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|Origin||Newry, Northern Ireland & Republic of Ireland|
|Labels||Earache, AFM, Prosthetic|
|Past members||Luke Graham|
Gama Bomb is a thrash metal band based in Northern Ireland. Their 2009 album Tales from the Grave in Space was one of the first albums ever released as a completely free download while signed to a record label.
School friends Joe McGuigan (bass guitar) and Philly Byrne (vocals) formed Gama Bomb with the guitarist Luke Graham in Newry in 2002 and soon built up a small but loyal following which they consolidated with a rigorous touring schedule and frequent forays into self-released recording. The band first gained attention with their demo "The Survival Option" in the same year. In 2003, they toured and released "The Fatal Mission" single. During this period Byrne often appeared on stage in fancy dress as a chef, priest, pirate or scientist in an increasingly colourful stage show which frequently included a thrash metal version of the theme tune from the 1980s TV show Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles . Gama Bomb's first tour dates outside Ireland were in 2004, supporting the punk band The Dangerfields on a tour of Scotland.
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Gama Bomb released their full-length album, Survival of the Fastest , through the European music label Witches Brew in early 2006. The album, which had originally been independently released in a limited edition format in late 2005, included many of the bands then live staples of which many, aside from those present on previous EP releases, had never been commercially available. At this point, the band's line-up changed with the original guitarist Kevy Canavan leaving and the addition of drummer Paul Caffrey. In late 2005, Domo Dixon filled the vacant guitar spot. The 2006 version of the album features the bonus tracks "M.A.D." and "The Survival Option" from their 2004 "Fatal Mission" single. In April 2006, as the album was released, Gama Bomb embarked on their first UK tour. The "Insane Quest for Flesh" tour had support from Mutant and Deceptor and is seen as a landmark event[ citation needed ] in the rise of the resurgent UK thrash scene.
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After live dates in summer 200[ clarification needed ], as well as coverage in music magazines like the NME and Terrorizer, Gama Bomb self-recorded a demo of their new album Citizen Brain to show to interested labels. Seeking a larger label to help them tour Europe, the demo did the rounds with most of the major metal labels. Around this point Earache Records began to take a serious interest in the band. In May 2007, Gama Bomb joined the Hungarian thrash band Black Sister on a split 7" EP released by Problem? Records. The Gama Bomb side had new tracks "Zombi Brew" (from the Citizen Brain demo) and "Frightmare On Hell St.", together with a cover of the punk band The Dangerfields' song, "Maniac". The EP was released exclusively on 7" vinyl and limited to 200 copies.
In September 2007, Gama Bomb announced that they had signed a recording contract with Earache Records. The band contributes the song "Zombi Brew" to the Thrashing Like A Maniac compilation released by Earache Records, alongside other new thrash artists such as Evile, Municipal Waste, Mutant (London), Short Sharp Shock and Send More Paramedics.
In April 2008, Earache confirmed the release for early June of Gama Bomb's first album for the label, Citizen Brain . [ citation needed ] The band toured Europe extensively to support the album.The album was released in July 2008 to overwhelmingly positive reviews.
Since the release of Citizen Brain, the band has been vocal in its support of music downloading, and led a campaign to 'Stamp Out Inferior Metal' on their 2008 Thrashing Like A Maniac Tour, asking fans to bring along CDs they regret buying and to destroy them at shows.
In summer 2009, the band played mainstage bookings at the European metal festivals Hellfest in France and Tuska Open Air in Finland alongside Mötley Crüe, WASP, Anthrax and Suicidal Tendencies.[ citation needed ]
In January 2009, they were voted best newcomer in a Terrorizer magazine readers' poll, and toured Europe with Exodus and Overkill in early 2009 as part of the Killfest tour.[ citation needed ]
Gama Bomb announced via their MySpace blog in August 2009 that they were returning to the studio to record their third album Tales from the Grave in Space for a November 2009 release.The album was produced by Scott Atkins, who had produced the band's Citizen Brain album.
On 8 September the band announced that Tales from the Grave in Space would be released online completely free on November 5 via Rapidshare,making them the first metal band to release an album for free while signed to a record label. Issue 200 of the UK version of Metal Hammer, sold in branches of Tesco, came with a copy of the CD as a free cover mount.
A physical version of the album was later released. The bass guitarist Joe McGuigan has said that despite it already being given away for free, Tales from the Grave in Space had actually outsold Citizen Brain physically.
In March 2010, Gama Bomb was nominated in the Best Underground Band category of the Metal Hammer Golden Gods Awards, losing to the black metal band Immortal on the night. They supported Sepultura on their July UK tour.
The band embarked on its first US tour, in support of Overkill, Forbidden and DRI, from October to December 2010, and played a series of shows in Europe beforehand with the original lead guitarist Canavan back in the line-up, filling in for Domo Dixon.
