Kiss – ‘Jigoku-Retsuden’ (2008) – Album Review (The Kiss Review Series)

We are now 10 years past the last studio album, ‘Psycho Circus’, and Kiss has still yet to do another studio album. Instead, we basically get yet another greatest hits package. This one is different of course because it was actually a re-recording of Kiss Klassics, but this time the players are not just Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley, but we now have those old hits recorded by Eric Singer on drums and Tommy Thayer on guitar. My first question is…WHY?? Do we really need to have studio versions of these great, amazing Kiss songs done by the new members. (rhetorical question)

I guess the people of Japan did because that is the only place this album was released. The title of the album is Jigoku-Retsuden which means something like “Legends from Hell” or “Hell’s Legends” in Japanese. Okay, that is pretty cool, but that is the only thing cool about this release. Okay, maybe the OBI strip is pretty cool as well. But that is it, I promise…alright, the cover is a little cool too…no more…stop!!

There are 15 tracks re-recorded on this release and I will admit, they aren’t the worst thing I’ve ever heard, but they don’t really bring anything new to the table. Both Eric and Tommy stick to the original versions of the song and don’t really add any of their own personal style which is a little disappointing. Gene and Paul are a lot older now and their voices aren’t like they were back in the 70’s and 80’s so most of the songs lack that energy from back in the day. Also, the vocals are a little flat and lifeless at times like they are just going through the motions even though Gene does give a great scream on “Deuce”. But there are a lot of negatives…first “Detroit Rock City” loses all the extra car scenes and sound effects. “I Was Made For Loving You” is so lifeless. Paul’s vocals sound so uninterested and the instruments sound dull. That late 70’s energy is missing from the song big time. And then “I Love it Loud” is atrocious. The amazing drum sound from the original is gone and Gene doesn’t seem to give a flying flip to be singing this song…hello…emotion??? Where is it? One more, do we need to hear “Rock And Roll All Nite” again…I mean seriously, we have heard that song ad nauseam. Please make it stop!

But I won’t say it is all bad. “Hotter Than Hell’ is actually quite good. The original was a little muddied in the mix, but this version actually has the punch that was meant for the song. Paul’s vocals aren’t as great and they aren’t bad either. And I have to admit I really liked “Black Diamond” as that song is a favorite of mine to begin with. This is the one that I feel Tommy and Eric really nailed it, plus Eric got to sing and he ain’t half bad! And it still has the slowed down speed and fade out.

Now you do get a bonus DVD with the set and that is cool; however, it is a show we already have on the Kissology DVDs so not sure why we need it again. Plus, here is my confusion. We get a re-recorded greatest hits done with Eric and Tommy, so why do we get a concert from Japan from 1977 with the original members. That is a little backasswards is it not?? And even worse, you don’t even get the full show. The Kissology set has the full, entire!!

For you US Fans and elsewhere, when the band released their next studio album, ‘Sonic Boom’, there was a bonus disc included on the Deluxe Edition called Kiss Klassics which is this exact CD of Jigoku-Retsuden which is the version I actually have. So you don’t have to run out and buy this (even though the completist in you will make you do it).

No track score as this is a greatest hits package and that doesn’t apply in those cases. Overall, I feel this is completely unnecessary and doesn’t make a lot of sense at all. As I said, it wasn’t all bad so it won’t get a 0 and I will stick with a 1.0 out of 5.0 Stars because you do get a lot for your money and a couple really good re-recordings (and 13 not so great), plus the DVD with the live show (yet not the full show and in case you don’t already have that show). If you want to skip this one, no one would call you crazy! In fact, let’s just skip this review and get to the next review.

Next Up: Kiss – Sonic Boom (2009)

Check out the rest of the series if you have time!!

