Kiss – Suicide & Salvation (Eat A Peach EAT 56/57)

kiss-suicide-salvation1-293x300Suicide & Salvation (Eat A Peach EAT 56/57)

Sheffield Arena, Sheffield, England – May 18, 1992

Disc 1 (78:41) Intro, I Stole Your Love, Deuce, Heaven’s On Fire, Parasite, Shout It Out Loud, Strutter, Calling Dr. Love, I Was Made For Loving You, Unholy, 100,000 Years, Take It Off, God Of Thunder, Lick It Up, Firehouse, Tears Are Falling, I Love It Loud, Love Gun

Disc 2 (76:43) Detroit Rock City, I Want You, God Gave Rock And Roll To You II, Rock And Roll All Nite. Bonus Tracks – Revenge Demos; Every Time I Look At You (Scat vocals), Heart Of Chrome (Instrumental), Heart Of Chrome (Scat vocals), I Just Wanna (Instrumental), Take It Off (Instrumental), Take It Off (Scat vocals), Tough Love (Instrumental), Tough Love (Scat vocals), Thou Shalt Not (Instrumental), Thou Shalt Not (Demo), Unholy (Demo), Paralyzed (Extended Bridge)

For being a new label, Eat A Peach has shown an early affinity for the KISS kollecting kommunity, for their fifth KISS release we get an unreleased complete concert culled from the band’s 1992 tour to support their latest record, Revenge. The group had learned much throughout the 80’s, they redefined themselves as a band in the decade without make up, yet seemed to struggle in the live arena largely due to their commitment to the newer music. Towards the end of the decade, during the Hot In The Shade tour, the band would start by playing longer sets and much to the delight of their fans, feature more of their 70’s output live, and to no surprise they found their attendances go up. For the hard core fans the band would really return to form with 1992’s Revenge release, while the music was more or less the same, the band shed the glam look that was popular in the 80’s and adopted the all black leather look. The member who was able to best utilize this look was Gene Simmons, with his jet black hair and facial hair he looked at home….The Demon was back! While the Revenge record and tour failed to equal the record and ticket sales of Hot In The Shade, it was an obvious step forward.

The concert featured here comes from the band’s third date on their UK tour, the concert was recorded both on audio and video, both are better than average. The audience recording is excellent, just slightly distant but perfectly balanced with no audience interference by the taper, this recording sounds best when played loud and is a joy to listen to. There has been just one release featuring this material in an incomplete form, The Punishers (NC 01) features songs from this show and from Glasgow two days prior. The set list features a great balance between the 70’s and 80’s output plus a few new songs to boot. I Stole Your Love is a great opener and the band is playing with guts. Eric Singer is a standout, he brought in a harder edge to the band similar to Eric Carr but perhaps a bit harder hitting. Deuce follows hot on its heels, Bruce Kulick plays a great solo, while he is not Ace he leaves his own stamp on the song making for a very strong opening salvo of songs. Heaven’s On Fire keeps the momentum going for the band to go deep for a block of 70’s klassics starting with a very tight (almost too tight) version of Parasite. Paul gives a bit of the tour background prior to introducing Strutter, glad to hear this song back in the set and the band play a very strong version that leads directly into Calling Dr. Love. Bruce plays a great solo on the latter, far from emulating the Space Man his playing sounds confident and assured.

Paul gives an introduction about people wanting the next song back in the set and we are treated to a heavy version of I Was Made For Loving You, his vocals are passionate and the band dove into a rhythmic groove that makes this song really work. The first new song is Unholy, the intro is mega heavy and sounds like the Thunder God stirring deep in the depths, it reeks of evil in the best possible way, musically, vocals, and Bruce’s wild solo makes for an incredible version. Gene gets the lead into 100,000 Years, damn I love this song, the drums are very important to it and Eric does an excellent job and while there is no one who could play this song like Peter, Singer definitely puts his stamp on it. Heck we even get and old school call and response from Paul. There is a source change at the songs end at 5:27 to :41 of Take It Off that sounds like a video source was used to fill the tape flip gap, the edit is seamless and the sound is not much different, perhaps a bit flat sounding. Paul’s intro to the song is what we would expect. A no solo version of God Of Thunder follows, I prefer these versions and it should have followed 100,000 Years as that would have been perfect to have the three heaviest songs in a row.

The stripped down nature of the music really gives the spotlight to the music, the hits just keep coming with a very strong rendition of Tears Are Falling and I Love It Loud. Even Love Gun has a to-the-point intro and not your typical Paul going to the doctor and through airport security. Cowbell reigns supreme for an excellent version of Cold Gin and Detroit Rock City ends the show proper with a bit of pyro thrown in for good measure.

A quick tape pause leads us to the encores, Paul introduces Eric Singer to the audience and  he gets a nice ovation that is quickly silenced by Paul’s introduction to I Want You, Paul invites the audience to sing along so he starts with “In the morning I raise my head”…they do the rest. The Paul and Eric portion of the song does get a bit tedious and the audience seems a bit tired, we do get a nice mini solo from Singer. The band do a bit snippet of The Who’s Pinball Wizard that leads into God Gave Rock And Roll To You II and the obligatory Rock And Roll All Nite ends a most enjoyable concert proper.

The remainder of the disc is made up of the Revenge demos, that have never, to my knowledge, been released on a silver format, yet do circulate in fan circles, the sound quality is excellent. Everytime I Look At You acoustic version is quite nice, Paul’s lyrics are not fully done but the chorus and melodies are in place. The two versions of Heart Of Chrome sound similar, the scat vocals find Paul adding the melodies. The instrumental version of Take It Off features Eric Singer counting the band, the second version sounds a bit more full and has some rough lead guitar work also. The two demos, Thou Shalt Not and Unholy are of slightly lesser quality but are the most enjoyable of them, the latter features a riff laden intro and is a well put together demo for Gene. As with most demos of this nature they do not bode well to a lot of listening’s, they are like a house without walls so to speak yet to have them in set is extremely nice and make for a comprehensive take on the Revenge era.

The packaging is the mini LP style adorned with pictures from the Revenge era, the black and white photos tie it in with the dark look of the record perfectly. The CD sleeves are great, the first one has a photo of the days schedule on the front, the second features an event poster as well as tour dates from the UK tour on the front and a concert review from Kerrang! magazine on the back. There is an insert with liner notes and a picture of a ticket stub making for a complete package so to speak. This release makes for a perfect companion piece to the Vengeance Is Ours (Apocalypse Sound AS 206) from a few years back, in fact I have it playing as I wrote the review. Revenge is the record that got me back into listening to KISS after being a bit tired of the 80’s output, nice to see this era getting some much deserved love from such a superb release.

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