Gama Bomb – Sea Savage (Prosthetic Records)

If you’re looking for an antidote to a year of lockdowns and bog roll shortages, then Sea Savage has arrived at just the right time.

You may not be able to leap from the nearest stage to tunes like Rusty Jaw just yet, but Gama Bomb’s mix of 80s thrash, crossover and balls-to-the-wall heavy metal will put a big, goofy grin on your face.

Over six albums, Philly Byrne and co. have gifted us some of the most entertaining thrash metal this side of the millennium – and Sea Savage is no exception.

Recorded between Byrne’s native Newry and Dublin, this is a rip roaring hellride powered by 80s Anthrax, DRI and Suicidal Tendencies, where over songs such as Monsterizer, the band demonstrate their mastery of thrash dynamics. Every tempo change kickstarts another incendiary riff or dazzling solo. The gang vocals roar. The double kicks thunder.

But Gama Bomb have indulged their love of classic, turbocharged metal more obviously this time around. Think Priest and Accept wearing hi-tops and Bermuda shorts (or perhaps it’s better if you don’t) and you’ll be close to the energy of Sheer Khan and Gone Haywire.  

It works a treat.

Sea Savage lightens the mood…

It may be inspired by Moby Dick and Victorian horror yarns, but Sea Savage is a world away from gothic misery.

Gama Bomb have always had tongues planted firmly in cheeks.

And that hasn’t changed.

Opener Judo Killer sets the tone and Miami Supercops is the best thrash song you’ll ever hear about Floridian crime fighters. We’re not sure how that fits in with the nautical theme… but it does it really matter?

But Gama Bomb turn to the dark side…

It’s nice to see Vader makes an appearance on Sea Savage.

Well, the Polish death metal band, rather than the Sith lord.

James Stewart – drummer with the Poles since 2011 – brings his formidable skills to the album, with the title track and Electric Pentacle in particular showing where a decade powering Piotr Wiwczarek’s outfit will get you.

If you’re going to be a little more ambitious with your thrash metal, make sure you have a sticksman who’ll do the business.

And Stewart gets the job done in some style.

An explosive thrash record

Sure, it may be a little too daft for some, but that’s not going to stop Sea Savage from snapping necks and cracking bones, once we can all jump back into the pit.

And in a year that’s given us thrash masterworks from the likes of Annihilator, Testament and Havok, Gama Bomb stand tall.