The Kiss Review Series:

  1. Wicked Lester and the Progeny Demo Sessions (Bootleg)
  2. Kiss – Kiss (1974)
  3. Kiss – Hotter Than Hell (1974)
  4. Kiss – Dressed to Kill (1975)
  5. Kiss – Alive! (1975)
  6. Kiss – Destroyer (1976)
  7. Kiss – “Flaming Youth” 45 Promo Single – Bonus Edition (1976)
  8. Kiss – Special Kiss Album For Their Summer Tour (1976)
  9. Kiss – The Originals (1976)
  10. Kiss – Rock & Roll Over (1976)
  11. Kiss – Love Gun (1977)
  12. Kiss – Alive II (1977)
  13. Kiss – Double Platinum (1978)
  14. Kiss – Paul Stanley (1978)
  15. Kiss – Gene Simmons (1978)
  16. Kiss – Peter Criss (1978)
  17. Kiss – Ace Frehley (1978)
  18. Kiss – Kiss Meets the Phantom of the Park Movie (1978)
  19. Kiss – Dynasty (1979)
  20. Kiss – “I Was Made For Lovin’ You” (1979) – 12″ & 7″ Singles (Bonus Edition)
  21. Kiss – Unmasked (1980)
  22. Peter Criss – Out of Control (1980)
  23. Kiss – Music From The Elder (1981)
  24. Kiss – Killers (1982)
  25. Kiss – Creatures of the Night (1982)
  26. Kiss – Lick It Up (1983)
  27. Kiss – Animalize (1984)
  28. Wendy O. Williams – WOW (1984) (Bonus Edition)
  29. Kiss – Animalize Live Uncensored (1985)
  30. Kiss – Asylum (1985)
  31. Kiss – “Tears Are Falling” 7″ Single (Bonus Edition) (1985)
  32. Kiss – Creatures of the Night (1985 Re-Issue)
  33. Vinnie Vincent Invasion – Vinnie Vincent Invasion (1986)
  34. Black N’ Blue – Nasty Nasty (1986)
  35. Ace Frehley – Frehley’s Comet (1987)
  36. Kiss – Exposed VHS (1987)
  37. Kiss – Crazy Nights (1987)
  38. Kiss – “Crazy Crazy Nights” – 12″ Single (Bonus Edition)
  39. Kiss – “Reason To Live” – 12″ Picture Disc (Bonus Edition)
  40. Kiss – Chikara (1988)
  41. Kiss – Smashes, Thrashes & Hits (1988)
  42. Kiss – Hot In The Shade (1989)
  43. Kiss – “God Gave Rock And Roll To You II” (1991) – 12″ Picture Disc
  44. Kiss – Revenge (1992)
  45. Kiss – Alive III (1993)
  46. Kiss – Konfidential VHS (1993)
  47. Kiss – Kiss My Ass: Classic Kiss Regrooved (1994)
  48. Kiss – MTV Unplugged (1996)
  49. Kiss – You Wanted the Best, You Got the Best!! (1996)
  50. Kiss – Greatest Kiss (1997)
  51. Kiss – Carnival of Souls: The Final Sessions (1997)
  52. Kiss – Psycho Circus (1998)
  53. Kiss – The Second Coming Documentary (1998)
  54. Eric Carr – Rockology (1999)
  55. Mark St. John – Mark St. John Project (1999)
  56. Eric Singer Project – ESP (1999)
  57. Bruce Kulick – Audiodog (2001)
  58. Kiss – Kiss Symphony: Alive IV (2003)
  59. Gene Simmons – Asshole (2004)
  60. Kiss – Rock the Nation Live! DVD (2005)
  61. Kiss – Alive! The Millennium Concert (2006)
  62. Paul Stanley – Live to Win (2006)
  63. Kiss – Kissology: Volumes 1 to 3 (2006-2007)
  64. Kiss – Jigoku-Retsuden (2008)

The Bootleg Series:

