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Rabid Bitch Of The North: Nothing But A Bitter ...
Rabid Bitch Of The North - Nothing But A Bitter Taste CD Album Review

Rabid Bitch Of The North: Nothing But A ...

Traditional Heavy Metal

With a clever, if not verbose band name, Rabid Bitch Of The North, from Northern Ireland, lands with their first full-length album, with an equally verbose title, Nothing But A Bitter Taste. Since the power trio's inception, the band has recorded a slew of tunes via singles, demos, an EP, and then a compilation album. Yet through these very things RBOTN has garnered a cult following in their region, enough so to make some appearances in Europe.

Rabid Bitch Of The North Band Photo

Rabid Bitch Of The North

One listen to Nothing But A Bitter Taste and you will totally understand Rabid Bitch Of The North. Their metal is contemporary version of the New Wave of British Heavy Metal, only from Northern Ireland. They're about as old school and "keep it true" as it can get, and they do it with three instruments, four counting the vocals. In their song arrangements, Rabid Bitch Of The North works with brisk and thick riffage which also offers guitar harmony, sizzling solos, and a sturdy and steady rhythm section. Bass player and vocalist Joe McDonnell sings clean, and generally melodic, but his voice sways between a scream and shriek. Think Geddy Lee having his nuts crushed in a vice. It was easy for me to tire quickly of McDonnell's vocals.

Nevertheless, another fine attribute to this recording is the production. Nothing But A Bitter Taste has a bare bones feeling to it, not necessarily raw, but rather a stripped down sound. It makes sense. Since the beginning every Rabid Bitch Of The North recording has been a DIY project with guitarist Gerard Mulholland at the helm, learning by doing. The result is still a sharp and clean recording.

As for the songs, the attributes mentioned above define most every song. Excepting Gilded Men, I found most of the songs to be solid traditional heavy metal. You have more speed metal with Trapped In 1999, maybe with the title cut as well. Something more steady comes with God Of Punishment which also has a lingering dark doomy character in its riffage and groove. Of more specific interest in every song is how well the bass line is heard, especially in tandem with the guitar solo as within Chance. But, in the end, the wild card for me was McDonnell's vocals. He's definitely an acquired taste, "nothing but a bitter taste" in my case. Unfortunately, his vocals are probably the single reason I won't be spinning this album again anytime soon. You may feel differently. Nevertheless, for keep it true heavy metal in the NWoBHM tradition, Rabid Bitch Of The North's Nothing But A Bitter Taste delivers the goods.

No video provided by band or label - New fiction, crime fiction by Craig Hartranft

The Bottom Line

For keep it true heavy metal in the NWoBHM tradition, Rabid Bitch Of The North's Nothing But A Bitter Taste delivers the goods.

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