In February 2011, Gama Bomb announced they would undertake a final UK tour to 'say goodbye' to Tales from the Grave in Space before writing a new album in the summer.The band also revealed on Facebook that a possible new track would be titled "The Cannibals Are In The Streets (Therefore) All Flesh Must Be Eaten".
The band played at two shows in Mexico in May, toured the UK in support of Onslaught in September, undertook a European tour in October and played their first-ever South American shows in December, supporting Dark Funeral on a tour of Brazil.
In March 2012, the band revealed via Facebook that vocalist Byrne had undergone surgery for vocal fold nodules, sustained over the last year's touring, and was recovering from the procedure. During this period the band played a show in Enschede, Netherlands, with McGuigan taking on vocals in Byrne's place.
On 3 April 2012 the band announced that founding member Graham was leaving after 10 years on rhythm guitar. The amicable split allowed John Roche of Slave Zero (band) to join Gama Bomb as the band's new guitarist, having toured with the band as a live musician in 2011.
In July 2012, the band celebrated its tenth anniversary with two shows in Belfast and Dublin, reuniting on stage with the former guitarists Canavan and Graham for greatest hits sets.
On 28 January 2013 the band announced that its fourth album, The Terror Tapes , was to be released on AFM Records on 19 April in Europe and 22 April in the UK and Ireland, followed by a US release on 7 May.The album was produced by the band's long-term producer, Scott Atkins, in Dublin and Suffolk.
The band announced the album would be preceded by a single, the band's first, called "'Terrorscope", which would be released as a free download on 26 March, followed by an exclusive 7" vinyl maxi-single.
Byrne said of the single's free release: "It was really important to us to give people some music for nothing. It's how we get our music and we want people to know we're cool with them doing that, as long as they support us. Support comes from a lot of different places, not just the front pocket." The video for Terrorscope was released on 20 March.
On 4 March, The Terror Tapes artwork was revealed. It was created by the veteran horror movie poster artist Graham Humphreys, whose work includes posters for A Nightmare on Elm Street and Evil Dead .
The band undertook the 'Speed of Sound' European tour with Artillery and Brazilian band Torture Squad in May to support the album, before playing a series of summer festivals.
Stylistically rooted in 1980s thrash metal the band has stated that its influences include acts such as Nuclear Assault, Kreator, Agent Steel, Sodom, old Slayer and early Megadeth. Allmusic labelled their music as punk metal (crossover thrash).
Gama Bomb's lyrics often refer to the horror, action and science fiction movies, cartoons and computer games of the 1980s, as well as paying tribute to many classic heavy metal themes. They also write topical songs on social issues like racism and global warming. The band is known for injecting its own sense of humour into its lyrics, with bizarre song concepts which lampoon classic thrash metal topics. Recurrent themes to be found in Gama Bomb songs are cannibalism, war, zombies, human sacrifice, ghosts and murder.
Overkill is an American thrash metal band, formed in 1980 in New Jersey. They have gone through many line-up changes, leaving bassist D. D. Verni and lead vocalist Bobby "Blitz" Ellsworth as the only constant members. In addition to Verni and Ellsworth, Overkill's current lineup includes Dave Linsk on lead guitar, Derek Tailer on rhythm guitar and Jason Bittner on drums. Along with Nuclear Assault and Anthrax, whose one-time lead guitarist Dan Spitz was also an early member of Overkill, the band is one of the most successful East Coast thrash metal bands, and they are often called "the Motörhead of thrash metal", based on their unique playing style, which was influenced by punk rock and the new wave of British heavy metal. The band has a notable mascot named "Chaly", a skeletal bat with a skull-like face, horns, bony wings and green eyes, who has appeared on most of their album covers.
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Vader is a Polish death metal band from Olsztyn. Formed in 1983, the group was founded by then-bassist Piotr "Peter" Wiwczarek and guitarist Zbigniew "Vika" Wróblewski. Vader went through several lineup changes over the years, with Wiwczarek as the only constant member. Since 2011, the band has comprised Wiwczarek on guitars and vocals, guitarist Marek "Spider" Pająk, bassist Tomasz "Hal" Halicki, and British drummer James Stewart.
Carcass are an English extreme metal band from Liverpool, which was formed in 1985. The band have gone through several line-up changes, leaving guitarist Bill Steer and bassist and vocalist Jeff Walker as the only constant members. They broke up in 1996, but reformed in 2007 without one of its original members, drummer Ken Owen, due to health reasons. To date, the band have released six studio albums, two compilation albums, four EPs, two demo albums, one video album, and six music videos.
Earache Records is an independent record label, music publisher and management company founded by Digby Pearson, based in Nottingham, England with offices in London and New York. It helped to pioneer extreme metal by releasing early grindcore and death metal records between 1988 and 1994. The label roster has since diversified into more mainstream guitar music, working with bands such as Rival Sons, The Temperance Movement, Blackberry Smoke and The White Buffalo. The company also hosted the 'Earache Express' stage at Glastonbury Festival in 2017 and 'The Earache Factory' at Boomtown Fair 2018.
