Carnival of Souls: The Final Sessions – Kiss Album #17

No. Title Writer(s) Lead vocals Length
1. Hate Gene Simmons, Scott Van Zen, Bruce Kulick Simmons 4:36
2. Rain Paul Stanley, Kulick, Curtis Cuomo Stanley 4:46
3. Master & Slave Stanley, Kulick, Cuomo Stanley 4:57
4. Childhood’s End Simmons, Tommy Thayer, Kulick Simmons 4:20
5. I Will Be There Stanley, Kulick, Cuomo Stanley 3:49
6. Jungle Stanley, Kulick, Cuomo Stanley 6:49
7. In My Head Simmons, Van Zen, Jaime St. James Simmons 4:00
8. It Never Goes Away Stanley, Kulick, Cuomo Stanley 5:42
9. Seduction of the Innocent Simmons, Van Zen Simmons 5:16
10. I Confess Simmons, Ken Tamplin Simmons 5:23
11. In the Mirror Stanley, Kulick, Cuomo Stanley 4:26
12. I Walk Alone Simmons, Kulick Kulick 6:07

Carnival of Souls is the 17th studio album of the US hard-rock band Kiss. It was already produced in 1995, the label brought the CD but only in 1997 on the market. The release Jungle reached the US Top Ten. The album, however, is one of the two of a total of 20 studio albums, which reached neither the platinum nor the gold status.

The 1992 album Revenge ended the long phase of the 1980s. The LP did not sound like their immediate predecessor albums, it was again much tougher and recalls the change of direction from 1982 with Creatures of the Night, with the Revenge is often compared. So almost all pieces are classic Hard Rock with a well-dosed level of jagged heaviness and a rich sound, in which hard guitar riffs dominate.

On the album Carnival of Souls Kiss experimented with grunge and a gritty hard rock / heavy metal melange. The album sounds more modern and songwriting constructive and follows a contemporary style concept in the semi-hard mid-tempo area. Both the vocals and the instrumental music are overall comparatively slow, long-winded, deep-toned and sometimes melancholy.

The album was produced between November 1995 and February 1996, but came in 1997 on the market. The background was the reunification of the group. The original lineup fell apart in the early 1980s: Peter Criss left the group in 1980, Ace Frehley in 1982. The remaining original members and driving forces of the band, Paul Stanley and Gene Simmons, hired new musicians and produced from 1983 their LPs without her classic make-up and the performances were made only unvarnished. In 1995, Kiss invited the former members to an MTV unplugged show, in which the then current cast together with the departed founding members Criss and Frehley played. This led to the idea of ​​performing again together as a make-up original line-up and playing mainly old material from the 1970s. At this time of the reunion, the record company appeared out-of-time publishing the album Carnival of Souls. Because the band was not heard on the album in the then current original cast and the concerts gave the band in the painted original cast. The reactions of the followers and the buyers were correspondingly restrained, even though the production was considered to be of high technical quality.

The music itself is a gritty hard rock / heavy metal mix with elements of grunge music. Both the vocals and the instrumental music are comparatively slow, long-winded, deep-toned and sometimes cumbersome. The lyrics are largely nihilistic and characterized by negative mood, significant content include the dark side of the human psyche.

On this album, in addition to the front men Stanley and Simmons even a third lead singer presented: a song sings the guitarist Bruce Kulick; since the departure of founding members Peter Criss and Ace Frehley, a third voice on the albums had become extremely rare. Eric Carr alone had the lead vocals on the album Hot in the Shade in 1989. Overall, the previously rather inconspicuous Bruce Kulick was significantly involved in the recordings of this album, as he participated in a considerable extent in the songwriting and recorded almost all guitar parts.

Singer and rhythm guitarist Paul Stanley says about the creation and outcome of the album: “To be honest, I was opposed to recording such an album, but there are also times in a band where one tacitly adds or gives in, because another one is from the Band wants to do it. […] For me, this was nothing more than an attempt to create something, which was a pure misstep in my eyes. ”

Producer Toby Wright says about the creation: “Kiss did not want to make a happy album. At the time, grimy grunge was the latest trend. […] They wanted to sound darker, harder and more aggressive. […] Looking back, I have to say that the album is stylistically a bit confused. The sound is excellent, but the music can be argued. Some like it, some do not. I wish I had spent more time working on some songs because we did not spend too much time on it. “[7] In a review of the album in 2012, he relativized that statement and said it was Carnival of Souls “One of Kiss’s best works”: “I really loved this album, and I think it’s one of her best works because it shows an interesting side of her songwriting”