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Metal/Prog Metal CD Reviews

Kittie

Until The End

Review by Gary Hill

I have to admit I've never really listened to Kittie before. I saw them once at Ozzfest, and based on that performance I had decided that they were not all that much. So, it was with a bit of trepidation that I gave this one a spin. I'm glad I did. This is a band that has a lot of talent and some interesting arrangements. Their sound is much more varied than many groups in the genre, encompassing gloom metal, thrash, death and even punky textures. At times they sound a bit like a more stripped down take on Lacuna Coil. This disc is not perfect, but pretty darned good. I am definitely going to be more open to Kittie's music from here on out.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2005 Year Book Volume 3 at lulu.com/strangesound.

Track by Track Review
Look So Pretty
This comes in heavy and doomy like Black Sabbath or Candlemass. It shifts gears to the more frantic. When the vocals come in they are screaming hoarse growls. The band moves through this frantic heavy stomper. A segment later has an almost galloping approach. It goes back to the more plodding for the chorus. An instrumental section that has both a retro and modern heavy texture comes in, and vocals are doubled by an effects laden guitar line.
Career Suicide
Drums start this one, and it's a very aggressive metal number with both screamed and sung vocals in a combination not too far vocally from Lacuna Coil. It drops to a guitar drone before returning to its earlier textures. This one is quite cool and rather quirky with some intriguing staccato patterns.
Until the End
This one feels almost punky at first, then moves into a less aggressive, but energetic metal style with soaring vocals. This one is the most melodic cut this far. It is definitely a winner and has quite an intricate and creative arrangement. It drops to just bass to end.
Red Flag
Coming in much heavier than the last one, this jumps out of the starting gate stomping hard. The vocals are the coarse screamed variety and the main riff is very meaty. It drops to a melodic chorus with sung vocals. This is another strong one. It moved town to an almost acapella slow segment, then builds back up from there in very melodic territory, then moving to feedback to end.
Sugar
By far the fastest track thus far, this one flies in. It is the heaviest number by this point, but the band manages to drop a segment of percussion with weirdly placed riffing and a back and forth between screamed and half spoken/half sung vocals. This is an intriguing one, if not an intriguing clear stand out. This is quirky and dynamic. It turns rather plodding later.
In Dreams
This one comes in anthemic, then hangs to a more melodic style that again feels a bit like Lacuna Coil. The sung vocals have a certain soft texture that contrasts nicely with the occasional ultra heavy burst. Again, not a super strong number, this one is different enough to be intriguing, but not too strong. It drops to an even more melodic segment after that is quite effective.
Into the Darkness
A fast paced punky mode starts this, and although stomping in pretty heavy with its shared sung and screamed vocals that punky texture carries through much of this piece. This is another that's variety to the disc. It later drops to a much more melodic metal segment. It's still aggressive but very tasty.
Burning Bridges
Noise and feedback starts this and in thunders in very heavy and dark. This one is all death and black metal in texture. It is very fierce and aggressive, but weird sounds add to an unusual soundscape. It drops to a staccato pattern later, then burst back up with the whole arrangement. This one, probably the heaviest track on the CD, ends abruptly.
Loveless
Racing right from the start, this drops to more melodic jamming and is another feels a bit like a primal Lacuna Coil. This short cut ends abruptly.
Daughter's Down
Frantic and heavy, this one stomps in screaming, vocals and all. It is quite an aggressive number.
Into The Darkness (vocal remix)
This is just reworking of the earlier song with a little bit different vocal arrangement. It's not all that special. 
 
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