When its 2000 debut, "Spit," was released, Kittie stood out due to its four members' ages (mid- to late teens) and gender (female).

When its 2000 debut, "Spit," was released, Kittie stood out due to its four members' ages (mid- to late teens) and gender (female). Since then, female-fronted bands like Arch Enemy and Otep have made estrogen less of a curiosity in metal, and Kittie has had time to mature as musicians. While Morgan Lander's death metal growls haven't changed, "Until the End" has more melody and memorable riffs than the band's previous two albums. Lead single "Into the Darkness" is the band's catchiest song to date and deserves success. However, it is less representative of the Canadian quartet than cuts like the title track and "Red Flag," both of which contain heavy riffs and Lander singing as much as she shrieks. An enhanced CD, "Until the End" includes behind-the-scenes studio footage.—BT

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