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Songs for the live-environment - 60%

morbert, June 20th, 2008

Well, old school thrash really is back on the map. Young bands forming everywhere around the globe. Some better than others, almost none of them original. But originality has never been a problem with thrash. It’s all about the intensity!

And that is something Gama bomb have done right. This album is intense. The album is fast and furious. But… unfortunately that’s the only real positive aspect here. The overall sound of the group is balancing between D.R.I. (musically) and Evile (vocally and productionally)

The guitars are fairly simple. This is not a problem obviously since Sodom’s and Kreator’s earliest album also had the simplest riffs ever. However the riffs here tend more toward crossover than real thrash. The thrashy element is the palm muted playing but a lot of ‘riffs’ here are in fact simple chord progressions which are more punk and just played in a thrash metal way. They are not as catchy as S.O.D. or D.R.I. could pull it off though and therefor they are not convincing.

The few real riffs that are here are either very generic or blatantly stolen. Yes, you’ve heard me: stolen. On opener “Zombie Blood Nightmare” there is that Kirk Hammett riff. That riff he wrote for Exodus (Impaler) and was later used by Metallica on Trapped Under Ice. Now this sort of plagiarism could happen to anyone playing thrash metal. But if you decide to steal, please take a riff from a band no one remembers anymore. But don’t do it like this. It’s stupid.

Furthermore the vocals are indeed powerfull but they aren’t always used in the right way. It is rather difficult to explain but you will know the saying “less is more”. Well, there you have it, the vocals are too prominent on some songs. Secondly at times a high pitched scream is used, but in such a way that it sounds like a parody instead of the real thing. The are in key, but they just sound ‘too funny’ to be taken seriously.

Now the feeling this album gives me is that Gama Bomb is an enjoyable band which will do nicely in the live environment and they will surely crush your average midpaced modern metal act on a festivals or something similar in terms of aggression and intensity. On CD however the band is lacking too much character, dynamics and quality riffs on most of the songs to stay interesting for more than 15 minutes.