Bombus – The Poet and the Parrot (Century Media)

Wednesday, 18th September 2013
Rating: 7/10

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…

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