Wednesday, 24 December 2014

Kittie "Oracle" (2001)

Born in the prime of the Nu Metal scene, Canadian metallers Kittie gained a lot of attention with their debut album "Spit" and subsequent touring on the Ozzfest festival. Unfortunately the group never continued their commercial success, record sales declined as the interest in Nu Metal faded into the 00s. This, their sophomore release, is a humble record that I like to turn to from time to time. It may not be quite the something "Spit" was, but this record offers some decent Nu Metal with dark aesthetics and that classic dropped guitar sound so characteristic of the genre.

Oracle is a simple, straight forward record that at times borders mediocrity as the group play out some elementary tracks that are flared up by aggressive drumming, engaging vocals and a fair few riffage moments. Morgan Lander's screams are snarly, forcefull, borderline brutal and fulled with anger, she contrasts them with some warm, magnetic clean leads that add a welcome layer of color into what is a pretty black and gray sound. A warm crunchy bass marks its territory underneath distorted guitars that have the classic down tuned and dropped sound that doesn't have much going in the way of characteristics, its a pretty generic sound but its executed well. Holding it together is Mercedes's drumming which doesn't stray to far from comfortable territory but has great chemistry with the guitars and provides another aggressive outlet to their sound. When all these elements combine and Kittie hit the mark, musically its a pleasure, the aesthetics are spot on and Landers voice gives it all a definable flavor and character that keeps me coming back.

Simplicity is a core element here, this isn't music thats trying to do anything grand and bold, its down to earth, fun and unapologetic. The guitars are entry level, offering very little more than dropped single finger power chords and the occasional lead utilizing a few notes that may resemble a melody. Its something Ive seen them criticized for, yet I think it misses this point. A lot can be achieved even if simple in nature, it also serves as great entry level guitar to play along to if you like Metal and want to play it. Good album, great in places, theres also a Pink Floyd cover which fits right in (with an interesting guitar solo), despite not resembling the original much.

Favorite Tracks: In Winter, Severed, Pain, What I Always Wanted, No Name
Rating: 5/10

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