Gene Simmons – ‘The Vault’ – Album Review (Part 15 of 15 – The Final Verdict)

We are finally to The End of the Road.  No, not the End of the Road Tour, but the end of our journey of Gene Simmons – The Vault!  We are on Part 15 of our 15 Part series.  We have spent numerous hours listening, reading, researching and writing up these posts and I have to say, it is the most fun I have had on this site maybe ever.  I wanted to deliver a very detailed breakdown of The Vault so maybe you would see whether or not it is worth buying.  For me, it was a no brainer, even though it took me two years to do it.  The price was finally right.

Let’s mention a little on the production of this album.  The production and mix were stellar.  They all had the same volume level and even the worst quality recording still sounded great.  They put a lot of time and effort in that and they hit it out of the park.

And I don’t want to forget to mention the people on this album.  I won’t go through all of them as you should read each review, but you get Ace Frehley, Bruce Kulick, Eric Carr, Eric Singer, Tommy Thayer, Bob Kulick and even Paul Stanley.  And then there is Bob Dylan, Eddie Van Halen and Alex Van Halen, but that is only a small portion…you get members of Black & Blue, of Silent Rage and even someone from Steel Panther. You get some songwriters, producers that helped write some songs and even Katey Sagal from Married With Children does some background vocals.  It is so cool to see all the different people involved.  That was one of my favorite parts.


So, let’s talk a little bit about the grading system for the songs.  I graded them from 1 to 5 with 1 being The Worst and 5 being the Best.  I tried not to rank based on quality of recording since we know these are demos and I think I stuck to that pretty well with some minor exceptions

Now, out of the 166 songs (165 really because one is duplicated), how many songs were at each Grade?  I will tell you…

  • Grade 1 – 8
  • Grade 2 – 40
  • Grade 3 – 49
  • Grade 4 – 40
  • Grade 5 – 29

That gives a total score of 540 or an average of 3.25 out of 5.  That gives it an above average rating.


Let’s now look at the overall score from each Disk Post and Product scores…

  • The Grand Opening – product itself – 5.0
  • Disk 1 – 3.3
  • Disk 2 – 3.2
  • Disk 3 – 3.5
  • Disk 4 – 3.1
  • Disk 5 – 2.9
  • Disk 6 – 2.7
  • Disk 7 – 3.1
  • Disk 8 – 4.3
  • Disk 9 – 3.1
  • Disk 10 – 3.3
  • Bonus Disk – 3.3

This is a total score of 40.8.  Divide that by 12 scored reviews and you get an average of 3.4 out of 5.0.  Again, an above average rating.

Don’t let those scores fool you.  They might show a slightly above average rating, but this set is so much more than that for me.  It was about getting something not a ton of people have, but it was also exploring Gene’s history with Kiss and without Kiss.  It is a deeper dive in to who Gene is as a person and what he is thinking. It was seeing that Gene is an underrated musician as he plays so many instruments on these songs.  And some of his bass playing and guitar playing are really spectacular.


I did the scoring above to give you a fair representation of the songs and the packaging, but the scores don’t represent the enjoyment and pleasure I will have with this thing for the rest of my life.  Will I pull this out again and again?  Damn straight I will, although I do need a break for a little while as the last 2-3 months have been all about this set.

The fair score on this set is the 3.4 out of 5.0. The Kiss fanatic in me has this at a 4.5 out of 5.0.  I didn’t give it a 5.0 for several reasons. First, the book cover attracts cat hair like a freaking magnet.  It is amazing how much cat hair got on the cover.  Don’t worry, I got it off, but damn.  The other reasons are even though I didn’t do the Vault Experience, I didn’t meet Gene or get it signed or get the bonus surprises,  I still feel at the price point there should’ve been a little more extras.  But I did get a ton of music that lets me get deeper in to the world of Kiss and that is enough for me.


I hope you enjoyed this journey as much as I did and I wish I could share the music with you, but I would get sued I am sure by Mr. Simmons and I don’t want that.  So instead, I gave you my thoughts on the songs and some historical information and did the best I could do for you.  I hope that is enough.  Whether you buy it or not is not of any concern to me, I only hope this will help in your decision one way or the other. I wanted you to get an understanding of what you are getting at that price point.

And that is all.  If you want to go check out ALL the reviews, they are below, just click a link and it will take you there.  Start from the beginning and work your way until the end.

Thanks for hanging with me for these 3 months!!

Here are all the posts we did on the Vault:


66 thoughts on “Gene Simmons – ‘The Vault’ – Album Review (Part 15 of 15 – The Final Verdict)

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