Shanna Kiel Orphan

Shanna Kiel’s solo debut, Orphan, is a wrenching eruption of confrontational growls, spastically catchy riffs and raw, well-poised aggression. This album digs deeply, as Kiel’s gruff energy manifests itself in the unlikeliest places, like subtle whispers, but also comes on strong in heaping chunks of risky vocal dexterity coupled with drastically straightforward arrangements. The former Sullen front-woman is brazen even in what could be gentler moments, like the eerily pretty "Prayer for Persephone,” but her frantically rough-around-the-edges vocals detonate when the higher gears kick in on songs like "Kismet” and "Rotting From the Inside,” and it’s in these tougher, venomous moments that Kiel sounds like she could herald a full-on grunge revival. Kiel even revamps T. Rex’s "Chariots of Silk,” giving it some new rips and tears, although the upbeat, street-wise sensibilities of the original are threaded throughout, offering a frenzied, glam-induced pop climax amongst Orphan’s ruins. Kiel has captured a glisteningly virulent symphony for this album and wrapped it up in ten tracks that offer dangerous playgrounds of sharp licks and twisted visions. (Thick)