I haven’t written anything in over a month. It’s not just writing about metal, but it’s hard to enjoy any of my passions. Not to go too far into detail, but Kittie’s long-awaited new album Fire came out the day before I found out that my mother didn’t have much time left. Just a few days ago, she passed. Fire has been on an almost constant rotation, and it brings back so many memories. It was my mom who heard me listening to Spit from my bedroom, remarked on it being awful (parents, you know), and excitedly pointed out the vocals were coming from a girl. Despite what happened recently, none of it has lessened my enjoyment of the new tunes.

Also, I’ve had a crush on Morgan Lander since then, and it gets stronger as I age. I wish she’d just answer my innumerable wedding proposals.

Anyway, I only have so much room and had to trim my intro significantly, so I’m going to talk about some of my favorite tracks, and let you know there are zero duds. To begin, I want to talk about the title track, “Fire.” The production is immediately notable because it does have the crunch I am used to hearing from their first few albums. It’s mostly growls from Morgan, with some background “ohs” during the chorus. Also, if you’ve forgotten, Tara McLeod can shred, and you get to hear it briefly near the end.

On “Vultures,” there’s a trade-off between growls and cleans, which is something Morgan has always done well. The chorus itself is one of the standouts early in the album. Her vocals stand out beautifully as being even better than I remember (just kidding because I never forgot). For the most part, the guitars are chugging, which you can call nu metal, metalcore, or even djent. Call it what you will, it’s just Kittie and I’m glad they’ve returned.

Excellent choruses are par for the course here, such as in “We Are Shadows.” Lyrics with which I can relate come in the form of tracks such as “Wound.” However, the absolute best chorus and my favorite song overall is “One Foot in the Grave.” It’s “song of the year” territory. I enjoy the pre-chorus as well. The melody when Morgan sings the chorus astounded me at first with the dynamics and range she chooses to use in her voice.

At this point, I feel as though I haven’t mentioned Mercedes or Ivy. It’s not for a lack of performance as I’ve always considered Mercedes the battery of Kittie, and she’s always on point. Ivy’s a badass, too. If she wasn’t, they’d probably hide the bass presence, but instead, its rumble is present through Fire.

“Eyes Wide Open,” which was one of the singles released before the full album, is the perfect closer. No long, bloated mostly instrumental track, just straight for the throat. I expected it to be near the beginning because of its energy, but at the end is the perfect way to finish the album, whetting the appetite for more.

If you couldn’t tell, I thoroughly enjoy this reunion album. When I watched Origins as soon as I could when it came out several years ago, my appetite for a new Kittie album grew, especially when it showed Morgan and Mercedes jamming together. I believe when asked the question about new music, Morgan also said “You never know.” I was on the edge of my seat… for like 6 years. That takes a toll on the old tailbone. Regardless, they delivered exactly what I wanted. I went a little out of the way to go to a recent festival to only see them. No other band there mattered to me. I am potentially traveling several hours in August to see them again in Chicago (please hit Pittsburgh, damn it). Hopefully, there’s a meet and greet opportunity, but I would just be awestruck and probably pass out in Morgan’s presence. So, maybe they shouldn’t. Anyway, I’ll be jamming this the rest of the year as it’s already firmly in my top 5. Will it be able to knock off Unleash The Archers? Time will tell. Oh, and of course RIP Mom. 

[Visit the band's website]
Written by J Mays
July 11th, 2024


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