Archive for the ‘Gama Bomb’ Category

Critical Mass’ Top 10 Albums of 2015

Wednesday, December 23rd, 2015

The Critical Mass crew share their top picks from the year in metal.

It has been an interesting year for metal. We’ve had releases from veteran bands (Iron Maiden, Slayer, Motorhead), releases from upper tier/mainstream bands (Fear Factory, Lamb Of God, Amorphis) releases from more underground bands and several ‘follow up’ albums from bands with something to prove.

Until very recently, there hasn’t been any single release that resulted in a chorus of praise and/or ridicule as had happened in previous years. The new Slayer album came and went, the general consensus being that it sounded like Slayer, but was dull at best. The new High On Fire album impressed many with its no nonsense Matt Pike rollercoaster. The new Deafheaven album silenced critics of the Sunbather era by ratcheting up the heaviness, but some were disappointed that they did not continue further down the post/shoegaze path. Liturgy turned ears and heads with their wonderfully bizarre The Ark Work, but it seems as though the uniqueness of that album didn’t cause as many people to get as upset as they had been in the past. Perhaps people are getting older? Maybe people are sick of being addicted to outrage?

Then right at the end of the year two albums dropped (or are about to at the time of writing) that have gotten a lot of people very excited: Sunn O)))‘s Kannon and Baroness’ Purple. The new Baroness being the followup to the very successful double album Yellow & Green and their first recording since the devastating bus accident in 2012. I’ve heard snippets of both, and both sound incredible, however for roster and time commitments my list was finalised during the first week in December. So those albums will be honourable mentions. Also some more obvious albums such as the new High On Fire and VHOL are absent; I know both are great, but I haven’t heard them as much as the others on this list. I’ve also made a note to listen to the new Tribulation album soon.

There was also a lot of good synth/horror/score music coming out that weirdly goes well with a lot of metalheads. Goblin Rebirth, Zombi etc put out some great mood music in 2015. Ultimately there are many albums that won’t make the list, a lot of good stuff in the ‘to listen to’ pile, but these are the albums that made an impact with me.

Honourable mentions:
Enslaved — In Times
Iron Maiden — The Book Of Souls
Silent Knight — Conquer & Command
Cattle Decapitation — The Anthropocene Extinction
Napalm Death — Apex Predator/Easy Meat
Tangled Thoughts Of Leaving — Yield To Despair

10. Raven — Extermination
This album shouldn’t be on my list. The 40-year-strong NWOBHM veterans made an album full of big, dumb, sing-songy, verse-chorus-verse metal/rock that belongs in a bad 80s action movie. But you know what, sometimes I LOVE big dumb metal.

9. Between the Buried and Me — Coma Ecliptic
I’ve never really been an BTBAM fan, and couldn’t really name much of their back catalogue, but the bands seventh album blends heavy, technical prog with some catchy synths, choruses and some damn good songs.

8. Deafheaven — New Bermuda
Alternately silencing critics and isolating fans of the more post/shoegazey Sunbather sound in one fell swoop, Deafheaven ratcheted up the heaviness on New Burmuda.

7. Ghost — Meliora
Meliora impresses after 2013’s slightly lacklustre Infestissumam. A cocktail of occult rock, ABBA-style song arrangements and some Queen-esque vocal harmonies (!) makes for a great third album.

6. Gama Bomb — Untouchable Glory
Gama Bomb cement themselves as one of the strongest thrash bands around — this absolutely smokes Slayer’s new one by a country mile.

5. Bloodlust — Cultus Diaboli
Blackened thrash from two veterans of the Perth metal scene. The catchiness of Venom mixed with the epicness and force of Bathory.

4. Ur Draugr– With Hunger Undying
The second release this year from the band sees them produce the kind of backwards riffing and power of early Morbid Angel mixed with some feral black metal and beyond. Stunning.

3. Horrendous — Anareta
Old school howling death metal that twists and turns in ways that follow the path of Chuck Schuldiners vision. Worth going out of your way to hear.

2. Drowning Horse — Sheltering Sky
Dark and heavy, low and slow. Elements of Neurosis and Earth abundant. By just tweaking their sound a touch they stand head and shoulders above any and all pretenders playing heavy doom.

