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4.0 out of 5 stars
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4.0 out of 5 stars
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on 10 January 2017
Not your usual kiss album , but that's what I like about this , dark and can I say grungy , I can see why it's the forgotten album , stand out track has to be I walk alone sung by Bruce kullick , it's not too every ones taste , but give it a listen you may surprise yourself .
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on 12 April 2015
This kind of music is not really my bag to be honest and in my opinion not true to Kiss's style, even Paul Stanley doesn't like it but if you're a Kiss fan and you've already got all the classics then it's worth a listen. I can't sit through the whole album without it putting me on a downer but I've got it on a playlist with all the other Kiss songs and on a positive note I find it provides a contrast to the catchier songs. I would say that I Will Be There is the highlight of the album and has a nice sentiment as it was written by Paul as a dedication to his eldest son, Evan. Despite the title, this is not the final Kiss album, which is a good thing as I would hate for this to be the legacy of such an iconic band.
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on 23 May 2015
remember playing this on cd years back and to own on vinyl a must have, if this album was not kiss would have still bought it
A sound that is still surprise to hear from kiss and at times can forget it is when listen to songs.the name KIss reminds you it is
If you like kiss and vinyl add to collection. Buy it. When mine arrives I will play loud
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on 16 May 2010
Megahuge rock band KISS recorded this when Grunge bands were massive, and it then hung around in limbo being released much later before KISS then put their make up back on and returned to their classic radio rock style. This is a very ignored and criticised album, but actually on its own terms its very good.
They may have been posing at grunge a bit, with the songs being much more moody, dark, dirty sounding but I think they are just as genuine as any of their other bigger albums. Very good quality heavy dark rock album.
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on 9 July 2011
This almost not released record is often unfairly lambasted. It is true that Kiss had almost run out of puff on more than one occasion (1985 with `Asylum', 1989 with `Hot in the Shade'), but `Carnival of Souls' is a different kettle of fish. It could not be further from the Kiss of the 70s or indeed the Kiss of the 80s. It sounds muddy, it is heavy and dirgey. The subject matter is almost nihilistic at times (`Hate', `Jungle' - both excellent) and the vocals have a 90s drawl to them. If 1992's heavy, dark and dirty `Revenge' lacked a sense of fun, `Carnival of Souls' was close to miserable in comparison.

Recorded somewhere around 1995, the frivolousness with which Kiss were equated was most definitely `out'. It was a time when the sounds of grunge, indie rock and grunge metal were the approach that gave a band cred. `Carnival of Souls' was coproduced by Toby Wright who was aligned with the likes of Alice in Chains, Slayer and Queensryche. So Kiss' intentions on this effort are pretty easy to read. Measured against those benchmarks, `Carnival of Souls' could easily be dismissed as a wanna-be effort. But measured against other Kiss albums, it is a far more intriguing creature.

This album is the band's greatest departure and contains some of their most interesting and unusual songwriting. They also go back to Kiss basics by backing one another on vocals and relinquishing the last dozen years of screeching in favour of their lower registers. Bruce Kulick even sings the final track (`I Walk Alone'). A great (and unusual) thing about it is that the six tracks co-written by Gene Simmons are all well crafted and among the strongest of his career. In abandoning silly sex romps as a subject matter, he seems to have really risen to the occasion and equaled himself with the ever-reliable Stanley. `Hate', `Childhood's End', `In My Head' and `Seduction of the Innocent' are all dark, durgey grunge metal with occasional melodic flourishes thrown in. Stanley's six songs are also good. The funked-up grunge of `Jungle' is excellent and, if it weren't for the subject matter, the closest to sounding something like a tradition Kiss song. The morose ballad, `I Will Be There' is also outstanding - a vast improvement on the equivalent on 1992's `Revenge'.

`Carnival of Souls' is a dislocating experience for the most part. It takes a lot of getting used to and is initially hard to get all the way through in one listen. It sounds under-mixed and it definitely doesn't sound like Kiss - which is probably why it has been so badly received - no pop rock melodies or fist-raising anthems here. Dark and gloomy, it is the only real heavy metal album they ever recorded. But if you are prepared to stick with it, you realize it is not only the riskiest and most intelligent thing they ever made, but quite riveting on its own unique terms.
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on 2 August 2012
Kiss released this years after they recorded it. By then grunge metal had faded to be replaced by nu metal. But this is as good as any grunge metal cd that existed during grunges short reign near the top. 1991-1994. It has not a song though that is hit song worthy , which is a rarity for a kiss cd. But it's a very hard sludgy cd that sounds like soundgarden sorta. I like it but to me melodic metal is still the best kind and grunge and new metal are just sideshows in comparison. still all three styles are better than the current thrash , screamo scene. at least people sang and played better in those styles.
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 29 December 2008
probably the hardest album in the kiss catalog to review,this is the antithisis of everything kiss should stand for partying/sex and rock roll.you shouldnt like it but it is good,only creatures can come close to the heaviness and as i've mentioned before kulick and singer really hit their groove now,sadly this was released as an after thought as the reunion of 4 unhappy men was making millions,kulick really stands out on this record some stunning sabbath type riffs and cool solos,love childhoods end/hate and i will be there,would have been interesting to see what tracks would have made the live show,in retrospect this is the elder part 2 an overlooked album which offers the listener much,makes you think,demands you listen,sometimes you'll like it, other times you wont,its a challenge not something you say often about a kiss album
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on 24 December 2008
When I first heard it I thought:'Man, now they are trying to be a grunge band', and that I'll never like the album. But as with many of the best albums, you listen to it again anyway. And again and again...until it clicks and you can't imagine anymore that you didn't like it in the first place.
It starts with little things. I walk alone is sung by Bruce. Very catchy, very nice. And then comes the middle part and a verse is sung by Gene and Paul together and that's when it clicks because that is what they are good at and that's what they didn't do for years.
Hell, this review is getting too long...let's come to the point.

