AlbumsNovember 29, 20116,348 views

The Kiss Of Death The Kiss Of Death

1. Buck Rodgers Made Me Do It 2. Novocain 3. Commence Reprogramming!!! 4. Chasing Demons 5. Purveyors Of Bullshit
2003 Tribunal Records
Our score 7


The Kiss Of Death cannot be accused of capitalizing on the stoner trend. Since when has any band with the exception of Queens Of The Stone Age garnered any lasting recognition, never mind having recorded an album that is still being pressed, considering the sanctuary of stoner rock, Man’s Ruin Records, went bankrupt last year. That sad revelation showcased better than anything just how unpopular stoner rock truly is. Masters Of Reality were on Def American throughout the nineties and went nowhere, to such an extent in fact that their albums are now out of print just like their more recent counterparts who sank along with the Man’s Ruin ship. Bands like Crowbar and Iron Monkey however, were rarely labeled stoner rock because they involved much more metal than the model kit-building, frizzy haired, Stacey Peralta mesh hat-wearing anorexics could handle, and for that reason if in addition to lack of 70’s shtick, remained even more on the fringe than the bands who were playing stoner rock. But both sides of the coin shared similar song structures and a familiar sluggish pace. Named by singer Jon Gula after a move that motocross riders do while suspended in mid-air and ironically shared as a song title by Iron Monkey on their Man’s Ruin (small world isn’t it) EP, The Kiss Of Death take the occasional fast parts of Crowbar and inject them into the drop-D-tuned framework of England’s Iron Monkey to create a sound that can’t necessarily be called their own but it is without a doubt one of the best executed manifestations of evil hard rock to have been seen in recent years. Boasting two members who once held the respected and sorely missed Turmoil torch high, the hardcore influence is not an aspect of The Kiss Of Death than can be easily missed. Intermittent hardcore breaks have an old-school feel, while Gula’s urgent and desperate screams throughout bring back fond memories of his days spewing bitterness as the vocalist of Turmoil. The guitars display a clear Black Sabbath influence, in addition to the ever-present Iron Monkey. Syringe imagery on the demo’s original cover, since replaced by a much more vibrant piece of art (as seen above) featuring naked women and skulls, brought to mind Eyehategod and their notoriety as drug users. Unlike any of the aforementioned bands however, The Kiss Of Death have no plans to become heavy drug abusers like Eyehategod, nor does Jon Gula plan on dying of natural causes at the onset of adulthood like Iron Monkey’s John Morrow did. Bottom Line: With five tracks clocking in at nearly twenty-five minutes, there is no shortage of material here to showcase what The Kiss Of Death represent, which is a hard rock biker affair that is extreme as it is drawn-out. Slow, crushing breakdowns top off most tracks, which will please the hardcore fans not accustomed to songs this long and riffs so heavy. The Kiss Of Death display a sound very traditional and mature in nature. Thanks to the very clear and bass-heavy production of Josh Martin, the sound comes across exactly as it was intended: dirty and destructive.


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