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14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars MONSTROUS...
...but is it a monster success or a frankenstein failure?,thankfully its not the latter but it may not be the former either,having had this for a few days and after several listens,i'm not convinced it will be(ultimately) regarded as better than SONIC BOOM.As usual with Kiss its a pot pourri of re hashed riffs and licks paying homage to the likes of Humble...
Published on 11 Oct 2012 by Mr Blackwell

versus
3.0 out of 5 stars Heart pumping rock and roll
With ‘Monster’, Paul Stanley – in the producer’s chair for the second time in a row -continues to draw Kiss back to their essence and even manages to improve on 2009’s long-overdue return to form, ‘Sonic Boom’, with an exciting, high energy set of heart-pumping rock and roll.

‘Monster’ ends up sounding even...
Published 3 months ago by B. S. Marlay


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14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars MONSTROUS..., 11 Oct 2012
By 
Mr Blackwell (scotland) - See all my reviews
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...but is it a monster success or a frankenstein failure?,thankfully its not the latter but it may not be the former either,having had this for a few days and after several listens,i'm not convinced it will be(ultimately) regarded as better than SONIC BOOM.As usual with Kiss its a pot pourri of re hashed riffs and licks paying homage to the likes of Humble Pie/Zeppelin/Stones etc and on occassion themselves.

Where Sonic Boom ,(for me), scores higher,it was much more cohesive and yes commercial,the tracks were mostly instant hits and stuck with you.This disc on the other hand has a more constricted soundscape,most tracks less instant,not as immediate in the sing along, stick in your head ethos,which may pay dividends eventually,right now i'm not quite sure.

As with the previous disc,this has a great opening one,two, with lead off single 'Hell Or Hallelujah' storming out the speakers with its riff reminiscent of 'I Stole Your Love' which they based on Purple's 'Burn', Gene's short but sweet 'Wall of Sound' follows along perfectly.

There are a couple of standouts namely Tommy Thayer's 'Out Of This World' which is arguably the best track on the album(although why he had to sing about that 'theme',the haters will have a field day,talk about setting yourself up),maybe he should be allowed more tracks in future,'Stanley's 'Long Way Down' with its 'Yardbirds influenced guitar? is another high point,while Eric's moment 'All For The Love...' has a great groove and could have been written for the original Catman circa 75/76, although its disapointing to note that it appears to be similar to a track with the same title from little known band the Tuff Darts,check it out on you tube,see what you think.

As for the rest well their all pretty heavy,none that really stand out from the crowd, 'Freak' im just not getting into while 'Back To The Stone Age' is a fairly average Gene plodder rescued by a superb Tommy guitar solo.In time they may grow to be favourites just now they are ok for the most part, a couple of the others 'Last Chance' and 'Eat Your Heart Out' with their AC/DC like gang vocals may burrow into your head after a while.

Overall this is a decent album,well played,its certainly Tommy Thayer's album,he co wrote ten tracks and holds it all together with some superb guitar playing,he's definitely the star of the show,its probably more 'REVENGE' than it is 'LOVE GUN or ROCK N ROLL OVER',im ok with that,there's never really been a definitive KISS sound,they've always recycled,borrowed what they could.

My initial thoughts were this was a 3 star disc,i'm leaning towards 4 stars after repeated listens,if 'SONIC BOOM' was a blast,then 'MONSTER' is the after shock,not quite as strong but will ripple away in the background and may ultimately prove to be more more effective
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3.0 out of 5 stars Heart pumping rock and roll, 1 Sep 2014
By 
B. S. Marlay (Sydney, Australia) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Monster (Audio CD)
With ‘Monster’, Paul Stanley – in the producer’s chair for the second time in a row -continues to draw Kiss back to their essence and even manages to improve on 2009’s long-overdue return to form, ‘Sonic Boom’, with an exciting, high energy set of heart-pumping rock and roll.

‘Monster’ ends up sounding even more like a 1970s Kiss record than its predecessor, but with just enough subtle 21st century flourishes to prevent it from sounding like a museum piece. Writing credits stay within the band with lots of co-writing between members stopping it from falling into the Stanley vs Simmons trap that made their 80s releases both schizophrenic and disappointing. All the band members sing and back one another once again, as they did on ‘Sonic Boom’ an in their heyday.

The pace is relentless with no interruptions from ballads or arty indulgences. It has the onslaught of ‘Destroyer’ combined with the simple rock and roll drive of ‘Dressed to Kill’. And – finally – Kiss find the courage to put out an album without an obligatory third rate attempt to rewrite ‘Rock and Roll All Nite’!

The best moments are, as is often the case, provided by Stanley’s writing and vocals (even if he sounds older and croakier). But Simmons is not far behind and the other two convincingly capture the spirit of the long departed original members with some bravura singing. Tommy Thayer is even a co-writer on three quarters of the album.