1. Sigh — Graveward
The veteran black metal band (once signed to Euronymous’ DLS label) have expanded their sound, exclusively playing ‘Cinematic Horror Metal’. Harsh vocals, swirling synths, saxophone, crazy solos and much more. Listen to this album on headphones — LOUD.

Deryk from Critical Mass had these as his top 10:

Hate Eternal — Infernus
Enslaved — In Times
Torche — Restarter
Nightwish — Endless Forms Most Beautiful
Fear Factory — Genexus
With The Dead– With The Dead
High On Fire – Luminiferous
Elder — Lore
Ghost — Meliora
Intronaut — The Direction of Last Things

Scott Williams is still working on his, but included albums from the likes of: Enslaved, Locrian, Steve Moore, Blind Guardian, Ghost and Baroness.

Thanks to all our listeners and supporters! See you in 2016!

Critical Mass airs every Wednesday from 9PM (GMT+8) on RTR FM 92.1 in Perth, Australia.

Anger Management: Gama Bomb

Wednesday, November 25th, 2015

Every fortnight, we check in with all things heavy on RTRFM’s Critical Mass show.

Irish thrash maniacs Gama Bomb return with their fifth album, Untouchable Glory, following on from 2013’s excellent The Terror Tapes, Untouchable Glory. The band bulldoze through twelve tracks of glorious thrash metal, never losing a step, oozing with enthusiasm and joy.

Whilst some of their contemporaries in the new wave of thrash (led by Municipal Waste) seem to have fallen by the wayside ortaken a break (Bonded By Blood and Municipal Waste haven’t released anything since 2012, Havok and Fueled By Fire haven’t had a release since 2013), Gama Bomb keep on doing what they do best: rising to the top.

Untouchable Glory takes the sound from The Terror Tapes and adds a few slight tweaks here and there. Vocalist Philly Byrne’s unique vocal style is in fine form, a dash of Blitz/Overkill mixed with a splash of Paul Baloff and, oddly, I’m also reminded of Ludichrist/Scatterbrain vocalist Tommy Christ. But it’s more as if Scattebrain worshiped Nuclear Assault instead of Van Halen.

The album has some excellent shredding guitar leads and drummer Paul Caffrey puts in a phenomenal performance, with tracks such as “Tuck Your T-Shirt In” and “Ride The Night” really shining through.

Those bemoaning a lack of variety are clearly not paying attention as there’s a wealthof sounds here. Some songs such as the aforementioned “Tuck..” and “She Thing“‘ ratchet up the speed in a Nuclear Assault/S.O.D style whilst “My Evil Eye“and “Ride The Night” are a bit slower/catchier and could both easily be used as singles.

The band clearly are having a blast and have sense of humour about them, but musically they are no joke. Gama Bomb aren’t about to go Metallica ’96. Pick up Untouchable Glory and wreck your neck!

Critical Mass airs every Wednesday from 9PM (GMT+8) on RTR FM 92.1 in Perth, Australia.

Anger Management: Gama Bomb

Tuesday, August 20th, 2013

We check in with all things heavy on RTRFM’s Critical Mass show.

Irish thrashers Gama Bomb return with their fourth full length album The Terror Tapes. A label change (From Earache records to German label AFM Records) and a lineup change (goodbye guitarist Luke Graham, hello John Roche) has not slowed the band’s momentum one bit, churning out 12 tracks and 36 minutes of catchy thrashing goodness.

Taking their influences more from bands such as Overkill and Nuclear Assault (as opposed to the Suicidal/D.R.I crossover chug of genre leaders Municipal Waste) plus having two guitarists allows some great solos and guitar play to shine through. Lead single ‘Terrorscope’ contains an awesome guitar solo with a nod to the old orchestral piece ‘The Sabre Dance’, you’ll know it when you hear it. It will bring back memories of ‘80s Tom And Jerry classic cartoons.

The cover art by ‘80s horror VHS artist Graham Humphreys is fantastically b-movie but the real treat is the limited 7? single art for Terrorscope, such attention to detail. There’s also a Spanish language version of Terrorscope on the b-side. Ignore at your own peril, thrash still has a lot of life left in it. Even in 2013.