Not only does Sevendust have attitude; their latest release, Animosity, takes the heavy rock ticket into new arenas of sound and style.
Steve Gottlieb produced this latest piece of musical endowment. By blending together the similar sounds of Korn, System of a Down, and a touch of A Perfect Circle, Sevendust's powerfully creative music reels in the listener from beginning to end. Each track begins with some sort of trippy mix or loop sequence that seems to be so popular these days, but when you hear the musicianship overshadow these antics, you'll be hooked. "Crucified" replicates a straightforward rocker tune-the type you see the guy bangin' his head to in the car next to you at a stop light. One of the album's strongest tracks, "Deadset," features some amazing drum work and an added, unique mid-section. In the end, the very last track takes a big step back with an acoustic, ballad-type scenario; although something in this concluding track, "Angel's Son," really captures the listener with its flowing feel.
Animosity is an album made for the hard-rockin' music fan who also thrives on superior musical skills.
Oracle / Artemis
Kittie have shed guitarist Fallon Bowman since their 2000 coming out, Spit, but the current trio-vocalist/guitarist Morgan Lander, drummer Mercedes Lander, bassist Talena Atfield-remain ferocious felines capable of retracting their claws one moment and going for the jugular the next. Bowman's absence is essentially unnoticed on their follow-up since Morgan's guttural screams and her sister Mercedes' drum work are the main ingredients that have kept the all-grrrrl, metal oddity from being just another marketing fad since leaving behind their Ontario garage days as young teens.
Lacking the sexual politics and some of the raw power of the debut-"Do You Think I'm A Whore" and "Suck" for example-Oracle finds Kittie delving a little more into darkness and despair. Morgan's voice is a shade more grating, Mercedes unleashes more rapid-fire, double-bass thunder, and a couple tracks-"Safe" (with Morgan on piano) and "Pink Lemonade"-are in the mystically depressing style of Pink Floyd, whose "Run Like Hell" they cover. And the sisters Lander mirror Lars Ulrich and Hetfield/Hammett on "In Winter" and "Mouthful Of Poison," which, at times, sounds an awful lot like "One." (Metallica mixer Randy Staub worked on Oracle.)
But Morgan retains her trademark bipolar, angel-to-devil vocal range that, like the ebb and flow of Zack de la Rocha's political rants, lets you catch your breath before tossing you back in the pit and kicking you in the teeth. Her vocal prowess is either hit or miss. "No Name" is straight-up, in-your-face death metal, with growls throughout; however, songs like "What I Always Wanted" play bad girl/good girl, undermining both extremes. "Run Like Hell" is too inventive-reworking the already flawless, creepy classic, which plays out better, and faster, in their live act.
Regardless, it's hard to capture Kittie on disk. Songs from Spit and Oracle take on a whole new intensity when unleashed on a mob of hypercritical young toughs by cute, seemingly inoffensive felines. See for yourself at the Fox Wednesday night.