Gama Bomb - Tales From The Grave In Space
Since their inception in 2002, Irish thrashers Gama Bomb have made quite a splash in the European metal scene and are now also garnering a great deal of respect from headbangers here in the states. Their sophomore effort, Tales From The Grave In Space, released as a free download via Earache Records in late 2009 is now available in stores in 2010. Tales sees Gama Bomb’s most crushing work to date. Clocking in at just over thirty minutes, their latest is a bare bones thrash record that foregoes pomp and circumstance and cuts right to the chase.
Stylistically the album doesn’t stray too far from the sound of its predecessor Citizen Brain, but thrash metal has never been known for much innovation. Gama Bomb pass on virtuosic musicianship and innovation and rather opt for a full on thrash assault; chugging speed riffs, blistering solos, thunderous drumming and high-pitched demonic wails ala Tom Araya of Slayer.
Take one look at their lyrics and your appreciation of Gama Bomb’s latest may just increase tenfold, that is if you have a good sense of humor. Where Citizen Brain saw Gama Bomb tackle subjects including zombies, global warming, crime, and thrashaholism, Tales From The Grave In Space deals with mummies, Mussolini, ninjas, ghosts, witches and more. Its clear that while the band are serious about their tunes, they’re not afraid to have fun with their subject matter.
Today’s neo-thrash revival bands, Gama Bomb included, often fall under fire for being one-trick ponies, and while it would be quite a stretch to call anything flagship neo-thrashers like Municipal Waste or say Toxic Holocaust are doing radically progressive, their apparent lack of innovation does not discredit their contributions to the modern metal scene at large.
As is apparent by the popularity and success these bands have gained, many metal fans are still down for a good time album, and Tales is just that. It revels in its own simplicity at a time when so many contemporary metal acts strive for, and some would argue go overboard with, technicality and complexity.
If a fun party-thrash record is what you’re after than Tales From The Grave In Space is just what you need, but if you’re looking for metal with a little more substance than this album may leave something to be desired. Simple? Yes. Groundbreaking? Not so much. What Gama Bomb lack in variance they more than make up for with twelve tracks of hard-hitting mosh-worthy thrash, and in the end if you’re not having fun, what’s the point?