Destroyer: Resurrected

Reviews were mixed when Destroyer was originally released in 1976. Fans, mostly teenage males, thought it was too wimpy. Critics … well, critics didn’t like anything about KISS. Thirty-five years later, Destroyer has aged remarkably well. It’s arguably KISS’s best, and a great rock record in its own right. A lot of the credit should go to producer Bob Ezrin, who had previously worked with Alice Cooper and Lou Reed, and who added a little sophistication to KISS’s testosterone-fueled anthems of sex, drugs and rock ’n’ roll. It was Ezrin who decided to give Destroyer a facelift in 2012. The first thing you’ll notice on Destroyer: Resurrected is the cover, which features the original Ken Kelly painting rejected by the label because the flaming city behind the band seemed too violent in 1976. Your ears will notice that the drums and bass are pushed up in the mix, especially on Gene Simmons’ demonic coming-out party “God of Thunder” and the R&B-flavored anthem “Shout It Out Loud.” You’ll also get a tasty OG Ace Frehley solo on “Sweet Pain” that was originally ditched in favor of one by Alice Cooper guitarist Dick Wagner. Some bonus tracks would’ve been nice, but in the end Resurrected delivers on the title’s promise.