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Destroyer: Resurrected

Mercury (2012)
Rating: 9/10 (album) / 3/10 (bonus content)

I love reissues, expanded editions, special editions, remixed classics, and all manner of clever ways companies get you to re-purchase things you already own. Kiss’ mighty Destroyer (1976) is the latest to get the treatment, but what fans assumed would turn into a wild treat of extras, alternate takes and unreleased material turns out to be basically a re-release of the album with slightly altered cover art.

Officially, what producer Bob Ezrin has done is drawn out the original tapes and remixed the entire album. Since I don’t listen to music on super expensive studio equipment, I have to be honest and say that while the album does sound better, I doubt it’s worth buying again based on that premise.

What stands out most is that it sounds less muddled. Each part is clearer sounding sure, but it’s most noticeable in the sound effects as you can hear more what they were going for. It also makes it significantly less creepy (I’m looking at you ‘God Of Thunder’) unfortunately.

It’s not all piss and vinegar for me though. One of the best things about the remix is the realization that Gene Simmons did, in fact, play bass on the album. While it’s not prominent at all, you can hear him wailing on it, particularly in parts of ‘King Of The Night Time World’, ‘Detroit Rock City’, and ‘Flaming Youth’. ‘Beth’ benefits slightly as well by sounding much sharper than the original.

As far as bonus content goes, this is a massive letdown. The bonus content is basically limited to a version of ‘Sweet Pain’ with the original guitar solo. Maybe there is nothing left in the vaults, but it’s hard to believe that this is all they came up with. Hell, I’d have even taken a preview of a couple of Monster (the new studio Kiss album due in October) tracks or some live material from this era.

The focal point seems to be the original cover art seeing the light of day at long last and, I admit, that’s cool (it is strikingly better than the original) but I don’t know that it’s cool enough to warrant buying the album all over again. The reissue also features an essay and rare photos from Bob Ezrin. Fortunately this is a kick ass album as a whole, no matter what version you buy so if you don’t own it then you should go get some version of it as it’s one of the few Kiss albums that is legendary from start to finish.

Basically, if you can’t convince me that this is worth buying again then you have something really unnecessary on your hands. Like I said, I really enjoy albums like this, and I don’t even mind buying things two and three times over the course of my life, but there’s really nothing extra here that you can’t live without.

Mark Fisher

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