REVIEW: KISS – Destroyer (Resurrected) (2012)

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!

3/5 stars

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.

16 comments

  1. Pretty much summed up my thoughts! The drums are a bit distracting at times and there’s an annoying skip at the beginning of Flaming Youth… can’t figure out if it’s intentional or not. I’m guessing not!

    Like

        1. Interesting. And I didn’t even notice, but now I can’t un-hear it. It’s very smooth and very slight. It’s definitely not a skip in the sense of a defective CD, you’d notice that right way.

          Like

    1. Hmmm, I was listening again today and it does seem like they’ve done it on purpose to give the intro a bit more punch. But now you’ve told me about the FLAC I’m confused. Is it faulty or not?! I’m worried the next pressing of the CD will have this “fixed”. What do you think?

      Like

  2. LOL @ Aaron

    HMO, I’m with you. I have a feeling that a future version of this CD will have a “fixed” track. I’d be curious for an official statement from Ezrin. If you recall, when Van Halen put out the Best of Best World compilation, a lot of people complained that one song sounded cut off. Turns out that was actually a decision made in production, to have the song run to the end of the tape rather than just fade out.

    Like

    1. I didn’t know about the Van Halen one, that’s a strange decision! The King Crimson album Starless and Bible Black’s last track The Mincer ends really suddenly which I was convinced was a fault. Turns out they recorded the song at a gig and the tape ran out! Oops.

      I agree, it would be good to have some official statement from Ezrin or even Universal about it.

      Like

      1. I think the Van Halen track was “Finish What Ya Started”. That’s a great story about the King Crimson album too.

        On the first album by Liquid Tension Experiment, the album ended with a 20 or 30 minute jam, but the multitrack tape ran out before the end. So you can hear a point where the sound suddenly degrades in quality when all that was left running was a backup tape!

        Like

Rock a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s