Monster (Kiss album)

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Monster
Studio album by Kiss
Released October 9, 2012
Recorded April 13, 2011 – January 6, 2012 at Conway Recording Studios, Hollywood, California and the Nook, Studio City, Los Angeles
Genre Heavy metal, hard rock
Length 43:39
Label Universal Music Group
Producer Paul Stanley, Greg Collins
Kiss chronology
Sonic Boom
(2009)
Monster
(2012)
Kiss 40
(2014)
Singles from Monster
  1. "Hell or Hallelujah"
    Released: July 3, 2012
  2. "Long Way Down"
    Released: October 23, 2012
  3. "Right Here Right Now"
    Released: June 26, 2013
Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 3/5 stars[1]
Brave Words & Bloody Knuckles (8.5/10)[2]
The Guardian 3/5 stars[3]
Jukebox:Metal 4/5 stars[4]
Los Angeles Times 3/5 stars[5]
Montreal Gazette 3.5/5 stars[6]
Rolling Stone 3/5 stars[7]
Sputnikmusic (2/5)[8]
Ultimate Classic Rock (7/10)[9]
Washington Times 3/5 stars[10]

Monster is the 20th studio album by American hard rock/heavy metal group Kiss, released on October 9, 2012. It was recorded at Conway Recording Studios in Hollywood, California and The Nook in Studio City, Los Angeles. Monster was produced by Paul Stanley and co-produced by Greg Collins, as was 2009's Sonic Boom. It is the second studio release of the current band lineup, with Eric Singer on drums and Tommy Thayer on lead guitar.

Background[edit]

Gene Simmons first mentioned Kiss' intention to record a follow-up to Sonic Boom in 2010.[11] On March 10, 2011, Simmons said in radio interview for Heavy Metal Thunder that the band will enter the studio in three weeks and that they have around 20 to 25 songs ready to record.[12]

In an interview with Elliot Segal on Elliot in the Morning, May 2, 2011, Simmons mentioned that Kiss had recorded around five songs.[13] The album was originally supposed to contain ten songs, but he revealed before the American Music Awards of 2011 that Monster will contain fifteen brand new songs, all studio written by the band. This was then reduced to thirteen songs.[14]

On August 21, 2011, Kiss officially revealed the album's title and confirmed that it was being recorded in Los Angeles, with Paul Stanley producing, for a 2012 release.[15]

The band uploaded a video on January 3, 2012 on YouTube in which Stanley commented that the album was two to three days from completion.[16] The recording process ended three days later. The following day, Stanley stated, "Listening to the tracks back to back is like sensory overload. Everyone who has heard any of it is completely blown away. Powerful, heavy, melodic and epic. It makes us very proud. You all will be too."[17]

The album's first single, "Hell or Hallelujah", was released on July 2, 2012 internationally and July 3 in North America along with the Monster Book. It received play on rock radio and climbed the onto the middle reaches of the Billboard Mainstream Rock Chart. The second single, "Long Way Down", was released to radio stations on October 23.[18] While it failed to make the Billboard Mainstream Rock Chart, it did reach the Billboard Heritage Rock Charts by the end of the year, and also occupied a spot on the America's Music Rock Chart for several months. The third single, "Right Here Right Now" was premiered with a lyric video on June 26, 2013.

After several release delays, Monster was released in the U.S. on October 9, 2012.

Composition[edit]

According to an interview with Tommy Thayer, the band had the intention of creating an album with a slightly heavier sound than Sonic Boom, as well as recreating the vibe that existed on the band's earlier material.[19] Similarly, Simmons has likened the album to a combination of three of the band's previous albums, Destroyer, Revenge and Sonic Boom.[20]

While doing interviews for his appearance in ABC's Castle, Simmons commented on the album's sound: "Meat and potatoes. You know it's going to be like Santa Claus. Up and down, everybody gets used to this and that, and things change, and fashion changes, but it's good to know that Santa comes, and he’s not going to change his outfit and you know what you’re going to get: gifts. Consistency of message."[21]

The band also decided to use old analog equipment instead of more popular digital recording gear. In justifying Kiss' choice, Simmons commented: "Technology is a seductive bitch, she will seduce you. You press this button, you don't have to do anything. But analog is the love of your life. You can push real hard and it always gives back. For the new album, the actual recording process was 24-track tape and an old Trident board. And as many tubes as possible. You need tubes, electricity and thick wood to make that thick sound."[22]

On March 22, 2012, Stanley said in an interview with VH1 Radio Network's Dave Basner, "Monster is really the culmination of everything this band has been in the past and where we're going. When we did Sonic Boom, it was a big task for us because we were saying, 'How do we define who we are today without losing who we've been?' So, that was a tall order for us, but once we got that under our belts, we wanted to go back in and Monster is far, far beyond anything we've done in terms of Sonic Boom and yet it's right up there with some of the best stuff we've done. It's KISS." [23]

Monster debuted at #3 on the Billboard 200 and cracked the Top 10 charts in Canada, Czech Republic, Norway, Sweden, Australia, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Italy, Finland, Japan, and Danish charts and cracked the Top 20 in the UK, Spain, Italy, Hungary and the Dutch charts.

