Monday, 9 January 2012

CD Review: Destroyer, by Kiss (1976)

A live band looking for album anthems that can translate to stage success, Destroyer is an unfortunate milepost on metal's road, Kiss pointing the way towards asinine hair metal with limited control over instruments, doltish lyrics that would make a seven year old proud, and impoverished vocal talent.

And with producer Bob Ezrin dumping all sorts of irrelevant sound effects throughout the album, the whole exercise becomes so much more tiresome.

The one memorable track from Destroyer is opener Detroit Rock City, although 90 seconds of arduous babble precedes the serious music. Once it gets going, Detroit Rock City carries the promise of a band that can get down and rock out with some dangerous guitar riffs, a soul satisfying solo, confident Paul Stanley vocals, and energetic drums. This turns out to be the end of the memorable music on the album, as the rest of the material is trampled in a mud field of mediocrity.

God Of Thunder finds one tune to play with and muffs it, the Gene Simmons vocals awful beyond words. Simmons also knocks Great Expectations off-key in a performance that sounds almost intentionally incompetent.

Elsewhere, things are at best routine. However, the reputation of the 1970s was not helped when primarily filler ballad Beth, with Peter Criss on vocals, became an unexpected hit.

Destroyer demonstrates how thin the crust of metal talent was in 1976, and how the detour into the dead end of image-only glam started with a band that rocked on stage with enough pyrotechnics to hide an alarming lack of talent.


Paul Stanley - Guitar, Vocals
Peter Criss - Drums, Vocals
Ace Frehley - Guitar, Vocals
Gene Simmons - Bass, Vocals

Songlist (ratings out of 10):

1. Detroit Rock City - 9
2. King Of The Night Time World - 7
3. God Of Thunder - 5
4. Great Expectations - 5
5. Flaming Youth - 6
6. Sweet Pain - 6
7. Shout It Out Loud - 7
8. Beth - 7
9. Do You Love Me? - 7

Average: 6.56

Produced by Bob Ezrin.
Engineered by Jay Messina and Corky Stasiak.

All Ace Black Blog Heavy Metal CD Reviews are here.

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