Thrash metal. In 2019 the mere mention of the genre brings about… mixed emotions. The absolute titans of the genre are still here – Metallica, Megadeth, Slayer, Anthrax – yeah, they’re all here. But they all suck. All four of these bands have released phenomenal and crucial heavy metal albums, but all four of these bands have also fallen to the sway of capitalism.
So, the thrash I want to talk about is modern day underground thrash. Bands that play fast, write huge riffs, perform crazy solos, and bring sociopolitical lyrical concepts that the big shots of old can’t even realise as they are all now millionaires. I’m talking great underground thrash bands like Lich King, Evile, Municipal Waste, and Gama Bomb.
Gama Bomb formed in 2002 in Ireland. What makes the band extra special is that they feature members from both Southern and Northern Ireland. The band have released a number of well received albums including Citizen Brain, The Terror Tapes and 2018’s killer Speed Between The Lines. The band play no-nonsense fast-as-balls thrash with lyrical themes running the entire gamut of comic books and video games.
But the band have also had a solid output of antifascist tunes. Every album has at least one big song about smashing the far-right – especially from a metal perspective. The songs ‘Racists!’, ‘Mussolini Mosh’, ‘Metal Idiot’ and ‘Alt-Reich’ are all bangers that provide progressive views and denounce hatred inside and outside the metal scene.
Dave Mustaine and Scott Ian have both shown how out of touch they are by saying “modern bands are spoiled”; Slayer have their name branded on the side of every bit of shite merch you can imagine from trainers to sunglasses; and nosebleed tickets to see Metallica sell in excess of £100. The old school is woefully out of touch, transformed into the clinical millionaire assholes they once fought against. So throw away your copy of Master Of Puppets and pick up a copy of Gama Bomb’s Speed Between the Lines.
Check out Gama Bomb’s official site here.
Words: Richard Weeks