In music, as in many other areas, there are things that you like or you hate, without half measures. In the specific case of thrash music, one thing that has always had particular importance for me is the “seriousness” of the vocal part, which I like compact, “mature” and sufficiently angry. I really don’t enjoy the shouts and vocalizations derived from the heavy metal tradition: when these are applied to thrash metal it seems to me that the songs lose most of their value. This is clearly my limit, but this has never allowed me to fully appreciate some of groups that were so good for other listeners. Anthrax is one of the examples: I recognize the role and influence they had in the history of contemporary metal but, to be honest, I only got truly excited when John Bush was the lead singer of the band.
Gama Bomb, from Northern Ireland, is a thrash band that has always injected a big dose of humor in their songs. To this respect the presence of a crazy and eclectic singer like Phylly Byrne is from a certain point of view something that’s absolutely in line with the style of the band.
In purely musical terms, however, I get the same feeling that I was mentioning above. I of course appreciate the fury of their music, the killer riffs and the impressive level of energy that transpires from all of the songs of their new album, Speed Between the Lines. At the same time, however, I can’t get fully excitedcaptured when I listen to the album and my interest for their music, in the end, remains relatively superficial. And that’s mostly because of the vocals.
Love it or hate it. Anyway, fans of hyperspeedy thrash and extravagant metal will find in this album exactly what they’re looking for. Twelve songs, less than 35 minutes of total duration and a sonic tightness that’s quite unique in today scene.
Speed Between the Lines is available for streaming on Spotify.
Highlights: 666 Teen and Bring Out the Monster.