“Spit” was a good album, but it was rather annoying and had truly awful production. I just didn’t think they could possibly outdo it, especially given the news that Fallon (guitarist/back-up vocals) had left the group. Well, I was dead wrong. Not only did Kittie outdo themselves 700 times over, they went borderline death metal on us (similar to Slipknot’s “Iowa” that year). The sloppiness “Spit” maintained is gone as well as the raw musicianship. Morgan Lander is by far the best female singer ever. Instead of that annoying 11-year-old girl scream, she uses dry-lung vocal-distortion (an incredibly loud death metal growl). She can really sing too (“Safe” “In Winter”). I love her. Can’t wait to see if her voice develops any more. As for guitar-riffs, they are no doubt the heaviest ever. I always found it amazing that Fear Factory could sound so heavy with just one guitarist, but since Morgan also does vocals this is more amazing. Her Meshuggah-style-riffs attack you like a dozen angry werewolves. You need only check out songs like “Mouthful Of Poison” “Severed” and “No Name” to understand. How she can play like this and sing at the same time is quite amazing as well. Talena (although I’m not sure she’s even in the band anymore) is the heard loud and clear. Her bass can be mistaken for the drums though. Check out the intro to “Severed”.Mercedes Lander is a great drummer, but she isn’t quite as good as she was on “Spit”. She noticeably uses double-bass drums more often though. The music is so heavy at times that it hurts, and who else can pull that off better. “Mouthful Of Poison” has got to one of the loudest songs I’ve ever heard. It is true that most of the other songs have the same sound to it as well, but it is so intense it can’t bother you. There is also lots of melody in it, so you can’t use that sissy comment “All they do is scream,” at all. Plus, they experiment well. “Run Like Hell” is by far the best cover song I’ve ever heard, although it doesn’t exactly fit with the rest of the album. Just read the lyrics from the original and check out the vocals and understand. Plus, “Safe” has a 3-minute piano interlude giving it a creepy vibe. Remember the organ-instrumental “Immortal” from “Spit”? Well, they need to try something else. The track gets really heavy at the end when the crashing guitars hammer you down. Pure innovation. People may be turned off by its extremely soft approach, but you need to just wait for things to develop.The two main standouts on the album are “In Winter” and the 10-minute-plus sludgefest “Pink Lemonade”. “In Winter” has the same type of sound as “Charlotte”, just heavier and with hella better screams. It doesn’t capture the same haunting melody as “Charlotte” did however, but no less great. “Pink Lemonade” is the haunting, quite underrated closer. It takes time to develop, but it’s slow, smashing guitar-riffs make you wish all metal albums would end this good. Yeah, people have been put off by its length and slow speed, but I completely disagree.I love this band to death and I will stand by them until they are gone. This is the real deal folks. You tell me Pantera or Vixen is heavier, I die laughing (no offense to Pantera. NONE!!). This is the heaviest release of 2001 along with Slayer’s “God Hates Us All” and Slipknot’s “Iowa”. Please check this masterpiece a look. It’s beyond worth it. peace…Standouts: Everyone of them, aforementioned the most worthy of title.
Kittie’s 2001 album on Artemis Records was produced by GGGarth (R.A.T.M, Red Hot Chili Peppers & Testament).On Spit, Kittie’s 1999 debut, the just-out-of-high-school all-female quartet were an anomaly, giving the male-dominated metal scene a run for its money thanks to the Canadian lineup’s near death-metal heaviness. On sophomore outing Oracle, minus original guitarist Fallon Bowman, Kittie rock harder than ever, yet lack the memorable songs required from a band of any gender or genre. In songs like ”Mouthful of Poison,” Morgan Lander’s often ethereal, decidedly feminine vocals contrast with bassist Talena Atfield’s death-metal growls. That, along with ferocious double-bass drums and extreme aggression, are the band’s hallmarks, broken up by a Kittie-ized cover of Pink Floyd’s ”Run Like Hell” and ”Safe,” a spare, spooky and excellent departure in a sea of heavy sameness. Ultimately, Oracle’s most redeeming quality is that of a role model for frustrated teenage girls, proving that, indeed, women are allowed to vent their rage and compete with men on the same playing field. –Katherine Turman
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Back in 2002 I was very new to Metal and Kittie shocked me with their 2nd release “Oracle”. Much more mature then Spit, with better lyrics,vocals and instrumentation. To this day “Oracle” has not woren off as many other bands have.
This is probably THE Kittie album to get. Even though Kittie is in the studio right now recording their 4th release which will be gold, no doubt. But none the less “Oracle” was a huge mile-stone for Kittie and they take no prisoners. You can here Oracle’s presense on their 3rd release, “Until The End” but “Until The End” had much more melody, while “Oracle” is straight up Metal. A definite buy!
