NIGHTBOUND treads a line between hard rock and metal; the four-on-the-floor drums say driving NWOBHM, […]
By Max Elias
July 27, 2019
Nightbound - Nightbound album cover

NIGHTBOUND treads a line between hard rock and metal; the four-on-the-floor drums say driving NWOBHM, and the riffs are chugging while also having groove to them. But the vocals put Nightbound in the hard rock camp; if you've heard of THE AMORETTES, the vocalist sounds like that. She delivers her lines with enough heft for the style while still remaining clear, not quite high-pitched, but medium-range. The solo on title track 'Nightbound' is very metallic, however.

'Time is on Your Side' is more clearly a hard rock revival type song. The simple groove of the drums and the spacious AC/DC-inspired (though a bit heavier) power-chord riffs are classic 21st century 70s rock. It might not help that much to keep comparing this band to THE AMORETTES, a Scottish all-female hard rock band few people will have heard of, but that is really the closest approximation of how they sound.

'No Mercy' is busier in the guitar approach, as well as a lot faster than 'Time is on Your Side', though the driving hard rock quality remains unchanged. Here I am thinking more of Nitrogods in the riffing, which for me can only be a good thing. Even with the rapid-fire delivery, the vocalist manages to keep her voice clear and clean. The solo a little past the 2-minute mark is not something I would have expected from this style; it is melodic but also puts in some neoclassical flourishes. During the choruses you can hear the vocals shine more as they are more sustained.

'The Fighting Never Ends' says it's a 'rehearsal', but it sounds every bit as polished as the other tracks on here. Once again a palm muted, stomping riff between hair metal and hard rock introduces and stays constant throughout the 3:44 runtime of the song, on top of which powerful, energized vocals belt out infectious melodies. It's a formula that all good modern hard rock (and classic hard rock) bands use, but it's that formula for a reason—it works.

Nightbound choose to end this EP with a cover of Deep Purple's 'Soldier of Fortune', which maybe should not have been the closer (I think band should generally end with something original), but I understand why they put it there. It shows the various capabilities of the band; until now it's been nonstop drive and attack from both vocals and instrumentation, but this cover proves Nightbound handles themselves well when they go soft as well. The vocals maintain their hypnotic quality without any hard rock edge, and stay tasteful throughout. Changing power chords for soft arpeggiation does not diminish the musicality either, as the guitar maintain a haunting undercurrent that complements the work of the vocals.

Overall, the band is talented and knows how to write hard rock. Are they pretty similar to THE AMORETTES? As I've said a few times by now, yes, yes they are, but that really doesn't bother me too much. The vocalist has a different enough voice and the lead guitar style is different, even if the riffing reminds me of other bands in the genre. The other bands it reminds me of are all great bands though, and past a certain point there are a finite number of approaches to hard rock that sound good. So yes, I'm a fan and I hope to be hearing more out of this band soon.

9 / 10

Almost Perfect








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"Nightbound" Track-listing:

1. Nightbound
2. Time is on Your Side
3. No Mercy
4. The Fighting Never Ends
5. Soldier of Fortune (Deep Purple Cover)

Nightbound Lineup:

Mike Martinez - Guitars
Arianna Cuenca - Vocals
Melissa - Drums
Katz - Bass

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