Latin Conference & Awards

Alive IV

Seeing a video of Kiss backed by the 60-piece Melbourne Symphony Orchestra—each member in the band's signature face makeup designs—is great fun, especially for longtime Kiss fans.

Seeing a video of Kiss backed by the 60-piece Melbourne Symphony Orchestra—each member in the band's signature face makeup designs—is great fun, especially for longtime Kiss fans. Yet, surveying this two-disc album (divided into thirds: a regular set, an acoustic set with a string ensemble and a set with the full orchestra), it's clear that the experience didn't translate as well to disc. The band often drowns out the orchestra, whose contributions are rarely memorable; it shines most brightly on the unplugged take of "Sure Know Something" and the cleverly embellished "God of Thunder." And while Paul Stanley impresses throughout vocally, fellow frontman Gene Simmons has clearly lost some of his range. That said, most of Kiss' devoted fans will nonetheless eat this up. The fence-sitters among them would be wise to wait for the DVD arriving in September.—WO