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Monster

4.0 out of 5 stars 424 customer reviews

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Audio CD, October 9, 2012
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Editorial Reviews

Rock legends KISS return with Monster, the 20th studio album in their historic career. The 12-track, straight-ahead rock n roll album features collaborations among all four members including co-founders Paul Stanley and Gene Simmons and longtime members guitarist Tommy Thayer and drummer Eric Singer in an album that shows the band at the top of its game. And that s saying something, considering their illustrious, 40-plus year history 28 U.S. gold albums, the most gold records for any American rock band, 40 million sales in the U.S., and a total exceeding 100 million worldwide.

Monster is the group s first studio album since the band s 2009 smash success, Sonic Boom, and was also produced by Paul Stanley with Greg Collins at Conway Studios in Hollywood, CA, and The Nook in Studio City, CA.

Monster represents KISS nod to the music that first inspired them to pick up their guitars and flame-throwers and don makeup to entertain millions. There are no symphony orchestras, boy choirs, keyboards, outside producers or songwriters on this album, promises Gene Simmons. The best thing we did was to turn inwards to ourselves. Tommy and Eric have revitalized this band, with a work ethic and the talent to back it up. This is a real band effort. KISS has become a behemoth. We re going where no bands have gone before.
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (October 9, 2012)
  • Original Release Date: October 16, 2012
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: UMe
  • ASIN: B008G8SFGO
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (424 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #6,850 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Scott R. Harding on October 9, 2012
Format: Audio CD
I wasn't blown away by the summer single "Hell or Hallelujah," but as a long-term member in good standing in the Kiss Army, I was still understandably excited about this 20th studio album. After two thorough listens, I *still* come up short on how to describe it! I definitely think it's the logical successor to "Sonic Boom," while at the same time I'm unable to compare it to ANY of their previous releases. When "SB" came out, it very clearly sounded like an attempt to recapture the glorious riffs of "Rock and Roll Over." With "Monster," I feel almost like I did when "Revenge" came out 20 years ago: it both sounded exactly like what ought to have followed "Hot in the Shade," and yet sounded *nothing* like its predecessor.

Paul Stanley has often said (although not in so few words) that he despises comparisons between albums: "Oh, that sounds like "Creatures" mixed with "Love Gun," or whatever. In the case of "Monster," I can see why. I could go out on a limb and say that "Monster" is what you'd get if you threw "Animalize" in a blender with "Carnival of Souls," then whipped in liberal amounts of Led Zeppelin, Rolling Stones, and other blues-based early '70s rock. But even that kind of comparison falls weakly on my ears. I just...don't hear anything like this in the Kiss canon.

I DO think the songwriting took a big leap over "SB," and the intricate guitar work is thunderous. This is *definitely* a guitar-driven album! The singing is good, and although Paul sounds a little raspier in 2012, there's none of the hoarseness and vocal pops that have so dominated the Kiss live show over the last two tours. Tommy's guitar playing, while definitely out of the Blue Cheer/Ace Frehley school of melodic lead, sounds WAY less Ace-ish than it did on "SB.
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Format: Audio CD
I've been a huge KISS fan for quite a few years now, so it should come as no surprise to anyone that I've been eagerly waiting for the release of Monster. After the release of "Sonic Boom" (which I waited over a decade for) and the highly successful world tour in support of it, KISS announced that they would be releasing their next album some time in late 2011 (November if memory serves me correctly). When I heard this news, I became ecstatic.

KISS would leak tidbits of information about the writing and recording process (which baited fans even more) but as November drew near, the band became somewhat quiet. Soon enough, they announced that there new album wouldn't hit shelves until February of 2012. "Okay," I thought, "it's just a few more months." As February drew closer, however, KISS announced the date would be "sometime in the spring." I became discouraged and even a tad angry. I wanted something new from the band.

Finally, KISS announced the release date of October 9 here in the good ol' U.S. of A. They released the first single, "Hell Or Hallelujah" in July and the media onslaught began. Just a few months before the release of the single, KISS released info on their Monster book and also leaked out pictures for what would eventually be known as the album's photoshoot. They also toured with Motley Crue (which I took in at The Woodlands, TX).

Finally, October 9 arrived and I picked up my copy of the album. I can honestly say that it is the first album from KISS that immediately grabbed me. Despite being a loyal soldier in the KISS Army, it has always taken me at least a few months (or in the case of "Music From The Elder," years) to warm up to each KISS album.
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Format: Audio CD
First of all this cd need at leat 4 listens before it grows on you. I was i little disappointed with Sonic Boom but this cd is definetely much better. Songs like first single Hell Or Hallelujah, Wall of Sound, Back to the Stone Age, Shout Mercy are fists in you face, heavy rock with thunderous drumming and ferocious guitars. Awesome performance by Tommy Thayer as lead guitarist and i have to say Gene Simmons really deliver 4 classic tracks. This is the best Kiss album since Revenge.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Whether it's their best, worst or in-between I could care less...I enjoy it! It's great to hear the current line up putting out some new songs. At this point people either love KISS or hate them...or maybe they like this era or that album...so it's pointless to argue over who is right and who is wrong. The bottom line is that KISS has produced a full-throttle and unapologetic album, and I hate to use a cliche but, that's all killer and no filler. Tommy Thayer really steps up with simple, direct yet catchy solos that embody the classic KISS/ACE sound while still being all his own. Both he and Eric Singer are assests to the band. The band sounds great, the only complaints I can voice are that the overall sound quality, while clean, is too LOUD. (And no, I'm not too old...don't think so anyway...) Everything sounds overmodulated, which seems to be the norm these days. The cover art is a cool photo, especially the 3D version at Best Buy (which also gets you some free swag from kissonline,) but it's a major step down from Sonic Boom's excellent, retro-cool artwork. I think Sonic Boom is the superior album between the two, but this one is getting plenty of airtime in and around my home!
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