Lion Music
Release date: February 10, 2004

User Review
0/10 (0 votes)

Argue all you want, but the best Metal song of 2003 was The Defaced’s “A Moment of Clarity.” Everything about that song screamed Metal louder than all the rest. Guess what? We have a best Metal song of 2004 already, and it comes in the flavor of Mister Kite, with the song “How Long.” What the hell, it’s gonna go down as one of the best of 2004 anyway, so might as well take the leap now: Mister Kite’s Box of Fear is going to open a lot of eyes, and well, ears, to what new (not nu; that shit sucks) Metal should sound like.

Mister Kite is a band out of Sweden, and Box of Fear is their second release. They have the most modern-edge sound that a band could portray while incorporating the classic sound of older Heavy Metal bands, like Skid Row. Make no mistake; this isn’t ‘80s Metal, and sounds nothing at all like that genre. Musically, they sound like a blend of heavy American bands like Chevelle coupled with the catchiness of Hoobastank. But lead singer Alf Wemmenlind mixes the rawness of “Mudkicker” era Sebastian Bach with the over-enunciated clarity of Brandon Boyd (Incubus) to offer something innovative and worthy of praise.

The album is a concept album of sorts. They offer the statement, “Would you be afraid if someone told you that every room inside your mind has a story of its own … do you dare not to listen?” The CD starts with an anthemic, rousing self-aware song titled “From This Day On,” sort of an homage to the mantra, “the first day of the rest of your life is today.” It’s heavy, and has a message. As you’ll find throughout the whole CD, the guitars, the chugging and the riffing, add the raw emotion that is so often conveyed by vocals.

Second up is “How Long,” the best song you are going to hear in quite a while. Again, you’ll get the theme of the song, with the lyrics “In another room, I tell myself that I will not be anyone …” Existential to say the least. While most of their songs are harder, “How Long” has an understand malice that doesn’t need speed to carry it along. “I’m standing still, can move at will … how long must I wait!” It’s not often you find a song with stellar writing, lyrics, vocals, production, and musicianship. Well, you just did …

“Evil Bob”, quite a cool name, by the by, shows Mister Kite slowing it down a little more. Their sound here is quite American Metal. This isn’t progressive or Power Metal, although some reviews have misdiagnosed them as such. Somehow, they are heavy enough to be “cool” while melodic enough for fans of, say, Nickelback.

One of the other great tracks on Box of Fear is “State.” You will hear that is not a one-dimensional band by any means. The guitar emanates a malevolent vibe here, and just imagining the live version of this song should make you want to start slamming. You will hear a bit of Alice of Chains in this one as well, especially during the solos.

Fact is, you won’t be able to find a bad song on this CD. That doesn’t happen often. “Do Your Worst,” is a thumping song, the bass and drums introducing a surprisingly low key construction. The vocals by Wemmenlind are deep, not rapped but rhythmic, and lead into an ultra-melodic chorus. “The Hunger” you may have heard on the Metal Express jukebox, and if not, go play it now. When you hear the utterance, “I have never been deranged, I have always played it safe,” you may just beg to differ. This has another one of those choruses that just latch on to your skull and won’t let go.

So, if this review had to be summarized, it’d go something like this: Mister Kite is amazing. Box of Fear is an unexpected gem. They own their own sound while doing everything good new Metal does, while copying none of the bad. These guys just rule. You can pick it up Feb. 18th.

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