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Kittie returns from their debut album much, much angrier than before. In fact, despite the first album's aggressive tone, the band spews venom over the tracks with a brutal passion on this one. That does not always translate into great songs, as the disc opener, "Oracle," proves with its repetitive pounding that definitely sounds angry, but sounds pointlessly angry. But it can work in their favor on tracks too, like the Pantera-esque "Severed," which bubbles over with rage. The alternative rock of "In Winter" changes the pace a little with its smooth vocals and slow riffing, as does the piano metal dirge "Safe." Their cover of Pink Floyd's "Run Like Hell" takes the driving urgency of the original and turns it into a Metallica-style riff-fest, which comes off as interesting without ever truly getting engaging. The band is definitely heavy and their style of clear vocals over chugging death metal is certainly interesting. But one cannot help but feel mildly disappointed by their sophomore effort. While there are some good songs here, the band still needs to take the next step before they truly start writing great albums. As it is, this is an average album by a promising band who needs to find a distinct identity.

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