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Asylum Review

by Greg Prato

By 1985, Kiss were a shadow of their former selves. Gone was the raw rock of their not so distant past, as well as their memorable "heavy Beatles" songwriting. In its place was a sound that was too similar to other pop-metal bands at the time, as well as unimaginative, predictable songs, as evidenced on Asylum. The album marked the appearance of Kiss' fourth guitarist in four years, Bruce Kulick -- brother of Bob Kulick, who played as a session guitarist on Alive II, Killers, and Paul Stanley's 1978 solo album -- who had replaced Mark St. John on the 1984-1985 Animalize tour. Besides the popular video/single "Tears Are Falling," Asylum is chock-full of nondescript fluff ("I'm Alive," "Trial by Fire," "Secretly Cruel," "Love's a Deadly Weapon," etc.). Although the band again treads on Spinal Tap territory with "Uh! All Night," several tracks could have benefited greatly from a heavier sound, such as "King of the Mountain," "Any Way You Slice It," and "Who Wants to Be Lonely." Although it attained platinum status, Stanley and Gene Simmons would rightfully dismiss Asylum later on.

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