Artist - Kittie
Album - Until the end
Morgan Lander - Vocals, Guitars
Jennifer Arroyo - Bass
Lisa Marx - Live Guitar
Mercedes Lander - Drums
This is the third album from the all female Canadian Heavy Metal quartet.
Formed at High school in the late 90's, Kittie were and still are a truly unique band. The band have undergone a line-up change since first album Spit, with Co - founding memberFallon Bowman and original bassist Talena Attfield leaving, meaning only the sisters Morgan and co-founding Mercedes remained
The instrumental side of Kittie has always been rather odd, on original album Spit, Bassist Talena attfield didnt actually play Bass, well, not in the studio at any rate. Even on this, the third album, after under-going a line-up change, the second guitarist (Lisa Marx) Doesnít play guitar in the studio, only live.
Kittie have most definitely undergone a change in their sound, that can only really be described as a maturity. The riffs have become heavier, the lyrics darker, the drums more pounding, and the bass bowel rumblingly heavier.
If you're looking for a radio-friendly pop band, Kittie most definitely arenít it, and in fact, their sound seems to have become less commercial since their last album Oracle.
Anyways, hers a track by track review, so you can get a better idea of each track:
1) Look so pretty - The album opens with this track, and the track itself opens with a pile driving riff that never seems to give up. Until the first verse, where the song becomes thrash metal-esque, crunchy fast paced riffs, an endless onslaught of hammering drums, and brilliant screaming that could put Phil Anselmo to shame. Overall, not a fantastic song in comparison to the rest of the album, and the screaming does get a little monotonous, but still a decent song. 3.5/5
2) Career Suicide - The second track opens with a nice drum beat, quite similar to that which opens 'Do you think Iím a whore' from first album Spit. A low crunching riff joins in, and leads into a brutal verse, the melodic singing overlaid under the screaming is a nice effect, and sounds really good, and sounds really good when led into the soaringly melodic chorus, and also displays Morgan Lander amazing vocal range The lyrics also show real progression from previous two albums 'Oracle' and 'Spit' and don't just follow the 'My parents donít understand me, boyfriend dumped me, im gonna go kill myslef' pattern that some people might expect, and display real maturity. A really good track, 4/5
3) Until the end - The title track from the album, this song opens with a so-so guitar riff, but donít be fooled, this song is awesome. Morgan Landers vocals soar over the guitars and pounding drums, and once again, great production with Landers vocals overlaid in the chorus, to give a great 'build up' effect. The lyrics once again show great maturity and itís just a completely awesome song and definitely a highlight of the album. 5/5
4) Red flag - Opened once again with a grinding fusion of guitars and bass, and backed up with head-splitting drums. As with Look so pretty, the screaming does get a little repetitive by the end of the first verse, but thankfully Morgan comes in with blissfully sweet singing in the chorus, and this really highlights her fantastic singing range. A great song, an endless barrage of punchy guitars, great bass work, and great drums. As with the Chorus, the singing in the bridge is ecstatically sweet. Overall a really good track, but the screaming in the verses does get a little repetitive. 4/5
5) (*****) Sugar - This track opens with another thrash/speed metal style intro, but as the first verse begins it leads seamlessly into a slower verse, the screaming is once again well executed, but for me the chorus is where this song is let down. Personally I think the chorus just slows the pace of the song, and really lets it down. A decent song, apart from the chorus. 3/5
6) In dreams - Quite similar to Until the end, but just different enough to make it good and not too same. Once again the overlaying of Morganís voice in the Chorus is a nice touch. Not the heaviest song on the album, itís fairly mellow by comparison, and quite melodic. Like every song on the album, the lyrics show real maturity and while the topics may not be too original, they're still pretty good. 4/5
7) Into the darkness - This is the first single to be taken from the album (I think). The opening riff is reminiscent of 'Until the end', but thankfully the rest of the song is totally original. Itís easy to see why this is the first single from the album, the verse is laden with catchy hooks and riffs and the beat never relent. Some people see the screaming overlaid with the normal singing as ruining the singing, but as a bonus track there's a remix of this song, without the screaming (which was probably included to prove exactly this point) and most people will agree the original version sounds better, as Morganís normal singing voice just lacks the brutality to match the brutal onslaught of music. This is one hell of a catchy sing and is really really REALLY good; to me itís a highlight of the album The drums are brutal, the hooks are catchy, and the bass provides a decent groove, and Morganís vocals are just pure brilliance. 5/5
8) Burning Bridges - This track is seamlessly mixed from Into the Darkness, and this production is really good. A brilliant bass line opens this track, and the rest of the song keeps up this endless sonic onslaught, Mercedes provides a great rhythm and the low tuned, grinding riffs keep up the vicious pace, and Morganís great screaming provides a brilliantly brutal melody to the song. 4/5
9) Loveless - The sweeter more melodic side of Morganís vocal range is displayed here, and as with 'Until the end' and 'In dreams' this provides a melodic, soaring kind of touch to the song. Itís a fairly short track, at just over 2 minutes, so theres not much to write about. But overall, a pretty good track, not greatly standing out though. 3.5/5
10) Daughters Down - The closing track is yet another brutal barrage of music. Been a dude I canít really relate to the lyrics here (if you've heard the song you'll know what im on about!!) But while I canít really relate to the lyrics, I do recognize them as well written. The music here is also very well written, pile driving riffs, and wonderful drums, and once again brilliantly executed screaming is superbly executed. 4/5
After listening to the whole album through, I noticed three distinct styles of songs here, There are the brutal, thrash metal/heavy metal style songs with almost purely screaming, songs in this category are: Look so pretty, (*****) sugar, daughters down, Burning bridges
Then there are the melodic songs, with soaring, angelic vocals. Songs in this category are: Until the end, In dreams, Loveless
Then there are the songs which are a blend of the two, songs here are: Career Suicide, Red Flag, And Into the darkness
All in all a fantastic album! over all the songs tally out to be 40/50.
Overall I give the album 4.5/5 because it's superb, but there are a few flaws.