Anything half-baked and coquettish about Kittie’s notable yet flawed debut have been scrubbed away on their second album, _Oracle_. To what will be the surprise and delight of many a metalhead, the band have augmented their always strong confidence with this set of killer metal tunes. Not a bad riff on the platter, _Oracle_ will push Kittie’s aspirations to a new horizon, although it won’t surprise me (or them) if the differences between records one and two do not go over well with all the fans.The new disc, forsaking airbrushed pictures of the ladies for Tool-flavored x-ray artwork, shows that Kittie has matured greatly. Weathering the loss of fourth member Fallon, the band’s move to a trio seems to have tightened the playing and songwriting. Deft, handsome heavy metal power is showcased from every corner. The songs have become slightly longer and more complex, with significant changes and sudden lurches that were not found on _Spit_. “Mouth of Poison” signals the new direction, a solemn power and rage oozing from every note. Morgan Lander’s vocals range from a feminine plaintiveness to a black metal growl, lending each track a hue of emotional grandeur. Talena Atfield’s bass keeps things dark and dense while Mercedes Lander’s switch to steel kick-drum pads keep a beat that is more than substantial for the mid-tempo grind Kittie concocts. Tracks like “In Winter” are both magisterial as well as majestic, the band showing an excellent grasp of metal form combined with their own sensibilities. “What I Always Wanted” is an eerie dirge, “Safe” an admirable ballad. The plodding, atmospheric “Pink Lemonade” recalls parts of Neurosis and Godflesh. A cover of Pink Floyd’s “Run Like Hell” works surprisingly well, and the title track is both a lyrical statement of the album’s musical courage as well a summation of the disc’s heartfelt pain told through a story of bludgeoning riffs and wails.Contrary to the information in Amazon’s “professional” review, Morgan does do *all* the vocals on the record, although Talena helps out live (my source is an interview with Mercedes on the band’s website). I feel the band would also rather be viewed on their merits as musicians instead of those purely gender-based. We all know women can create magnificent art describing and decrying their personal tragedies and despairs as effectively as men– the real triumph is when something such as this appears, as it does all too rarely. In the world of heavy metal in particular this is more true than ever. However, Kittie has carved, or clawed, a comfortable niche for itself with this strong sophomore effort.
As a fan of pure black and death metal I can tell you one thing, Kittie has gone far beyond the reaches of that all girl hardcore nu-metal outfit that I have grown to love, they have progressed to a level where most bands only dream of reaching. They have successfully mixed neo-metallic ideas, a both very etherial and brutal vocal apporach, a strong death metal edge, hardcore / metalcore riffing, and a slight gothic sound. ‘Oracle’ is starkly different than their Artemis debut ‘Spit’. With ‘Oracle’ they have lost all of their nu-metal sound, but still retained the freshness and melody that came with it.Comparisons to bands such as KoRn and Slipknot are no longer appropriate when describing Kittie. Durring the aggressive portions of the album, it has more of an early Soilwork (pre-’A Preditor’s Portrait’) type feel to it, or a definite Lamb of God reference (the song “No Name” sounds so much like “Black Label” its scary, but it still retains its own identity), and a references to early Dismember and Death can be found on the album’s opener “Oracle” and on “Mouthful of Poison”. During the more melodic parts of the album, it sounds like a more etherial type vibe, he ll maybe even Sigur Ros influenced. But, again, unlike ‘Spit’, Morgan Lander’s (vocals / guitars) voice has a beautiful, melodic quality to it, and her scream has been fined tune (references to the great Arch Enemy are pointless, she sounds almost nothing like Angela Gossow). The standout tracks on the album are “In Winter”, “What I Always Wanted”, “No Name”, and “Run Like Hell” (one of the few times that a band has ever covered Pink Floyd and done them justice).This album goes beyond moth-goths who think ‘Hot Topic’ is what it means to be metal, it is a strong death metal insprired album that keeps one he ll of a melodic through out. But do remember inspired is the keyword here, Kittie in no way sounds like Vomitory or Immolation, but it is still just as good. Not since Tool has such a great band been accepted into the mainstream. Kittie’s sophmore album ‘Oracle’ is definitely once for the ages, and is definitely one of my favorite albums.
I just had the pleasure of seeing Kittie play half of this album along with most off of “Spit” a week before I picked it up. And I must say that it is better than I thought it would be. They call them a “Metal” band for a reason and this album is proof positive why. It’s got angst, anger, gutteral growls, and prime metal melodic tension dripping on all sides. For a good portion of “Oracle” has a raw metal about the same skill level of Soulfly and Ill Nino. I must admit, despite the focus on Morgan’s screams on “Oracle”; my favorite tracks are “In Winter”, “Run Like Hell”, “Pain”, & the albums first single: “What I always Wanted”. On these tracks the sounds have more variety to them that break up the throat aching screams that make up most of the album (don’t get me wrong I love these too), “Wolves”, “No Name” & the albums title track “Oracle”. I even love the final track to the disc which is called “Pink Lemonade” which takes on a slow, beautiful yet LOUD Melvins-like ambiance — which I think more bands need to do — an excellent way to close off a collage of words & sounds from Kittie. In conslusion, if you have the taste for something Metal with a bit of melody, pick up ‘Oracle’… You won’t be disapointed.