It seems as though whenever a modern metal band does anything of note, there’ll always be old-school fans ready to pounce, coming out with lines like “it’s nothing compared to the old days” and proceeding to reel off the ever-tiresome list of “superior” bands like Metallica, Sabbath, Maiden and the like.
Enter Bombus, the band that could change all that. Third album ‘Repeat Until Death’ is the kind of album that any kind of metal fan could get behind – a clear foot in the trad territory, but without the ennui that inevitably comes with the old guard, instead with an unmistakably contemporary feel.
It’s an album that certainly hits hard throughout as well – the grooves on ‘Rust’ are big enough to level small mountains, while the likes of ‘Horde Of Flies’ and the galloping title track hit that foolproof medium of massive riffs and vocals prime for drunken screamalongs.
It’s very Motörhead-esque a lot of the time, in no small part thanks to the gruff, unkempt dual vocals from Feffe Beglund and Matte Säker. It’s got that hedonistic, live fast die young vibe to it that’s unavoidably comparative, but with enough other influences factored in to not be blatant hero worship. For example, ‘You The Man’ has more than a shade of latter-day Mastodon, and closer ‘Get Your Cuts’ even sounds a bit Ghost-ish with its stomping drums and multi-layered rasps.
There’s still work to be done with Bombus – the sluggish midpoint ballad ‘I Call You Over (Hairy Teeth Part II)’ could do with a bit of a kick compared to the rest of what’s on offer – but it’s rare to find a modern metal band so in touch with the genre’s past without sounding dated. Let’s just hope that Bombus get all the plaudits they deserve.
‘Repeat Until Death’ by Bombus is released on February 26th on Century Media.
Words by Luke Nuttall (@nuttall_luke)