ALBUM REVIEW: Kittie – Fire

2024 may very well be remembered as the year of comebacks in Modern Metal! So many bands have returned from retirement or hiatus, and few bring the fire, with the proverbial smoke of hype. One eagerly-awaited return band is Kittie, which started its comet-like return at fests such as Sick New World (interview here) and Blue Ridge Rock Fest (RIP)! The band returns with Fire – their first new album in thirteen years and first for Sumerian Records, who scored a coup signing the veteran band. 

The successor to In The Black (formerly out on eOne Music, now MNRK Heavy) and I’ve Failed You, Fire has a lot of the Kittie sound from those albums in its bones. Powerful songs of redemption, vengeance, and personal growth dotted with banger upon banger of riffs and grooves, but also containing sneaky great melodies and Blackened Death Metal vocals. You’d have to be pretty cynical and earless not to immediate by captured by these blistering tracks equally steeped in trad lore and a Modern Metal musical lexicon. 

Opening with the title track, the music announces itself as a mature Kittie for discerning fans of heavy music. Gnarly chopping riffs and crushing grooves mark the track. The vocals go between a sirens call or backing vocals answering the gruesome lead vocal. The band is in terrific form and this is the music you have been waiting for this year. Far removed from their well-earned Nu Metal and Power Groove legacy, these songs would not be out of place on any top tier metal release right now. An album with a fist in the now and any eyes for kicking ass. Morgan Landers’s growls are anguished, but clear. She effortlessly glides between natural singing, blackened howls, and the ear candy of siren’s call backing vocals, a throwback to early hallmarks of the band. Mature, smarty lyrics are here and on every track.  When a lyricist wants you to take heed of the lyrics and “get them,” we notice too. 


“I Still Wear This Crown” is a defiant middle finger and a reminder that 13 years between albums has not dulled the bands’ blades.  A sick, dizzying lick will make the crowds jump up and down like it was 1999, but the head nodding bounce riff will carry your ears to a badass pre-chorus, before the refrain bludgeons you again. “Falter” is just viscous and maybe the toughest track on the album. Even most modern hardcore adjacent metal bands would have trouble pulling off a track this harsh, with as good a chorus. 


“Vultures” was the first track we heard from this album, live and in person at Sick New World 2023. Fans were blown away then, and it is even better on record. Kittie is not fucking around on this album. There are some slick melodies, but this album is all bangers top to bottom. Maybe the most singable of all the grim vocal parts too. We can’t wait to see the many Tik-Tok covers of this one! 


“We Are Shadows” is an uptempo banger and could come right out of a middle era Slipknot album with the blend of main motif and singing parts. A true mosh song begging for a wall of death moment live. 


“Wound” is another fast one, until the clever half-time chorus. The shortest track on the album does its job and jets, leaving you wanting more time with it. Shoutout to both Morgan and Tara McLeod for their inventive guitar parts that never let the plot of the songs get away from them, but add plenty of spicy layers to the mix. 

“One Foot In The Grave” is perhaps the most memorable song on the album. Mercedes Lander’s powerhouse drumming takes center stage on this anthemic track! A top playlist/staylist track for all of 2024, with its many musical twists and turns.  


Pulling out a possible Gladiator reference with “Are You Entertained” might reflect Kittie’s entire career of perseverance, in the face of the many ups and downs they faced. It’s got almost a Gothic backbone (the sinewy guitar lines), even with its Metal as fuck riffs. 

“Grime” is true to its name, grimy guitars and vocals, except for the chorus’s call and response sweet refrain complimenting all the brutality. The final track “Eyes Wide Open” is another rager, and a fitting end to this volcanic album of top tier tracks!


The music here is more than matched by the sweet production of Nick Raskulinitz (Foo Fighters, Rush), his great ears doing justice to the quality of the songcraft. Fire is more than a comeback album, it’s a mission statement for the next era of Kittie.

Welcome back!

Buy the album here:

9 / 10