Album review: Kittie – Fire

Former nu-metal stars Kittie break a lengthy silence with hard-hitting, volume-set-to-kill seventh album, Fire…

Album review: Kittie – Fire
Steve Beebee

It’s often said that the best thing about going away is coming home. Having effectively been on hiatus for 13 years with no real intention of ever making new music, Kittie sound like four women scenting blood on this upfront comeback album.

It’s also a fresh start with little sign of the nu-metal mannerisms that brought them to fame nearly 25 years ago – instead they plough on with metallic intent, helped in no small way by a big name, big sound production from Nick Raskulinecz (Foo Fighters, Alice In Chains).

Sometimes they do the skull-cracking with welcome drops of melody. Current single One Foot In The Grave is a good example – although one of the less fulsome tracks, it neatly demonstrates the Canadian outfit’s ability to wrap tuneful hooks around serrated riffs and pounding drums. Previous video We Are Shadows is even better in this department, possessing the innate darkness that permeates the majority of these 10 tracks.

Kittie – led as ever by the Lander sisters, frontwoman Morgan and drummer Mercedes – were probably unfairly pigeonholed in their supposed heyday. While it’s almost certainly the renewed interest in nu-metal, explored by everyone from BMTH to Poppy, that has led to Sumerian snapping the band up, it’d be wrong to expect them to simply play ball. The core of this album is straight, relentless metal, sometimes melodic but mostly powering through with sinew and vim. The title-track and Grime find Morgan at her most aggressive, all throaty, guttural vocals over the headlong charge of her sister’s drums. Closer Eyes Wide Open, meanwhile, is a neat amalgam, veering from darkness to light.

While it’s not an album that’s doing anything new or shocking, Fire does put Kittie back on the metal map, and reminds us that there’s more to them than they first got credit for.

Verdict: 3/5

For fans of: Pantera, While She Sleeps, Halestorm

Fire is released by Sumerian on June 21

Check out more:

Now read these

The best of Kerrang! delivered straight to your inbox three times a week. What are you waiting for?