From The Vaults

The first in our new series, digging out awesome older albums. Jamie Grimes starts with a much loved gem from the halcyon days of England's underground.

Gama Bomb | ‘Tales From The Grave In Space’


It would be fantastic to write about Gama Bomb, Ireland’s undoubted recent metal success story – fuck it, one of Ireland’s only metal success stories – without having to go through the motions of the whole thrash thing. But it’s impossible.

As I’ve said many times before, the ‘thrash revival’ is a contrivance by one or two labels and a clutch of mags desperate for a new thing. Luckily it has nearly passed, and we’ll be spared these peurile records until it swings round again next time.

Gama Bomb though may yet come out of it smelling of roses, if only because they worked so hard before the trend. Their Earache break was based on that effort, and the leg up it has afforded them is really now bearing results. You can hear it in every note of this new album.

It’s far better than the last, and literally screeches past a scene full of peers trying the same thing.

It’s absolutely, verifiably, insanely tight. I can barely recall a record as locked together as this, with the nicely udnerstated distortion on the guitar yielding maximum tone from the arthritis inducing riff work. Which just happens to be atomically bonded with the double kick, by the way: trust me, on a performance level it slaughters much more familiar acts.

Ultimately though it’s about the songs, and songs are what Gama Bomb have always had in abundance. Yes, the subject matter is daft, but so ultimately is the larger percentage of the underground. These songs are catchy, furiously quick, and utterly invigorating.

Just listen to ‘We Respect You’. Do you hear that 99mph chug? That’s a serious workout, and the result of their ball busting European tours. There’s just no other way to sound that together. Apart from that, it’s got a chorus that you’ll be hooked on from the first listen.

More seriously (he says), ‘New Eliminators Of Atlantis BC’ shows what they’re capable of in terms of heavy metal pure and simple. There’s a distinct nod to ‘The Art Of Shredding’ in there somehow, with the teamwork vocal a standout moment of the album.

If you’ve still got a problem with making the effort to like this – and I sympathise – it pays to remember a few home truths from more acceptable names. Nuclear Assault wrote songs about computer games and Anthrax wrote songs about comic characters. They were all as daft as each other.

So Gama Bomb write about juvenile stuff as well. Get your hands on this though. Forget the trend, and treat this as a metal album. Because it’s an amazing one.

4.6 / 5 – Earl Grey ::: 20/12/09


4 Responses to “Gama Bomb | ‘Tales From The Grave In Space’”
  1. I don’t normally comment on anything to do with the band, but this is a brilliant review and I just wanted to say thanks for getting us so succinctly, and for appraising and enjoying the album without prejudice. Hats off to you, sir. Happy Christmas!

  2. Tom Cunningham Says:

    Well done lads. ‘Tis a cool album. Looking forward to getting the CD when it’s out so I can listen to it full whack in the car!

  3. Wasn’t this given away with the last edition of Metal Hammer?

  4. Bloody heck chief, pure thrashtastic mayhem, unrelenting riffs. Hats off to the squires themselves, rock on.

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