Andrew Jacobs here,
If this were ANY other band, I would have no problem at all with this album cover. However, because this is KISS, the fact that this looks way too much like a bootleg is simply unacceptable to me.
I know full well that the extremely successful reunion tour with Ace and Peter was in full swing in 1997 when this album was released and being as how the Bruce Kulick and Eric Singer KISS was a dead issue at this point, it made absolutely perfect sense for them to spend as little money as possible on the packaging of Carnival Of Souls. However, it’s still a KISS album, so some weird painting of some sort for the cover (as was originally planned) would’ve been a HELLUVA lot better than the stock bootleg-looking cover that we wound up with.
Musically, however, I absolutely love Carnival Of Souls from start to finish. Yes, they jumped on the massively popular grunge/alternative rock bandwagon of the ’90s and rode it to the last stop but the KISS that we all know and love can still be heard throughout, particularly on Paul’s songs. Bruce, in particular, really shines on this album (and I really and truly hope that he takes me up on my request for him to do a track-by-track feature on it for it’s 15th anniversary this year).
I think a big part of the reason why it was so easy for me (as opposed to many KISS fans) to accept Carnival Of Souls is because at the time of it’s release, I was 27 years old and had only been a KISS fan for 4 years at that point, so the whole larger than life super hero image of KISS that had been indelibly burned into so many of their fans’ brains as children never was a factor for me. As much as I love the makeup and the spectacle of KISS, their music has always been and will always be my main area of interest in the band. And on that note, Carnival Of Souls is another KISS klassic as far as I’m concerned.