‘Hell or Hallelujah’ serves as a great ‘modern’ Kiss 4x4 opener, smashing into ‘Wall of Sound’ followed by another Stanley highlight and slight style update in ‘Freak’. An affirmation for the outsider, it could easily have imploded into naffness, but manages to become one of the most infectious tracks on the album. ‘Back to the Stone Age’, ‘Shout Mercy’ and Long Way Down’ continue the pulse-racing drive of proceedings’. Utilizing enough tempo, style and rhythm changes to keep everything pumping, the set rocks through to see proceedings out via a high energy ‘Frehley’ track – ‘Outta This World’ – the hilarious nautical double entendres of ‘Take Me Down Below’ and the show-stopping ‘Last Chance’ before silence finally provides the chance to draw breath.

This isn’t high art by any means. But it is high energy, polished, melodic, heavy rock and roll. It might not grab you at first, but give it a few spins. You might just find it gets your heart racing! And that is no small achievement for a band that has been at it as long as Kiss have. (3.5 stars)
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5.0 out of 5 stars only the best will do, 24 Nov 2014
By 
S. HOSKISSON - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Monster (Audio CD)
You're sat there yeah, about 35 minutes into 'Fear of a Blank Planet',waiting for your macrobiotic solid food replacement soilent drink,when she calls in from the kitchen/dinette..'darling..put Kid A on' ..you think,'you know, none of this ain't gettin the job done'..that's when you sling on your old leather, sneak outta the front door..grab yourself a bucket of fried chicken,a six pack of High Life,20 Marlboro, a quart of Jack and the latest Kiss cd... because..sometimes...sometimes...only the best will do..right?..daaamn straight!!
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4.0 out of 5 stars kiss monster, 12 May 2014
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good music from kiss like it must get.
the songs are very good to lessen and go with it .
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4.0 out of 5 stars It's a Kiss Album!, 5 April 2014
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Nothing different, nothing particularly original and groundbreaking, just a good old Kiss album, packed with great riffs and catchy hooks. If they'd released this thirty years ago after Unmasked instead of the dirge that still is Creatures of the Night, no one would have been the least bit surprised, nor would it sound out of place.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Monster is Dynamite!, 13 Oct 2012
This review is from: Monster (Audio CD)
Let's admit it: I was a bit sceptic and anxious (as another reviewer was) after hearing the samples on Amazon. Having been a Kiss fan for 34 years now, I am glad that my first impression did not stand the test. This album is just awesome!! From the very first listen, "Monster" offered me about the same shock as the latest studio effort by Motörhead ("The World is Yours"). And the new Kiss release continues to grow on me with time. Pure music, raw sound, just heavy rock' n' roll.

Is "Monster" a mix of "Destroyer" and "Revenge"?

I don't bother anyway. But OK. Let's play the game... even if it's always difficult to compare Kiss with other Kiss material, given the changes in musicians, producers and fashions over the years. This is no "Creatures" (my all times' favorite), no "Lick It Up", no "Destroyer" (except perhaps for the catchy choruses here and there). This new album is very close in sound and design to "Revenge" certainly... On the other hand, "Monster" is no "Sonic Boom" and this IS good news: although "Sonic Boom" was -say- a fair album, it never managed to move or thrill me. I think I hardly listened to it more than four or five times (still tried once recently and was not impressed yet). Don't know why... Probably too much of a pre-conceived (would I dare to say: "concept"?) album ("Let's do 'Rock' n' Roll Over' again!" - What for? I own the original and it's not the best piece in my Kiss collection). Too polished, too tame. Not as spontaneous and fresh as this one... Yes, "Monster" is way better: it's an energizer. This album is probably what "Animalize" or "Asylum" would have been like, had they fully succeeded. What's this then? Well it could be that "Monster" is finally ... just "Monster"! A new and fresh approach to (very) good music. Next time, be sure, "Monster" will be a point of reference and lots of us will moan and groan because the next album is... something else (which looks as a good thing to me, since repeating the same old tricks over and over again is useless).

What about the players?

Has Gene ever sounded better than on this album (I mean: both the voice and the bass)? Not sure... Where have we heard so clearly Eric's drum pulse (hear "Eat Your Heart Out" and learn)? Tommy? Well, this is probably Tommy's album as stated by another reviewer. His guitar really shines and delivers on this one, and he manages to part from Ace's gimmicks and trademark (only a few lookalikes for those who like them, mostly on "Take Me Down below"). There are also one or two echoes of... Vinnie Vincent, which (yes!) IS good news to me. In the end, it's just Tommy sounding like... Tommy! And Paul? He probably never produced a record as brilliantly as this one, and he still proves to be able to sing his heart out (on "Freak" or "Long Way Down", amongst others).

The songs?

