Live Review: Gama Bomb – Birmingham

Live Review: Gama Bomb - The Asylum, Birmingham
11th November 2021
Support: Shrapnel, Absolution, Thrashead
Words & photos: Tim Finch

“Put on your bullet belt, it’s time to thrash like it’s ‘86”.

As we head into The Asylum in Birmingham on the autumnal evening we are in for a thrash treat with some the Britains greatest thrash bands on offer, and some unknown acts too.

The opening band, Thrashead, are just a glorified covers band. Opening with Metallica’s ‘Blackened’ and following on with Megadeth's ‘Five Magics’. It was at this point I note that at least they didn’t murder the covers, but then they followed their opening with ‘Leper Messiah’ which they really didn’t do any justice too and closed off with ‘Holy Wars’ and the complete destruction of ‘Battery’. Hopefully at some point they will have some original material we can properly assess them on.

Absolution switch things up, not only in quality of music, but in brutality as well. The Birmingham old school death metal act focus their songs on murderers and serial killers, as you do. The subject matter demands extreme music, and with the onslaught of riffs that spew forth, that is is exactly what we get. The bands all too brief set pummels your ear drums and suitably warms the crowd up for what is about to come.

Next it's on to the first of two main courses this evening, Shrapnel. Riding a crest of a wave following last years career defining 'Palace for the Insane' the bands stock has risen fast. A stellar performance at Bloodstock is now followed with a full UK tour with Gama Bomb. Dan from Scouse outfit Reaper steps up to the plate to fill in for Aaron on this tour, and despite the lack of practice time, you would not know the difference. The band are as tight as a gnats chuff as they tear through their set, entertaining and thrashing in equal measure. It's the first time we see some crowd action this evening and as the fans pummel each other in the pit, the band unleash their cover of Metallica's 'Damage Inc'. It's a set that proves Shrapnel's worth, they will go on to greater things over the next year or so and we can't wait to see what comes next.

Tonight's headliners Gama Bomb are back fresh off their Damnation Festival appearance last week and have a cracking new album in 'Sea Savage', their first for Prosthetic Records. They open with the title track from the aforementioned album, which has the expectant crowd in raptures but soon move onto their back catalogue through '666teen', 'Final Fight' and 'Sheer Khan'.

Philly as ever, the ultimate front man and his style of banter keeps the crowd enthralled as the band unleash the likes of crowd favourites 'OCP', 'Hell Trucker' and 'Hammer Slammer'. Chris Williams admirably keeping pace despite playing for both Shrapnel and Gama Bomb tonight, he's put in one hell of a shift.

There's a fine line between good and bad when it comes to thrash metal especially for some of the quirkier bands within the genre. Gama Bomb define the term "quirky" perfectly, but they also land far further than good, and well into awesome when it comes to their music. Their live performances match the feeling of 80's nostalgia you get listening to their early records and it brings a smile to your face to witness so many battle jackets, high tops and bullet belts on show tonight.

Closing out with 'Terrorscope', Gama Bomb prove their worth tonight, a packed venue playing the ultimate set of tradition thrash metal. Long may their form continue!

All Photo Credits: Tim Finch Photography

For all the latest news, reviews, interviews across the heavy metal spectrum follow THE RAZORS'S EDGE on facebook, twitter and instagram.