The album sold 56,000 copies in its first week of release in the United States[24] and 116,000 copies outside of the domestic US in its first week.[citation needed] The album finished 2012 with 132,000 units sold.[citation needed]The album has sold over 200,000 copies as of 2014, the surge in sales is attributed to the band being inducted into The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, according to Soundscan.

Formats[edit]

  • Digital (bonus track)
  • Vinyl LP
  • Vinyl Picture Disc
  • Standard Jewel Case CD
  • Best Buy Exclusive Jewel Case CD (Online Club Membership and 3D Cover Sticker)
  • Limited Deluxe Edition ("CD + Exclusive 64-Page Magazine"; 'ZinePack)
  • Japan Edition (3D Jewel Case; Bonus Track)
  • Tour Edition (iTunes Bonus Track, poster)
  • Japan Tour Edition CD (SHM-CD + Bonus Greatest Hits CD)

Track listing[edit]

No. Title Writer(s) Lead vocals Length
1. "Hell or Hallelujah"   Paul Stanley Stanley 4:07
2. "Wall of Sound"   Stanley, Gene Simmons, Tommy Thayer Simmons 2:55
3. "Freak"   Stanley, Thayer Stanley 3:35
4. "Back to the Stone Age"   Simmons, Stanley, Thayer, Eric Singer Simmons 3:01
5. "Shout Mercy"   Stanley, Thayer Stanley 4:04
6. "Long Way Down"   Stanley, Thayer Stanley 3:51
7. "Eat Your Heart Out"   Simmons Simmons 4:06
8. "The Devil Is Me"   Simmons, Stanley, Thayer Simmons 3:40
9. "Outta This World"   Thayer Thayer 4:29
10. "All for the Love of Rock & Roll"   Stanley Singer 3:21
11. "Take Me Down Below"   Simmons, Stanley, Thayer Simmons, Stanley 3:24
12. "Last Chance"   Stanley, Simmons, Thayer Stanley 3:05
Total length:
43:39

Chart performance[edit]

Personnel[edit]

Kiss
Additional musicians
  • Brian Whelan – piano on "Freak"

References[edit]

