ReviewsKittie - Fire (Sumerian)

Kittie – Fire (Sumerian)

Initially put onto the (nu) metal map 25 years ago with their debut effort, Spit, it didn’t take long for the band to shift and mutate into more aggressive, more purely metallic waters with their subsequent albums. The band never had it easy (including a major blow with the passing of bassist Trish Doan), but the group resurfaced after hiatus in 2022. Eventually signing to Sumerian Records, Fire is their first new material since 2011’s I’ve Failed You. For those who may have lost track of the band over the years, there’s no better place to start than with this blisteringly appropriate album.

Nestling effectively into the alternative/modern/metalcore (whatever you’d like to call it nowadays) side of the fence, there’s nothing nu about Kittie’s sound. The title track starts things off with enough of a blast that it should soothe any potential naysayers about ‘yet another comeback’ with it’s intense grooves and Morgan Lander’s snarling vocals. “Eyes Wide Open, ” “Wounds,” and “Vultures” come across similarly in their mesh-up of punchy grooves that only slightly relent for some melodic moments to stand out. “Wound” also stands out for an ear-catching solo later on in the song.

On the more melodic side of things, “One Foot in the Grave” is a particular highlight, with it’s continued strong sense of groove, but also putting forward an anthemic feeling coming through the hook-y chorus that steers the band into more rock territory if it wasn’t for the more throttling, deathly side coming across during some key moments. “We Are Shadows” also embraces a more melodic tone, complete with a moody yet soaring chorus to offset the punchy mid-tempo riffing the song grounds itself in. Lastly, “Falter” leans in with some very strong vocals from Morgan that nicely parallels the guitar melodies, alongside the album’s most consistent factor – groove.

Thirteen years since their last studio album, Kittie come back somehow even stronger than when they left. For those seeking some almost non-stop groove and melodic adventures, Kittie provide a successful return that should satisfy their older fan base as well as even turn some new heads who may not have witnessed them before. Fire effectively brings all the fury and heat of a modern metal release, with the knowledge and passion of a veteran act who are willing to put it all on the table.

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