Gama Bomb – Sea Savage (Prosthetic Records)

Wednesday, 16th December 2020
Rating: 9/10

There’s something just remarkably fun and engaging about watching Irish thrash act Gama Bomb grow album after album on their own accord. Signing a new label deal with Prosthetic Records for their seventh studio album Sea Savage, the nautical themes and Victorian Horror aspects add to their already well-revered affinity for 80’s and 90’s movies – giving the listener twelve tasty tracks of gallop-oriented fireworks.

This record crosses paths of the past and present musically while also paying homage to some classic/traditional influences, ensuring a mixture of Gama Bomb’s trademark gang choruses, catchy guitar lead breaks, and chugging tempos plus Philly Byrne’s patented Halford-esque falsetto against his normal mid-range Bobby Blitz-esque bark and roar salvos. Standouts change by the moment as you rip and tear through these songs. It’s hard not to be jumpy and stomping about the place to opener “Judo Killer”, guitarists John Roche and Dom Dixon spitting out riffs and fiery shred antics as if their life depended on it, while the slamming kit work of session drummer James Stewart (associated with Vader and Decapitated) puts “Iron Blood” into Exodus/Anthrax first class territory. Traditional, NWOBHM-style melodic runs give “Sheer Khan” a bit more of an Accept/Judas Priest flavor to this arrangement, the rhythm section passages a bit more adventurous as well, while the chunky rhythm assault for “Electric Pentacle” reverts to combinations this scribe hasn’t heard since the classic 80’s days of Znowhite, leading to serious neck brace activities. And how can you not love the triplet-oriented axe execution against Philly’s upper register bird call shrieks during “Rusty Jaw” – the dual guitar harmonies an added Maiden-esque bonus to garner devil horns salutes.

Returning to Graham Humphreys for artwork that features their mascot Snowy the Gamabombinable Snowman in a sea-worthy movie poster scene is the icing on top of an already highly entertaining top to bottom effort. Taking what made Speed Between the Lines successful into even more of a potent thrash record, Sea Savage should be pleasurable for all Gama Bomb fans – and may engross some of those fringe traditional followers that need something energetic and fun-loving to pass their metal time.

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