Carnival Of Souls (1/97)

I managed to get hold of this album last September, while talk of it was still very fresh, and had to trade a 1988 7" Gene interview picture disc for it - WORTH IT? HELL, YES! Infact, in the last six months the album has rarely been out of my tape deck for more than a day or so. Most of you will have already heard it, so you'll have your own opinions on it. Here's my review of the untitled studio album which most refer to as Head or Carnival Of Souls:

(1) Hate [Is What I Am] - as with Revenge, Gene opens the album up and blows your head off. Well, I nearly blew my speakers out listening to this one! It features a bit of a distorted introduction, which leads into the heavy riffs. A very powerful and black song. Lyrically, it's nothing special. Which, noticably, is a thread that runs through the whole album. I rate it 6/10. (2) Rain [Down On Me] - Paul's opener seems more like a rewrite of "Tears Are Falling", though it simply is in a similar style to TAF. It's OK, but it's nothing special. I rate it 5/10. (3) Tell Me - Probably one of the best songs on a KISS album in the last 12 years. Totally awesome. Cyclic riffs, power chords, power vocals, and great lyrics. Great guitar from Bruce, and nice to see Gene singing some more on a Paul tune! I rate this one 10/10, one of the stars on the album. (4) Childhood's End - Gene slips back to his 1978 Solo album style on this one, and the combination of his lyrics, vocals, and music really work well. Another star! 10/10. (5) I Will Be There - Paul can do some rather touching songs at times, this is one of them! Some of his popish ballards over the last 12 years have made me want to puke! But like on Revenge, this is an excellent effort! I rate it 8/10. (6) The Jungle - seems pretty meaningless to me. I just don't like it, but it isn't that bad and I never skip over it! 5/10. (7) Seduction Of The Innocent - Another Gene classic. Totally brilliant in style and execution. 10/10. (8) It Never Goes Away - Another weak song. Vocally Paul is fine, but I think this one needed a bit more work done to make it work. 5/10. (9) In My Head - Gene slips into "Unholy" mode, again! Cool. 7/10. (10) You Confess - Gene Yet Another Gene classic. Awesome! 10/10. (11) In The Mirror - I wonder how much Paul's therapist had to do with this one? I like it. All about fear of the unknown. 7/10. (12) I Walk Alone - OK, it's nice to hear Bruce sing, and about time too! But I don't really care for the music, lyrics, or Bruce's voice. 4/10, (but 10/10 for the effort!). (13) Outromental - I've only heard the download version, but it seems really cool! About time they did another one! 8/10.

OK, overall, I like this album. It's rather different to anything I'd ever thought would be done by KISS. So that's good - it was a total suprise. I felt that a couple of the songs needed some work, but I'd rate it along side Hotter Than Hell and Creatures Of The Night for power and originality! IMHO!