  1. ^ Thomas, Fred. Monster (Kiss album) at AllMusic. Retrieved 2012-10-06.
  2. ^ bravewords.com. "> News > KISS - Monster Reviewed". Bravewords.com. Retrieved 2012-10-23. 
  3. ^ Thomson, Jamie (October 18, 2012). "Kiss: Monster - review". Guardian.co.uk (London: Guardian Media Group). Retrieved October 29, 2012. 
  4. ^ Andy Lye. "Jukebox:Metal Review". 
  5. ^ Roberts, Randall (October 8, 2012). "Review: KISS unleashes ferociously fun 'Monster'". Los Angeles Times. 
  6. ^ Posted by: markjlepage (2012-10-08). "New Album Review: Kiss, Monster (Universal) | Montreal Gazette". Blogs.montrealgazette.com. Retrieved 2012-10-23. 
  7. ^ Dolan, John (2012-10-19). "Monster: Album Reviews". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 2012-11-14. 
  8. ^ Viney, Joseph (October 24, 2012). "Album Review - KISS: Monster". Sputnikmusic. Retrieved 22 January 2013. 
  9. ^ "Kiss, ‘Monster’ – Album Review". Ultimateclassicrock.com. 2012-09-06. Retrieved 2012-10-23. 
  10. ^ Leahy, Andrew (2012-10-08). "MUSIC REVIEWS: Ellie Goulding's 'Halcyon,' Kiss' 'Monster,' The Script's '#3'". Washington Times. Retrieved 2012-10-23. 
  11. ^ KISS TO MAKE SONIC BOOM FOLLOW-UP on YouTube. Retrieved March 10, 2012.
  12. ^ Gene Simmons on original KISS reunion: 'There Will Be One More Time When We Play Together'. Blabbermouth. Retrieved November 5, 2011.
  13. ^ Elliot In The Morning: Gene Simmons on YouTube. Retrieved November 5, 2011.
  14. ^ Gene Simmons Red Carpet Interview AMA 2011 on YouTube. Retrieved November 24, 2011.
  15. ^ KISS' new album is a "Monster!". Kissonline.com. Retrieved November 5, 2011.
  16. ^ "KISS' New Album Is 'About Two Days' Away From Being Completed". Blabbermouth.net. January 4, 2012. Archived from the original on January 4, 2012. Retrieved January 4, 2012. 
  17. ^ New album update from Paul Stanley. Kissonline.com. Retrieved January 8, 2012.
  18. ^ Billy Dukes. "KISS, "Long Way Down" - Song Review". Ultimateclassicrock.com. Retrieved October 6, 2012. 
  19. ^ Tommy Thayer's Express-Times Interview. Tommythayer.com. Retrieved November 5, 2011.
  20. ^ Classic Rock Magazine. "It's Sonic Boom on steroids". Page 17. Retrieved November 5, 2011.
  21. ^ KISS' New Album Will Be 'Meat and Potatoes'. UGO. Retrieved November 24, 2011.
  22. ^ Kiss Going Retro for 'Monster' Recording Sessions. Ultimate Classic Rock. Retrieved November 5, 2011.
  23. ^ KISS' Paul Stanley, MÖTLEY CRÜE's Nikki Sixx Talk The Tour; New Music. bravewords.com. Retrieved March 22, 2012.
  24. ^ "KISS: 'Monster' Cracks U.S. Top 3". Blabbermouth. 2012-10-17. Retrieved 20 June 2014. 
  25. ^ "Kiss - Monster - Australian Charts". Australian Recording Industry Association. Retrieved 2012-10-15. 
  26. ^ "Kiss - Monster - Austrian Charts" (in German). Ö3 Austria Top 40. 
  27. ^ "Kiss - Monster - Belgian Charts (Flanders)" (in Dutch). Ultratop. Retrieved 2012-10-15. 
  28. ^ "Kiss - Monster - Belgian Charts (Wallonia)" (in French). Ultratop. Retrieved 2012-10-15. 
  29. ^ "Canadian Albums - Week of October 27, 2012". Billboard. October 20, 2012. Retrieved October 21, 2012. 
  30. ^ a b c http://swisscharts.com/showitem.asp?interpret=KISS&titel=Monster&cat=a
  31. ^ "Kiss - Monster - Finnish Charts". The Official Finnish Charts. Retrieved 2012-10-15. 
  32. ^ "Kiss - Monster - Charts.de" (in German). Media Control Charts. Retrieved October 17, 2012. 
  33. ^ http://zene.slagerlistak.hu/archivum/kereso-eloado-cim-szerint
  34. ^ http://irish-charts.com/showinterpret.asp?interpret=KISS
  35. ^ "Classifica settimanale dal 08/10/2012 al 14/10/2012" (in Italian). Federazione Industria Musicale Italiana. October 15, 2012. Retrieved October 19, 2012. 
  36. ^ http://www.oricon.co.jp/prof/artist/57696/ranking/cd_album/
  37. ^ "Top 100 Mexico" (in Spanish). Asociación Mexicana de Productores de Fonogramas y Videogramas. October 15, 2012. Retrieved November 13, 2012. 
  38. ^ "Kiss - Monster - Norwegian Charts". VG-lista. Retrieved 2012-10-15. 
  39. ^ "Top 100 Albumes, Semana 41: del 08.10.2012 al 14.10.2012" (in Spanish). Promusicae. Retrieved 2012-10-17. 
  40. ^ "Kiss - Monster - Swedish Charts". Sverigetopplistan. Retrieved 2012-10-15. 
  41. ^ "Kiss - Monster - hitparade.ch" (in German). Swiss Music Charts. Retrieved October 17, 2012. 
  42. ^ "Top 40 Official UK Albums Archive 20 October 2012". Official Charts Company. October 14, 2012. Retrieved 2012-10-15. 
  43. ^ Caulfield, Keith (October 17, 2012). "Macklemore & Ryan Lewis Score Top Billboard 200 Debut, Mumford Still No. 1". Billboard. Retrieved October 18, 2012. 
  44. ^ "Hard Rock Albums - Week of October 27, 2012". Billboard. October 20, 2012. Retrieved October 21, 2012. 
  45. ^ "Rock Albums - Week of October 27, 2012". Billboard. October 20, 2012. Retrieved October 21, 2012. 
  46. ^ "Monster - Kiss". Billboard. Retrieved October 21, 2012. 
  47. ^ "Tastemaker Albums - Week of October 27, 2012". Billboard. October 20, 2012. Retrieved October 21, 2012. 
  48. ^ "America's Music Chart's: Rock - August 1. 2012". Americasmusiccharts.com. 2012-08-01. Retrieved 2012-08-01. 
  49. ^ "Canadian Active Rock & Alt Rock Chart Archive: Active Rock - July 24, 2012". Canadianrockalt.blogspot.ca. 2012-07-24. Retrieved 2012-08-01. 
  50. ^ "Kissfaq single chart Hell or Hallelujah". Kissfaq.com. Retrieved 2012-10-23. 
  51. ^ "America's Music Chart's: Rock - November 7. 2012". Americasmusiccharts.com. 2012-11-07. Retrieved 2012-11-07. 

External links[edit]