It’s an amazingly difficult task to synthesize what it means to associate KISS with the word “influence”. Because it doesn’t only refer to musical influence. They have influenced how a rock band becomes part of a teenage movement, they have influenced how a band can learn to exploit an image, there is a clear influence in the later movement “glam”.
There is an influence in giving Kiss’ importance to the spectacularity of their concerts, there is an influence in being a precursor of the so-called “Arena Rock“, there is an influence in the movement of the comic book industry and even influence in the marketing that rock has developed
The asphyxiating and devastating rhythm of the so-called “black metal” was wildly influenced by KISS. “God of Thunder” is an iconic theme of this movement because it has a powerful rhythm, and Simmons’ voice becomes guttural by adding that dark “black” wave, which would be the hallmark of the genre.
This movement had declined by the end of the ’90s just to be reborn with great force in Scandinavia, even creating a unique movement called “authentic Norwegian black metal“, which was characterized by cold melodies, really dark and even satanic lyrics. Groups like Immortal, Gorgoroth, Mercyful Fate, Mayhem and several more inherited the “corpse paint”.
King Diamond had a dispute with Simmons because of the similarity that the makeup used by the leader of Mercyful compared to the one he had worn for years. Turbonegro and Glucifer are more contemporary Norwegian bands that were also based on the KISS rock-punk force.
Influence Through Covers
In addition to the above, the influence of a band like KISS can be found in the number of covers that their songs have. The one that bands of different countries, currents and ages they version speak of transcendence.
Pantera – “Cold Gin”
Dimebag Darrell said it many times. KISS was the band that marked him, that made him turn to rock. In fact, the album “Cowboys from Hell” is dedicated to the “original” KISS, and not being completely satisfied with that, Darrell got Ace Frehley tattooed as a sign of respect.
In the 1997 tour, the New Yorkers chose them as their companions, and even put on their makeup in several of the concerts. The death of Darrell was so hard for the KISS members that they even sent him a coffin for his burial.
Anthrax – “Parasite”
Being “Anthrax” one of the biggest metal performers, creators of themes worthy of the best mosh, they also took their time to do covers, and what a tremendous rock performance is the version they made for this great KISS song.
Impeccable, just the way Bello crushes the bass and Ian is heard smashing it on the guitar. Benante transforms the theme through wonderfully wild but controlled drumming. They are faithful to the original but cover the version with their own atmosphere, so it’s like a tribute to the old school fans and for the new ones, a way to discover the legendary KISS.