Album Reviews

Kiss – Sonic Boom

Released by Universal Records – 2009

Review Added October 01, 2009

. Produced by Paul Stanley and Greg Collins
· Running Time: 43:17
· Release Date: October 06, 2009
· Musical Style: Hard Rock, Glam Rock, Heavy Metal
· Links: http://www.kissonline.com/

Tracklist
1. Modern Day Delilah
2. Russian Roulette**
3. Never Enough**
4. Yes I Know (Nobody’s Perfect) **
5. Stand**
6. Hot And Cold
7. All For The Glory**
8. Danger Us
9. I’ m An Animal**
10. When Lightning Strikes
11. Say Yeah!
Hot Tracks**

* Paul Stanley – vocals, rhythm guitar
* Gene Simmons – vocals, bass
* Eric Singer – vocals, drums
* Tommy Thayer – vocals, lead guitar

When this year has passed and we look back at the great albums that we’re released in 2009, we will find a common trend, the term “the comeback year” in reference to those old bands who since then have become icons and who some might have thought would never make music like they once did in their glory days. Of course some bands that have absolutely come back strong after so many years out of the scene are AC/DC, Alice in Chains, Megadeth to name a few. You know the old cliche, “there is no substitute for experience”?, well in this case it applies to Kiss, who we last heard 11 years ago when they released the lukewarm and mediocre album “Psycho Circus” with the original lineup. At that point in time expectations we’re of course high from the royal Kiss Army, who after all these years has remain truly devoted to these rock icons. But in some fans eyes we had been left with a sense of dissapointment, even after their countless reunion tours, the band just never really could recapture anything close to their previous work during their early catalog. But with a “genius” marketing campaign behing “Sonic Boom”, they claim is the best record they have done in 30 years. Well that’s a bit of a stretch for me, but this is the best Kiss album they have released at least in part with some of their heavier Kiss tunes later in their careers. Long gone is Peter Criss and Ace Frehley and the band continues with drummer Eric Singer and lead guitarist Tommy Thayer and despite many fan’s wish to reunite the original lineup once more, they both compliment the band quite well in this new venture by one of the biggest rock bands ever. A big hand goes out to the cover artwork for the album, designed by Michael Doret who has worked with Kiss previously on their 1976 album Rock and Roll Over, everything on the cover art screams classic Kiss, now will the music live up to the hype?

Paul Stanley as a front man has always had a classic rock voice, nothing exuverant but a thick, graspy voice that always fitted the music well, and is so good to hear Stanley back at it again and sounding great in the opening track “Modern Day Delilah”, sounding heavier then normal this track opens up sharp and menacing and is a good lead in to the next highlight “Russian Roulette” with a rather groovy ac/dc style riff, the chorus here mirrors some vintage Kiss from the mid 70’s, with Stanley’s trademark wails and Simmons and Singer provide a nice bridge over the chorus. This music trip back in time continues with the excellent “Never Enough” which will have any fan of the band screaming outloud, with some typical Kiss lyrics, and a tasty guitar lick, will have you air guitarring your way all the way to the next tune. Kicking out another jam is “Stand” with again some truly outstanding choruses and a nice riff the keeps the momentum plowing along, with a nice rhythm section from the gang, a cool mid tempo change in the song cranks it over the top and sounds very refreshing as only Kiss would in this day in age. Singer takes the vocal lead on “All For The Glory” and the result is a pile driver of hard rock energy, this track pulsates along with with a killer riff and awesome solo, the strongest on the album so far. Perhaps the heaviest hitter comes at you courtesy of “I’m An Animal”, the riff here reminds me of some classic Savatage, ala the “Streets: A Rock Opera” album, with yet another blistering solo and nice vocal duties from Stanley yet again.

Perhaps it caught me off guard but “Sonic Boom” was a pleasant surprise, yes I’m a Kiss fan but I wouldn’t call myself devoted to their music. I respect what they have done and no doubt that they have been so influential to so many great bands, and the amount of quality music that they’ve given the rock world is without a question legendary. I would suggest to all Kiss fans to judge the album for themselves, I had no expectations and I guess it was a good thing, because I thought the record was very well done, production was excellent, Stanley and Simmons sound great, the lyrics are vintage Kiss, and Singer and Thayer’s guitar playing is what caught my ear here, the songs just pound along with a lively churn and sounds like some of their heaviest to date. This one will no doubt top many top lists of the year, all Kiss fans should go get it when it comes out, any hard rock and rock fan out there you need this also. Welcome back and long live the Kiss Army!!!. Respect.

Written by Denys

Ratings Denys  8/10

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