Sunday, August 21, 2016

Gama Bomb – Untouchable Glory

Untouchable Glory” is the fifth full-length from Irish thrashers Gama Bomb. If you’ve followed their career to this point, you probably know what to expect, as they’re not a band to vary up the formula too much. Indeed, “Untouchable Glory” continues their reign as one of the best modern thrash bands. This means that this record is a succinct experience, filled with short tracks that thrash incredibly hard and provide more than a handful of laughs along the way. While the band has never written any outright bad songs, they do have the occasional misfire in terms of songwriting, but that isn’t the case on “Untouchable Glory”. There isn’t a weak track anywhere on this album.

Gama Bomb’s sound is still led by Philly Byrne’s irreplaceable high-pitched voice. His charismatic delivery is as clean as ever, which contrasts perfectly with the constant barrage of gang vocals in the background of many songs. Efforts like “Drinkers, Inc.” show off his ability to spit out rapid-fire syllables in a successful attempt at keeping up with the rest of the music. Unsurprisingly, this means that the band’s riffing is supremely tight (see the opening of “Avenge Me!” for one of the most impressive riffs on the record). They don’t spend too long abusing any particular riff, always moving on before you have a chance to get bored. That descriptor is true of the songs in general, with only 3 of 12 songs even cracking the 3-minute mark (and just barely for all 3 of them).

Since getting into Gama Bomb in 2008, I’ve struggled with each new release. “Citizen Brain” is a top 5 thrash album of the last decade, and it is difficult to objectively evaluate each subsequent Gama Bomb record because they haven’t lived up to that phenomenal release. While both “Tales From the Grave In Space” and “The Terror Tapes” have since grown on me, “Untouchable Glory” marks the first Gama Bomb album since 2008 where I wasn’t let down upon first listen. The band knows exactly what they are at this point, and they play that part more convincingly than ever on “Untouchable Glory”. There are more than a handful of truly great songs on this record, and even if you can’t disassociate it from the brilliance of “Citizen Brain”, it remains an upper-tier modern thrash release.

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"Avenge Me!"
"She Thing"
"James Joints"

Final Rating
4.4/5 or 88%. 

Written by Scott 

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