Bombus – The Poet and the Parrot (Century Media)Wednesday, 18th September 2013
Backed by Fenriz of Darkthrone, which is pretty much the ultimate seal of approval these days, Gothenburg, Sweden’s Bombus have been road dogging-it hard since their 2010 self-titled debut, translating into all of this goodwill and a deal with Century Media. For a band from melodic death metal Ground Zero, they’re awfully American sounding, perhaps along the lines of Cancer Bats with less punk, and a smidge more melodic spunk. Therefore, tread carefully with their sophomore The Poet and the Parrot.
Looking at The Poet and the Parrot as bar-hopping, raucous ‘n’ roll album instead of a metal album is probably the way the go. The proliferation of gang vocals suggest the band has a punk background (which wouldn’t be a surprise), and the riffs brandish some metallic weight, but aren’t “metal,” if you catch our draft. No matter, the barreling “Enter the Night” is a double-fisted strongarm (the dual vocals of Feffe and Matte are energized to the max), that even hoists some double-bass action that wouldn’t be too off from what Motorhead in such a situation. Bombus aren’t Motorhead, though.
The sweat-tossing title track is frisky, but the meandering “Liars” is a letdown, a bit of a misguided attempt at being sing-songy, which is exactly when the dual vocals start to lose their flavor. One almost wishes for the aforementioned double-bass rumble and tumble of “Apparatus” to have more of a starring role throughout the album, but it’s obvious The Poet and the Parrot is the Feffe and Matte show, a near-needless display of combined vocals that on the surface seem cool for a few songs, but starts to wane toward the end. But hey, if Fenriz digs Bombus, then…