Buttkickin’ Halloween Songs: “Under The Rose” — Kiss (1981)

Though you may be pure of heart and free of sin
And though you have been chosen to begin
And yet you must be worthy of the prophecy
But seek and you shall find your destiny

Loneliness will haunt you
Will you sacrifice?
Do you take the oath
Will you give your life
Under the rose?

Well uh lookee here, we’re posting this on October 24th, 2022, which means we are exactly one week out from Halloween. This is shocking insomuch that we’ve been having way too much fun with Buttkickin’ Halloween Songs this year, and we really don’t want it to end.

As such, we aint ending anytime soon. We still have a lot to get to, so let’s get the doing done and the velocity… velocitizing.

Anyway, enough of my yapping, let’s get to the real question here: why the hell am I sharing a Kiss song from their infamously maligned 1981 “concept album” Music from “The Elder”?

Firstly, stop being so goshdarn judgmental, Judgey McJudgerson.

Secondly, yes, in my initial review for this album I called Under The Rose a “turd” and remarked that the “booming multi-tracked-vocal chorus is just embarrassing, and the song is 37 shades of awful.” Talk about being goshdarn judmental? There you go…

Still, that was 2014 and here we are eight years later and allegedly eight years wiser. This begs the question: have I magically done some 180 degree turnaround on Under The Rose?

Maybe not 180 degrees. More like 90 degrees. I made a hard right (angle) on this song. It’s still totally ridiculous. But it’s great fun. And it goes so damn well with Halloween.

I’m not going to get into a whole dissertation on the Music from “The Elder” album, or its story, or why it was such a disaster for Kiss in 1981 (although to many fans, the album is still adored). Click the link five paragraphs above if you want to know more.

Yet Under The Rose works here because of its over-the-top fantasy elements: we have your basic novice hero/prophesized Chose One who is initiated into some Mystical Order to fight the Forces of Evil. If you want Fantasy Tropes 101, you got it courtesy of Messrs Simmons, Stanley, Frehley, and Carr. Adding to this mishegas are your stock medievalish rhythms and melodies, crunching metal guitars, and THAT BOOMING MULTI-TRACKED-VOCAL CHORUS that I found dreadfully embarrassing in the past. Except now, they’re kinda goofy awesome.

I must have been in a bad mood that day or something. Taken as medieval fantasy-lite posturing, Under The Rose is a hoot. You know, I’ve really got to stop being such a stick-in-the-mud on enjoyable schlock like this. I mean, really, it’s Kiss doing a Fantasy Concept Album. What was I expecting, Close to the Edge?

Anyway: Under The Rose. Get initiated today or your pizza is free!

The more you hurt the less you feel the painAnd the more you change the more you stay the sameBut now before you lies the quest at handAnd from this boy you may become a man

Though you understandWill you sacrifice?Do you take the oathWill you give your lifeUnder the rose?

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