Release Date: August 30, 2011
If you crank up Kittie‘s sixth album, I’ve Failed You, with expectations of a soft kiss on the cheek intro you’ll likely be picking your teeth up off the floor. The record, which clocks in at just over 36 minutes, kicks off with a strong arm elbow to the jaw. The title track is an aggressive forewarning of the caustic beast being unleashed.
This is the third record for the trio of Morgan Lander (vocals/guitars), Mercedes Lander (drums) and Tara McLeod (guitars), and you can feel the the connection between them has grown with each album. I’ve Failed You also marks the first time the same line up, which includes bassist Ivy Vujic, has recorded two records together. However, Ivy recorded her tracks in Indiana this time around.
Siegfried “Siggy” Meier, who produced the band’s 2009 release In The Black returns to helm this record as well. The band recorded I’ve Failed You at Siggy’s Beach Road Studios in Goderich, Ontario, Canada.
The first song released from the 11-track album is the riff-catchy “We Are The Lamb”, which has something of an Arch Enemy feel to it. Both this track and the next, the sinister groover, “Whisper Of Death” showcase the band’s growth as songwriters. They also lay out the blueprint for what is aurally, Kittie‘s darkest album to date.
Listen to “We Are The Lamb”:
Kittie shows off their doomier side on the sludgy “What Have I Done”. This track would make Kirk Windstein proud. Oddly enough, the framework for this song came not from Morgan or Tara, but Mercedes. It is also the only track on the album over 5 minutes long.
“Empires (Part 1)” is the brooding table setter for the tempest that is “Empires (Part 2). Morgan Lander describes the pieces as the calm before the storm and the hurricane respectively. An acoustic piece that Tara had written formed the basis for this one.
The brutality returns for “Come Undone”, a face-melter with an infectious chorus. This is followed by “Already Done” with it’s catchy riff and wasteland breakdown.
“Never Come Home” is perhaps the band’s slowest number, and certainly it’s most emotionally poignant. I’ve Failed You is Kittie, and specifically Morgan’s most personal record to date. Throughout the album’s 11-tracks you can hear that she has opened a vein and her pain bleeds into the music.
Next up is “Ugly”, another in-your-face, skull crusher. This is followed by the album closer “Time Never Heals”, a slower number which emphasizes the pain Morgan tapped into to write for this record. Tara’s guitar fills solo here really accent the mood of the song. Morgan recently told Metalholic that writing and recording this album had a cathartic effect, but this final track is a reminder that some wound never truly close.
I’ve Failed You is Kittie‘s most diverse, cohesive, and emotionally resonating record to date. The connection between the band members and producer Siggy Meier comes through in the continuity of the album. Where In The Black showed the band’s return to a more raw dynamic, I’ve Failed You takes that organic base and expands Kittie‘s sonic palette. Whomever the band feels they have failed personally, this CD is a testament that they have not failed their listeners. Most band’s hope to make each record better than the last, and Kittie has achieved that with I’ve Failed You.