Thought I was done with Kiss reviews? Hah! It never ends! They keep putting this stuff out, and I keep buying it! Ain’t it the way?
KISS – Destroyer (Resurrected) (2012, originally released 1976)
Here it is, the much ballyhooed Bob Ezrin remix of Destroyer. Ezrin went back to the original master tapes and remixed the album himself, toughening it up while not tampering with the arrangements.
It is necessary? Nah. I don’t think so. I had high hopes for this remix, that it would shed some serious new light on these classic tunes. But, it really doesn’t. “Flaming Youth” sounds more or less the same. You can hear some more acoustic guitar on “Beth”. Other songs might have some echo where there wasn’t before. Perhaps in some cases, the layers of guitars are more individually audible. The drums are definitely heavier, which is and isn’t a good thing. I’m always a fan of big, big drums, but somehow they’re drawing too much attention to themselves in this version, especially on “Do You Love Me”. On the other hand, Peter Criss fans will be in nirvana to hear him bashing his kit like never before in “Sweet Pain”.
Bob Ezrin contributes liner notes to this package. He explains choices he made back then, and choices he made today on the album. He says that many of the effects such as echo and reverb were on the master tapes and could not be changed. The goal in this remix, he says, was making the album more “immediate and modern”. I agree that it is more modern sounding. I like that Ezrin included some alternate takes and forgotten moments here and there. I just find the whole thing to be a bit of a novelty, and a bit stingy.
Besides the entire album remixed, you also get another version of “Sweet Pain”: One with the original guitar solo, and one with a very different take. Seeing as Destroyer wasn’t a long album to begin with, I’m disappointed that the empty disc space isn’t taken up by something like demos. Ahh well.
We all know Gene. More is coming. You’ll buy it. Wait and see!
NOTE: The mighty Heavy Metal Overload notified me of a flaw in “Flaming Youth”: about half a beat is missing near the beginning, about 4-5 seconds in. Once you hear it, you can’t un-hear it.