The whole album is very heavy but at the same time very relaxed. It has got quite a dark atmosphere. It's not Let's-Have-Fun-Rock and Roll.
I never wanted to listen to a band that recreates what they did before.
Is it not nicer to listen to a band that always tries to go a step further? If I wanted 70s Kiss I listened to 70s Kiss. I'd never needed a reunion. I was disappointed that I would never hear the next step of this great and very creative line-up.
This album was the next step after REVENGE and the reunion was a step back. History shows that this is correct because the creative progress of Kiss, the Band, came to a halt with Psycho Circus.
This album has got the greatest moments when you're high on weed. Put some headphones on and put it as loud as it gets.
The dry sound, the passionate voice of Stanley, the driving drums of Eric and the always amazing guitar work of Bruce will blow you away.
Did I leave Simmons out? Oh well, he did a great job, but not as a songwriter this time. There are some weak moments on this record. Just cut them out, there are 12 long tracks on it. :-)
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on 30 June 2006
Carnival of Souls is strange to say the least. It is like a look at what might have been had the reunion never happened. Recorded at some point in the mid 1990s but not released until 1997, it came out to a changed world. The original four members of KISS reunited in 1996 and the old makeup came back. What was expected to be a moderately successful tour turned into a global explosion, with KISS conquering the world once again. The band were left with drummer Eric Singer and guitarist Bruce Kulick in limbo and an album left unreleased, an album which fit with KISS circa 94-95, but not classic KISS born again. It is KISS' bravest record since (Music from) the Elder in 1981 and as with that album, is good and bad in equal measures.

First off, it contains some great (if very unKISSlike) songs like Master and Slave, Childhood's End, Jungle, I Will be There and I Walk Alone. The music is very grunge like, with no elements of partying, sex and rock 'n' roll. Gene chooses to take his anger out on religion (or rather organised religion judging people) on songs like Seduction of the Innocent while Paul pays homage to his son on I Will be There and Bruce Kulick appears on lead vocals for the first (and it seems last) time with the wonderful I Walk Alone. Overall, the album is so unlike KISS. It is so moody and dark, with lyrics that mean something and heavy on bad attitude. There are weaker moments but the main reason why I don't go crazy for the album is that it is just not what I would usually buy, (apart from the fact that it's KISS), and yet I find myself returning to it more than I would expect.

Ultimately the album was a dismal failure commercially. No singles, no videos, no publicity, no surprise! The album was bootlegged for years before its release and remains the only album in the band's entire history never to performed live. KISS carried on with the original members and left this album for dead. It is KISS forgotten LP. Despite its oddness, it's a good record, and one which must be given a few listens to really see what can be made of it.
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on 31 July 2009
I have no problem with KISS in any of there forms,bad album wise I can't think of a truly terrible one just some that may have been a bit pedestrian,Natural bias out of the way then best discuss the product!!
This album was largely disowned when Simmons and Stanley decided the reunion route was likely to be more lucrative, It was therefore released without fanfare despite coming straight after the generally acclaimed 'Revenge.'
What we have here however is a KISS album that sounds unlike KISS,Grunge like in parts downright doomy in others there is still enough hooks to maintain an anthemic quality to songs like Childhoods end, I will be there and to be honest much else.
Had KISS not gone the retro route and instead decided to revisit past glories I have a feeling this album may have won them some acclaim if not actual decent sales, It's an album that is bound to divide KISS fans but where I struggle with 'the Elders' pomp I have little problem with this and as an experiment I think it was a worthwhile one.
Worth noting at this point too that much was being made of Nirvana's early cover of 'God of Thunder',Courtney Love purloining a KISS T-Shirt years back and Billy Corgan feting them so it's likely this was a calculated decision to create a alternate history of KISS as the godfathers of grunge.
Great album nevertheless and a worthy addition to the KISS canon.
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