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The masters of massacre are in town

It's Gwar, and it's coming to your hometown. If you don't want it in your living room demanding dinner or going through your wine cellar, buy a ticket and see its show at the Medford Armory. This group of metal-mashing mutants was banished to Earth as punishment for its heinous crimes committed throughout the universe. The rest of the whopper goes that Gwar was frozen in a wasteland where it waited to return to the cosmos. But fate intervened, and the monsters thawed during a spell of global warming.

They wandered the world, finally posing as artists and musicians at Richmond Commonwealth University in Virginia.

"We're only human," says Oderus Urungus. "And I'm only the singer of Gwar, the greatest metal band in the universe." Guitarists Balsac the Jaws of Death and Flattus Maximus, bass player Beefcake the Mighty and drummer Jizmack Da Gusha round out these masters of shock-rock who are hell-bent on destroying the human race with their savage sound.

It's been 25 years since this heavy-metal holocaust burst onto the music scene, and, often copied but never tamed, Gwar has set a standard for performances that is unmatched in rock 'n' roll history.

"A giant Tyrannosaurus rex might wander out on stage and might need to have its butt kicked," Urungus says. "That would be my job."

The band wears otherworldly costumes — made by fiendish elves who mutated from art students — along with body makeup, and it is notorious for spraying its audiences with mock body fluids — these are generally made of water and powdered food coloring, which for the most part washes out easily.

Last year saw the release of Gwar's 12th album, "Bloody Pit of Horror," and a four-month tour. The group was nominated for two Grammy Awards, one for best metal performance and one for best long-form music video.

"Just when we think we're ready to leave this planet, we put out another album and go back on tour," Urungus says. "We were born to rock."

Gwar's newest adventure has the band on a tour that may attain the intergalactc dominance that it craves.

Tickets cost $22 and are available by calling 866-468-3399, online at www.ticketweb.com and www.jmaxproductions.net, or at Bad Ass Coffee and Bomb Shelter in Medford and Music Coop in Ashland.

Gwar incorporates horror and sci-fi themes into its music. - Photo courtesy of Freeman Promotions