For the third time in as many years, Kittie will grace the stages of San Antonio when they headline Backstage Live on Thursday, Sept. 8. But first, the Canadian felines’ new album I’ve Failed You will be released in a matter of hours — Tuesday, Aug. 30, to be exact.
It’s Kittie’s sixth record overall featuring the sister tandem of singer/guitarist Morgan Lander and drummer Mercedes Lander and follows 2009’s In The Black. It’s the third record that employs lead guitarist Tara McLeod and bassist Ivy Vujic.
“This is a very sad album, and it’s a very heavy album; it’s something I had to get out,” Morgan Lander says in a statement. “The last two years between In The Black and now have been extremely difficult, and a lot of things have impacted the lyrical content. We’ve pretty much gone through an entire life upheaval and a lot of changes, and these songs tell a story. It’s the downfall of a relationship, coming to terms, and finding the strength to move on.”
Here’s the SAMME’s track-by-track breakdown:
- 1) I’ve Failed You — Barely clocking over two minutes, Morgan’s vocals and lyrics bring the listener down into the abyss of her personal hell, teaching a lesson to anyone who dares stand in her way. The first song of an album should set the tone, and her vocals here are scary, menacing and in-your-face.
- 2) We Are The Lamb — It’s the first single, but don’t mistake “single” for “radio-friendly.” It possesses the same, scowling vocals as on the title track. It’s also the only tune on the album dotted with lyrics by Mercedes Lander. Says Morgan: “We Are The Lamb . . . is as musically devastating as we get. It is a tale of self-sacrifice, to give those you love a chance to grow and learn to live for themselves.”
- 3) Whisper of Death — The first sign of Morgan’s melodic style mixing with her death-metal growls.
- 4) What Have I Done — My vote for the most unique song on the record. Just when it lulls you into a nice, sweet-sounding stroll through the park for three-plus minutes, the next 20 seconds turn deadly. But that’s it. Just enough of a taste of thrash before reverting to its original tone and sound, making for interesting changes in momentum.
- 5) Empires (Part 1) — An acoustic intro that Morgan describes as the “calm before the storm” leading into . . .
- 6) Empires (Part 2) — “. . . a full-on hurricane,” Morgan says. “The subject matter likens a union or relationship to the idea of a great empire, and as history has taught us, even the most mighty and powerful of empires crumble and fall eventually. Nothing is forever.” The guitar solo doesn’t add much substance to the tune, however. In today’s speak, one might describe it as, “It is what it is.” Watch the video here, and judge for yourself.
- 7) Come Undone — Looking for a Duran Duran cover? Not here, pal. If you’re laying in bed one night with headphones on, and the beginning of this song comes on, it’ll jolt you upright in a way Simon LeBon never dreamed of.
- 8) Already Dead — If the beginning of “Come Undone” sounds straight out of a horror flick (Kittie’s “Cut Throat” appeared on the “Saw VI” soundtrack, so there is precedence), it’s merely an appetizer for this entire tune that sounds as if it emanates from a tunnel full of hate.
- 9) Never Come Home — The most balanced tune on the record.
- 10) Ugly — Nothing pretty about this one. Pure angst all the way around.
- 11) Time Never Heals — An outro with vocals. Easily the most relaxing tune of the bunch. Nine songs of pent-up fury (lyrically and musically speaking with the exception of “Empires Part 1”) call for a go-to-sleep type of conclusion. The title defies anyone who thinks the sun will automatically come up the day, week, month, or even year after suffering heartache just because it’s cliche to think as much.
Overall, I’ve Failed You is another solid effort. It runs along the lines of In The Black, which remains a stronger record — but only by a couple of strands of hair.
“I cannot express to you how proud of this album we are,” concludes Morgan Lander. “I’ve Failed You is real, honest, angry and ugly.”
For the SAMME’s 2009 phone interview with Morgan that includes what she has to say about San Antonio fans, click here. Stay tuned for an in-person interview before next week’s concert.
In the meantime, San Antonio metalheads, you have 10 days to learn the lyrics.
Ready, set, purchase. . . and headbang!
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