Gama Bomb - Untouchable Glory
AFM Records
Thrash Metal
12 songs (31' 54")
Release year: 2015
AFM Records
Reviewed by Andy
Album of the month

Every once in a while, it's nice to give the serious bands a rest, lay down anything with a musical style starting with "post-" or whose authors use the word "transcend" in conjunction with a description of their sound, and put on something fun and immature, which is why a whole lot of us got into metal in the first place. Such a band is Gama Bomb, who rival six-year-olds on a cereal sugar-high in their crazy energy, and such an album is their latest, Untouchable Glory, which sounds like it was made by the aforementioned kids.

The band's obsession with film tropes of the 80s are still proudly on display with Ninja Untouchables, a tribute to cheap kung fu movies that has a harder, more rhythmic beat/guitar muting than usual. The tracks feel even more stripped down and riff-filled than The Terror Tapes, which was a killer album, and there are no more 30-second break-type tracks like they used to have; instead, they use the extra time to to put extra headbanging opportunities in choruses on songs like Drinkers, Inc.. Their usual thrash sound, though, hasn't gone away, nor has their humor. Take My Evil Eye, a song about an evil psychic -- somewhat stock material -- until one realizes that the lyrics are about the guy using his powers to see people's underwear. I Will Haunt You had me cracking up too, as vocalist Philly Byrne yells, "Now I'm coming back...from the grave...to haunt the shit out of you!" Classic.

Sure, if Gama Bomb was a more serious band, they could still do well just on the basis of their ability to write and play a kickass thrash song, but the humor and wild enthusiasm is part of what makes them fun to listen to. Witching Mania's another example of their newer sound, clearer and more differentiated than before, and I also liked She Thing, which has some of the fastest and most ferocious drumming and soloing on the album. The band rigorously follows their stated rules ("no synths, no ballads, no clean guitars"), and as a result, unlike their 80s influences, there's no letting up for anything slow, soft, or introspective, and the songs are all quick little bites of riff-laden goodness.

Untouchable Glory is quite possibly the best thrash album I've heard this year. Not only is it technically excellent, it's funny without any of the ironic eyebrow-raising that sooner or later becomes toxic to a musical genre. Instead, the tributes to cheesy past cultural references sound like they're because the band thinks they're cool, cornball or not, and the lyrical material is backed by musicianship and songwriting abilities that have only gotten stronger with each album.

Killing Songs :
Ninja Untouchables / Untouchable Glory, Witching Mania, I Will Haunt You
Andy quoted 88 / 100
Other albums by Gama Bomb that we have reviewed:
Gama Bomb - The Terror Tapes reviewed by Andy and quoted 84 / 100
Gama Bomb - Tales From The Grave In Space reviewed by Kyle and quoted 85 / 100
Gama Bomb - Citizen Brain reviewed by Goat and quoted 80 / 100
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