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'The Terror Tapes'
(AFM Records)

Johnny Main

johnny main

gama bomb

Northern Irish quintet Gama Bomb, now in their eleventh year together, return with their fourth studio album - their first for AFM Records and their first without founding Guitarist Luke Graham to show that British thrash Metal is alive - and well and in safe hands too.

Before you even get to the music, though, the band have managed to create one of my favourite album covers for sometime. The cover was created by Graham Humphreys who is better known for classic horror movie posters including 'A Nightmare On Elm Street' and 'House Of A Thousand Corpses' and 'The Evil Dead', and is just so well done.

In fact, I'm going to be checking out the vinyl edition of the album, and will be putting the cover in a frame on the wall of my office!

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Anyway, back to the important thing - the music. What the band have created here is twelve full on thrash cuts. There are no superfluous ballads or drippy love songs here, but what you do get are a collection of outstanding tracks.

The first single from the album was 'Terrorscope' which kind of sets the scene for the rest of the album. Coming in at just over three minutes, it's just a very enjoyable track. From it's catchy chorus to the unexpected refrain of 'Sabre Dance' written by Armenian composer Aram Khachaturian in the middle, this is one track that I just can't stop listening to.

'Beverly Hill Robocop' gives bass player Joe McGuigan his moment of glory in the short intro before the speedy track is cranked up. The addition of some sound effects (which are supposed to be Robocop talking) are a nice touch, but most of these come to nothing unfortunately as the voice is placed so far back in the mix that most of it becomes inaudible - unlike one of the band shouting "Let's get the fuck out of here" which is very clearly audible.

Points for trying but a shame it didn't work out as perhaps the band had envisioned - still a good song overall, though, and a great guitar solo courtesy of Domo Dixon.

gama bomb

'Smoke The Blow With William Dafoe' is not the shortest song in the album but coming in at just over eighty seconds, it's a good fun track to listen to a with another catchy chorus ("Hey Dafoe, smoke the blow").

The shortest track on the album, by some way, is 'Shitting Yourself To Live' which at just over twenty seconds, it's reminiscent of the tracks written by Napalm Death - again, it's a fun track to listen to and is pretty harmless bit of fun.

'Backwards Bible' is about as slow as the tracks get on this album and even that is performed at break neck speed. The lyrics are just hilarious ("See how our evil black magic backwards talk you makes, My trousers are on upside down, Tell them who sent you when you get to Hell's gate, Such evil will turn your kacks brown.") and made me (literally) laugh out loud and the chorus too, is just inspired.

The bottom line with this album is that if you're a fan of thrash Metal, and you don't take things too seriously, then this should definitely be on your list of albums to listen to sooner rather than later.

The Wrong Stuff
Legend of Speed
Backwards Bible
Beverly Hills Robocop
Smoke The Blow With Willem Dafoe
We Started The Fire
The Cannibals Are In The Streets (Therefore) All Flesh Must Be Eaten
Shitting Yourself To Live
Matrioshka Brain
Metal Idiot
Wrecking Ball

You can watch the official promo video for 'Terrorscope' here:

Gama Bomb are:
Philly Byrne - Vocals
Domo Dixon - Lead Guitar
John Roche - Guitar
Joe McGuigan - Bass Guitar
Paul Caffrey - Drums

Official Website:

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