mighty
For All of You Tortured Souls out There!!

Fair use doctrine.
Beefcake the Mighty at Riot Fest 2014
House of Tortured Souls CEO John Roisland was lucky enough to meet Beefcake the Mighty when he attended the Scares That Care Weekend 2015, and he was nice enough to let John record a greeting for all those who visit our newly launched website! Please enjoy and don't forget to tell all your friends about House of Tortured Souls!

Posted by Alan Smithee in VIDEOS, 0 comments