Destruction is a German thrash metal band, formed in 1982. They are often credited as one of the "Big Four" of the German thrash metal scene, the others being Kreator, Sodom and Tankard. In addition to helping pioneer black metal by containing several elements of what was to become the genre, Destruction was part of the second wave of thrash metal in the late 1980s, along with American bands Testament, Sacred Reich, Death Angel and Dark Angel. For most of the 1990s, the band was not signed to a record label and was forced to self-produce their albums until they signed a contract with Nuclear Blast in the early 2000s.
Evile are an English thrash metal band from Huddersfield, formed in 1999. The band's debut album, Enter the Grave, was produced by Flemming Rasmussen at Sweet Silence Studios in Copenhagen, Denmark and was released worldwide in 2007 by Earache Records to critical acclaim by fans and critics alike. The band's first reviews included a hail by Kerrang! as "Carrying the genre's whole 'revival' on their shoulders." Their second album, Infected Nations, was released on 21 September 2009. It was produced by Russ Russell, with artwork from Michael Whelan. Evile's third studio album Five Serpent's Teeth was released in 2011, also on Earache Records. A fourth album, entitled Skull, was released in the late spring of 2013 on Earache. Evile are currently working on a new album.
Municipal Waste is a crossover thrash band from Richmond, Virginia, formed in 2001. To date, the band has released six studio albums, three EPs and four splits. They have gone through several line-up changes, leaving vocalist Tony Foresta and guitarist Ryan Waste as the only constant members. In addition to Foresta and Waste, their current lineup includes Nick "Nikropolis" Poulos on guitar, Philip "Landphil" Hall on bass and Dave Witte on drums.
Exciter is a Canadian speed metal band from Ottawa, Ontario, formed in 1978. Named after a song by Judas Priest, they are widely considered to be one of the first speed metal bands and a seminal influence of the thrash metal genre; the band was heavily influenced by a variety of music styles, including Judas Priest, Black Sabbath, AC/DC, Deep Purple, Scorpions, Iron Maiden, Motörhead, Rush, Jethro Tull and Grand Funk Railroad. Despite many changes in personnel, Exciter has managed to keep a small but dedicated following over the years.
Survival of the Fastest is the first album by the thrash metal band Gama Bomb. The album was released on the European music label Witches Brew in 2006, after an initial 2005 self-release.
Enter the Grave is the debut album by the English thrash metal band Evile. Released on 27 August 2007 in Europe and on 25 September in North America and Japan, the album received generally favorable reviews and entered the UK Rock Chart at number 33. It was produced by Flemming Rasmussen and recorded at Sweet Silence Studios, Copenhagen, Denmark. Rasmussen had produced three Metallica albums, which raised the profile of the album's release. The track "Thrasher" was included on the 2008 Earache Thrash Pack, a downloadable selection of songs for the music video console game Rock Band.
Citizen Brain is the second album by the thrash metal band Gama Bomb. It was released on 9 June 2008 in Europe and 24 June 2008 in the United States and rest of the world by Earache Records. A Bonus DVD featuring tour and studio footage was included in early pressings of the album.
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Savage Messiah are an English heavy metal band formed in May 2007 in London. The band was formed by guitarist and lead vocalist Dave Silver and also consists of guitarist Joff Bailey, bassist Míra Sláma, keyboardist Carlos Alcalde De Lema and drummer Charly Carretón.
Tales from the Grave in Space is the third studio album by Irish thrash metal band Gama Bomb, and one of the first albums ever to be released as a free download by a signed band. In a partnership between the band and record label Earache Records, the album was available for free download from 5 November 2009, hosted by RapidShare. The album was physically released on 25 January in the UK and Europe and the US on 8 March.
The Soulless, formerly known as Ignominious Incarceration, are a metalcore band based in Bath in the south west of England.
Vektor is an American thrash metal band from Tempe, Arizona. Their music is heavily themed around scientific, philosophical, futuristic and astronomical topics.
Bonded by Blood is an American thrash metal band, named after Exodus' debut album Bonded by Blood. Like its labelmates Evile, Gama Bomb, and Municipal Waste, Bonded by Blood is part of the thrash metal revival movement. The band was formed in mid-2005 by vocalist Jose Barrales, who with the help of friends completed the band's original lineup with guitarist Alex Lee, drummer Carlos Regalado, and bassist Ruben Dominguez.
The Terror Tapes is fourth studio album by Irish thrash metal band Gama Bomb. It was released on 19 April in Europe and 7 May in the US via AFM Records.
Untouchable Glory is the fifth studio album by Irish thrash metal band Gama Bomb. It was released internationally on 30 October 2015 via AFM Records.