In what proved to be a very, very heavy metal sounding album for KISS, Carnival of Souls
was an "unmasked" recording done in the late - '90s by mastermind Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley - and without distanced regulars Ace Frehley and Peter Criss. Supporting the two original members were guitarist Bruce Kulick and drummer Eric Singer. However, for what may have appeared to be "the end," a concert schedule that was in the making saw both the feuding Frehley and Criss reunite several months later for one of the most memorable touring events of that year.
This album didn't show the band's age; it showed their wisdom. KISS has always been creative and often experimental and this made for a compelling release. The sound worked as it fused the sounds of other metal influences with what Seattle had introduced and yielded strongly defined playing and vocals by the quartet, with Paul Stanley taking most of those lead vocal parts. The members of the KISS Army are fanatical, and we are pleased to offer this heavy gem to you at a lip-smacking price - proving that KISS didn't need their makeup to deliver the goods for their musical carnival this time around!
Kiss: Paul Stanley, Bruce Kulick (vocals, guitar); Gene Simmons (vocals, bass); Eric Singer (drums).
Producers: Toby Wright, Gene Simmons, Paul Stanley.
Recorded at Music Grinder Studios, Hollywood, California.
Kiss: Eric Singer, Gene Simmons, Paul Stanley, Bruce Kulick.
Personnel: Paul Stanley, Bruce Kulick (vocals, guitar); Gene Simmons (vocals); Eric Singer (drums).
Audio Mixer: Toby Wright.
Recording information: Music Grinder Studios, Hollywood, CA (11/1995-02/1996).
Photographer: William Hames.
Unknown Contributor Roles: Paul Stanley; Gene Simmons.
CARNIVAL OF SOULS is the last studio recording with Bruce Kulick and Eric Singer before the return of original members Ace Frehley and Peter Criss.
Despite a 1996 press conference on the U.S.S. Intrepid that announced Bruce Kulick and Eric Singer were on a "paid temporary vacation," the two were dismissed months later after a reunion tour of the original make-up clad members proved wildly successful. As the sub-heading states, CARNIVAL OF SOULS is the last recorded efforts of Kulick and Singer with Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley. Drawing on music trends started as far back as the lean times of the '80s, CARNIVAL finds Kiss putting together a sound that draws from the dirge of Alice In Chains and the crunch of old-school Metallica.
Much more somber than prior Kiss albums, nihilism runs rampant on songs such as "Hate" and "I Walk Alone." The mid-paced tempos of "Childhood's End" and "I Will Be There" inject some variety into a mix that includes Middle Eastern guitar phrasing in "Seduction Of The Innocent." In addition to Kulick flexing his instrumental muscles, two songs he co-wrote, "In The Mirror" and "I Walk Alone," feature lead vocals by him for the first and what turned out to be the last time on a Kiss album.