Hotter Than Hell review by KISS

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  • Released: Jan 1, 1974
  • Sound: 8
  • Lyrics: 9
  • Overall Impression: 9
  • Reviewer's score: 8.7 Superb
  • Users' score: 9.6 (16 votes)
KISS: Hotter Than Hell

Sound — 8
The bands second album, "Hotter Than Hell", might've done worse on the charts than its predecessor, but the tracks remained a concert staple throughtout the seventies. The band's sound was like that of the first record, the blues influenced hard rock, but the quality of the sound is awful. The Song "Parasite" sounds like it was recorded in a cardboard box, most of the album is murkey in a sense compared to the first album, and albums after that. This probably due to the fact that the producers had relocated to California at the time. Other than that, the albums sound is great. As I mentioned above, the sound is like the first record, that is true, but the songs are more "heavy" songs like "Parasite" and "Let Me Go, Rock N Roll" are heavy blues influenced songs, that were the heavy metal of there time. In short, I give it a 8, not a 10 because of the quality of sound.

Lyrics — 9
The lyrics on this album are very original in my opinion. But the whole album seems to have songs that show the band had trouble with there love lives at the time. As Paul sings "I heard the neighbors say, you might be leavin' me today...someone's come along who shares your time" in the song "Got To Choose" or the title track "Hotter Than Hell" which sings about unobtainable love. And the song "Parasite" which talks about having a fling with someone, who won't leave, there stuck on you. Other songs include, "Comin' Home", which was written about how they hated being in California and wanted back in New York. (Note: Kiss hated California at the time, the first day they were there, for example, Paul's guitar was stolen.) and the single from the album, "Let Me Go Rock n Roll", which was a concert staple are great. For lyrics, I give it a 9, for originality and content.

Overall Impression — 9
At the time I believe this was one of the heavier albums out. Although the sound production was awful, the songs were a key to there live performances. The crunchy guitars and pounding drums, make the album great. Key tracks include: Got To Choose, Hotter Than Hell, Parasite, Goin' Blind, Strange Way (featuring one the best Ace Frehley Solo's), and Let Me Go Rock n Roll. I give this album a 9, because its almost perfect, lyrics, sound, the only problem is the sound quality.

2 comments sorted by best / new / date

    I think this whole album has all of Ace's best solo work. the solo for "Goin' Blind" blows me away still as does the one for "Got to Choose".
    I think the best songs on this album are the first five songs and of course Strange Ways. But the rest of the songs... They are pretty mediocre IMO. Nothing special. Maybe Watchin' You is the best of the "filler" songs (I wouldn't call them filler though). I think Going Blind is my favorite song on the album. It's a different kind of song. Not very typical Kiss. Oh, and strange that Hart_Attack liked the sound of the album so much. Kiss wasn't really happy with it and they think this is their worst album sound wise. The sounds could be a lot better. It sounds a bit dull IMO.