There are only two of them that I could consider as fillers. Although I'm not 100% sure yet, since they might grow on me with time and listens: "Shout Mercy" and -sadly- the final one "Last Chance". I very much regret that "Right Here, Right Now" is not on the CD. From what I heard, it could have been a better ending for this great album. As for the rest, everything is brilliant, each song from "Hell or Hallelujah" to "Take Me Down Below" fighting in its own category (this album is NOT at all boring, whereas "Sonic Boom" was repetitive). My personal favorites -to name only four- are "Freak" (ever noticed the echo from "Thief in the Night"?), "The Devil is Me" (Gene's chant at its best), "Outta This World" (sounds as "Into the Void" but is definitely another animal), and "Long Way Down" (the only true newborn of "Creatures" and "Lick It Up": remember "Keep Me Coming" and -maybe- "All Hell's Breakin' Loose"). I also very much enjoy "All For The Love Of Rock & Roll", which I do not find too similar to the Tuff Darts song of the same title (see reference in Mr Blackwell's review, which is much revelant anyway, as always). What I hear is son of Status Quo and Creedence: there could be a worse legacy!!

Thanks Kiss for offering this to your fans, thanks for staying incredible musicians, and thanks Paul for the excellent job on the production.

Now, forget the samples (by the way: AND the cover...), get the album and let it blow your speakers out!!
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3.0 out of 5 stars Not the best follow up to sonic boom, 25 Aug 2014
By 
D. Lang (U.K) - See all my reviews
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Didnt live up to all the hype. Not the best follow up to sonic boom . Hard one to follow mind you.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great, 1 Aug 2014
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One of their best ever albums. Shows why they have (finally!) been inducted into the hall of fame.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant, very pleased with this dvd going to hours ..., 1 Nov 2014
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Brilliant , very pleased with this dvd going to hours of pleaser listening to it
thank you
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6 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Kiss - Monster, 10 Oct 2012
By 
Gentlegiantprog "Kingcrimsonprog" (England) - See all my reviews
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Monster is the twentieth official studio album by the legendary American Rock band Kiss, it was released in 2012, around fourty years after the band's inception, it was produced by Paul Stanley and Greg Collins and it is their second studio album with the Stanley/Simmons/Singer/Thayer line-up (although Singer and Thayer have both been involved with the band in different capacities for years and years).

Monster follows up the 2009 Sonic Boom album, which was seen by a great many fans as a return to form, or reaffirmation of the band's quality and as probably one of the band's best efforts since the Seventies. A large part of the album's success was in deliberately using equipment and tones that they would've used in the Seventies, as well as concentrating on the Hard Rock part of their signature sound and not filling the album up with experiments, strings, choirs or ballads. Monster is very much constructed in the same vein as Sonic Boom

Throughout their history the band have also made some questionable decisions with regards to hiring outside writers to contribute to the albums instead of band members, and with Monster, the band are making a big deal out of the fact that the band sat down and wrote all the material themselves.

The material that the band came out with has everything you'd expect from a Kiss album that's mission statement is pure hard Rock. If it wasn't so enjoyable it would almost seem like a cynical textbook run through of how to write and structure good Rock music.

There's loads of lead guitar, there are fun and simple drumbeats that make everything catchy, as well as touches of cowbells and hand-claps to make it fun, there's a mix of different vocals (Paul and Gene take lead vocals on different tracks as usual, and the other guys get a bit of an airing too, like on Sonic Boom) and structurally there are a lot of fun stop/start mechanics and instrument-drop-in-drop-out dynamics.

The album kicks off with the energetic lead single `Hell Or Hallelujah' which is reminiscent of some sort of mixture of pre-existing high energy Kiss songs like `I Stole Your Love' `Modern Day Delilah' and `I Pledge Allegiance To The State Of Rock And Roll.' Its simple enough to be fun, but it has a bit of depth to it too, its heavy for Kiss' standards, and there's great lead guitar work. It's a bit of a shame that there's nothing else on the album that's this fast though, about two more songs in this tempo would've really did it for me personally.

There are some great slower, but still hard tracks like `Wall Of Sound' which actually reminds me of Foghat more than anything, as well as `The Devil Is Me' and `Take Me Down Bellow' which are great stompy hard rock moments.

There are also a few tracks like `Long Way Down,' which has a Zeppelin sort of feel in parts, and `All For The Love Of Rock N Roll' that aren't really in the same sort of driving pounding direction at all and add a bit variety to the album.

My favourite track on the album is probably `Back To The Stone Age' which seems like a sneaky modernization of `Deuce' but is still a great song despite the obvious homage.

To be fair, its surprising that any band this far into their career can put out such a fresh and energetic record but of course, some people will just never ever like any Kiss without Peter Criss or Ace Frehley in the line-up and if you haven't liked anything the band have done in ages, then I don't see this record changing your mind.

Overall the album is pretty much in the same vein as Sonic Boom; not identical but certainly similar, and if you liked that album, then I imagine that this will satisfy you as well. If you desperately need origionality or youthful sounds then look elsewhere, but if you like solid, classic sounding, mid-tempo rock music its surely worth a listen. It isn't the best album that any band made ever, but its definitely one of the best Kiss albums since the Seventies.
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