Kiss – ‘Sonic Boom’ (2009) – Album Review (The Kiss Review Series)

It has been 11 years since Kiss has released a studio album, and on October 6, 2009, we finally got what we had been waiting so long to hear. Now, the band gave us a lot of stuff in those 11 years. We did get greatest hits compilations, live albums, DVDs, solo projects, but we had been wanting a Kiss Studio album of all new songs. And the band finally delivered what we had been longing to hear for over a decade. This time in Kisstory, the band was Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley and current members of Eric Singer and Tommy Thayer. And this album is the first in decades to feature all 4 members of the band playing on the album and writing all the songs. That is right, no outside influences in any way. This was so much of a band album that even Eric and Tommy both had a song to sing. This was just like the old Kiss from the 70’s.

So why did Kiss finally release a new studio album. In part, it was because Paul & Gene didn’t want ‘Psycho Circus’ to be the final Kiss studio album. They were upset that Ace and Peter wouldn’t show up to play on it and what was supposed to be a Kiss album was full of outside writers and players. Now, if you talk to Peter Criss, I believe his story would be more along the line of Gene and Paul didn’t want them playing on it so they paid them not to be on it. That might be partially true, but Ace and Peter were on it, sadly only the songs they sang on. If they didn’t want ‘Psycho Circus’ to be their last studio album, does that mean ‘Sonic Boom’ will be their last? We will have to wait and find out.

When the album was finished it was released exclusively by Wal-mart…yes…Wal-mart. You were not able to get this album from anywhere else if you lived in the U.S. and Canada. Now, they did sweeten the pot with this one as you got a 20-page booklet, the album, a CD of Kiss Klassics and a Bonus DVD of Kiss Live in Buenos Aires. All packaged in a nice cardboard digipack. It is actually quite a bang for the buck. But was it all worth it, let us find out.

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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!!

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