On Sun., Dec. 3, interplanetary metal barbarians GWAR brought their murderously madcap Blood of Gods tour to the Masquerade. The band’s 14th studio album is their first since the passing of beloved founding member Dave ‘Oderus Urungus’ Brockie, and while the deranged alien warlord’s lumbering presence and gift for crass theatrical violence was much missed, it’s clear the group’s collective bloodlust has not been satiated in the least. Raining down riff after thunderous riff, GWAR unleashed death and blood by the bucketful, including the sacrificial slaughter of President Trump. If there were any lingering doubts about the band’s commitment post-Brockie, they were quickly laid to rest: GWAR lives motherfuckers.

Joining them in the carnage were Creepsylvania hell fiends Ghoul, who got the crowd’s juices flowing with their own brutal stage antics and vicious bloodletting. The bill was rounded out by Carolina rockers He is Legend and Richmond, Va.’s U.S. Bastard, as well as Atlanta’s own Death of Kings who kicked off the show with a particularly inspired set. Maybe it was the excitement of opening up for GWAR, but the local thrash titans sounded as frenzied and raw as I’ve heard them in some time, making for the perfect lead-in to a killer (pun intended) night of unabashed gore and metal mayhem.

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All photos © Copyright 2017 Christina Pradhan.