  1. Kiss – ‘Accept No Imitations’ (Bootleg Series) – Album Review (ASYLUM TOUR)
  2. Kiss – Look Wot You Dun to Me (Bootleg Series) – Album Review (CRAZY NIGHTS TOUR)
  3. Kiss – The Summer of Satan: The Devils Ride Out! (Bootleg Series) – Album Review (DESTROYER TOUR)
  4. Kiss – Return to Capital Center (Bootleg Series) – Album Review (DYNASTY TOUR)
  5. Kiss – With Fire & Thunder (Bootleg Series) – Album Review (HOTTER THAN HELL TOUR)
  6. Kiss – Northhampton PA March 19th, 1975 (Bootleg Series) – Album Review (DRESSED TO KILL TOUR)
  7. Kiss – The Hottest Show On Earth (Bootleg Series) – Album Review (THE HOTTEST SHOW ON EARTH TOUR 2010)
  8. Kiss – All the Way to the Ball Room (Bootleg Series) – Album Review (Australian Tour 1995)
  9. Kiss – Kiss of Thunder (Bootleg Series) – Album Review (The Rising Sun Tour 2006)
  10. Kiss – Agora Ballroom 1974: The Cleveland Broadcast plus Bonus Cuts (Bootleg Series) – Album Review (THE KISS TOUR)
  11. Kiss – Hotter Than Hell: Radio Broadcast 1976 (Bootleg Series) – Album Review (ROCK & ROLL OVER TOUR)
  12. Kiss – The Tickler (Bootleg Series) – Album Review (LICK IT UP TOUR 1983)
  13. Kiss – Barbarize (Bootleg Series) – Album Review (ANIMALIZE WORLD TOUR 1984 – North American Tour)
  14. Kiss – They Only Come Out At Night (Bootleg Series) – Album Review (ANIMALIZE WORLD TOUR 1984 – EUROPEAN TOUR)
  15. Wicked Lester and the Progeny Demo Sessions (Bootleg)

Kiss – The Box Set:

  1. The Box Set (Part 1 of 6)
  2. The Box Set – Disc One 1966-1975 (Part 2 of 6)
  3. The Box Set – Disc Two 1975-1977 (Part 3 of 6)
  4. The Box Set – Disc Three 1976-1982 (Part 4 of 6)
  5. The Box Set – Disc Four 1983-1989 (Part 5 of 6)
  6. The Box Set – Disc Five 1992-1999 (Part 6 of 6)

Gene Simmons – The Vault:

  1. Part 1 – The Grand Opening
  2. Part 2 – Disk 1
  3. Part 3 – Disk 2
  4. Part 4 – Disk 3
  5. Part 5 – Disk 4
  6. Part 6 – Disk 5
  7. Part 7 – Disk 6
  8. Part 8 – Disk 7
  9. Part 9 – Disk 8
  10. Part 10 – Disk 9
  11. Part 11 – Disk 10
  12. Part 12 – The Bonus Disk
  13. Part 13 – The Best Songs of the Vault
  14. Part 14 – The Worst Songs of the Vault
  15. Part 15 – The Final Verdict

39 thoughts on “Kiss – ‘Jigoku-Retsuden’ (2008) – Album Review (The Kiss Review Series)

  1. Cool packaging John but the question has to be asked …why?? For you to drop a 1 on a KISS comp tells me that this is ‘buyer beware’ material…lol
    Great stuff

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Losing all my credit here, but I think I just listened to this on Sonic Boom and thought it was alright. I’d give it at least 3 out of 5. Getting my ears checked pronto…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. There is nothing wrong with the music. It is still good. I just think it was not necessary. If I want to hear those songs, I want the original versions. There is nothing here that would change that. It is still a good listen. I was viewing it as a whole package.


          1. By my collection, you’d think so. But I still think these albums have been breeding like rabbits in the wee hours while the house is quiet. I can’t even remember the last time I played a KISS record or bought one, yet they multiply.

            Liked by 1 person

  3. “One more, do we need to hear “Rock And Roll All Nite” again…I mean seriously, we have heard that song ad nauseam. Please make it stop!” Bravo man! And the part about Gene not giving a flip about singing “I Love it Loud,” I love that! Not sure if it was because he’s tired of the song or what not, but I wouldn’t be surprised if he is, even though I like that song, but that’s probably because I haven’t played it for almost 40 years.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. John I wonder if Gene and Paul make more money on the re-recorded songs? They don’t have to pay publishing or fees to the old members.

    The reason I ask is that when Microsoft wanted Start Me Up by the Stones…Mick and Keith were going to re-record it themselves because they would not have to share the profits with the other members…which is a jerk move…of course Microsoft said no…they would only use the original version.

    But other than that…yes the question is WHY?

    Liked by 1 person

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