Review by Michael on November 19, 2023.
All of a sudden I stumbled across a new video ('Speed Funeral') by Irish thrashers Gama Bomb where they unfortunately celebrated the passing of Snowy, their monster mascot. So I looked up what the reason for this was and 'ta da' they have a new album at the start.
Opening the secret chamber under the pyramids and celebrating the discoverer of whatever (“I'm so freaky, I'm magnificent”) they start with a really goddamn catchy riff and a brilliant thrash attack. Very melodic vocal lines (sometimes two-voice singing) and gang shouts invite us to a trip into ancient Egypt. In this song they dare to do a lot of new stuff, too. For example some almost Yngwie Malmsteen-like guitar riffs, a saxophone and a rap part done by the rapper “The Egyptian Lover”. Do you think that doesn't match – no, it matches perfectly into this song. They obviously found some interest in some more classic tunes because if you listen to 'Living Dead In Beverly Hills' you will surely discover some melodies you might know from Edvard Grieg, the Norwegian composer who lived in the 19th century (“In The Hall Of The Mountain King”). Again this is an amazing but really well matching contrast to the rest of the song. In some songs the vocals sound a little bit like Rob Halford on speed, very high-pitched and aggressive like in 'Materialize' which has a lot of Slayer-like rhythms and a very surprising plot twist which shows again some more focus on classic guitar work. But don't be afraid, there are also the typical crossover thrash songs like 'Mask Of Anarchy' or 'Don't Get Your Hair Cut' that fully kick ass and are two really catchy bangers. The same goes for 'Speed Funeral' which is a hyperfast song with fantastic riffs like Megadeth did back on “Peace Sells…” and apart from that the video for that song is really funny (as always when they do a video). 'Dreamstealer' and 'Secular' might be the most unusual songs with a lot of hypnotic, repeating riffing and a lot of NWoBHM borrowings in the guitar work. Especially the chorus lines are traditional heavy metal and probably the most melodic thing they´ve ever written and in 'Secular' the galloping drums and guitars might have found some roots in Steve Harris' and companions’ band. 'Bats In Your Hair' finishes the album and this one is a highly diverse song. Starting almost danceable the track develops into a cool thrasher into some classic metal song into a groovy stomper into a saxophone whatever song. Cool shit!
There will probably be one or the other who won't like the direction the bats are flying to because of some more progression in the song writing but I really enjoy Bats because of its fresh approach to not always repeat what Gama Bomb already did and because of the non-typical metal elements like saxophone (although I usually hate this instrument) and a rap. So don't cut your hair and catch some bats with them!
Rating: 8.7 out of 10 Snowys (R.I.P.)336