Nightbitch- Chainmaker

By Chris Dahlberg

Published on Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Connecticut’s Nightbitch started off as a heavy metal band with a 70s occult/exploitation film influence back in 2010 and released the EP Sex and Magic which was met with positive reception. At the time the group had Hour of 13’s Phil Swanson as their lead singer, but he has since left and drummer Chris Taylor has stepped up to fill the vocal position. Nightbitch’s newest EP Chainmaker has two original tracks and a cover of Deep Purple’s “Into the Fire”, and if it is anything to go by they are in capable hands with Taylor in the lead.

The press release that came with Chainmaker said that Danzig was one of the primary influences along with a slew of heavy metal acts, and so it certainly helps that Chris Taylor sounds closer to Glenn Danzig than any other singer I have heard in quite some time. While there have always been vocalists trying to emulate this gruffer tonality a lot of them weren’t able to come close, but Taylor comes so close that it’s scary. Considering that this style is one of my favorites and the first two Danzig records usually find their way into my stereo at least once a month, this makes Nightbitch instantly likeable. Even when the group switches over to Deep Purple’s “Into the Fire” the vocals maintain the same gravelly pitch and keep the energy level at a high. Your personal tastes will likely determine how much you appreciate the gruffer singing on Chainmaker, but if they’re like mine the reaction will surely be a positive one.

Although the EP is over in eleven minutes Nightbitch is able to make sure that the two original tracks have some catchy riffs before covering “Into the Fire.” Stylistically the instrumentals pull from slower heavy metal as well as some Danzig sounding blues/hard rock but everything is wrapped in a layer of sleaze and grime. There is a heavy emphasis on grooves and both of the songs that the band has put together do their best to keep the riffs trucking along in a way that will keep listeners banging their head and wanting to give them another listen. It also helps that Chainmaker boasts decent production values, as the low end is fleshed out and there is a certain weight to these tracks that adds to their energy level. As for the cover of “Into the Fire”, the group takes the original and makes it a more guitar centric track than before while adding their own stylistic elements.

I dig the overall style that this group is able to pull off, and Chris Taylor sounds a bit more like Danzig than the man himself at times. Chainmaker’s pretty short but it warranted plenty of listens and left me wanting to hear much more. Nightbitch may have been through some changes since their last EP, but this version of the band seems more than capable of putting out some memorable songs and hopefully they’re just getting started.

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