'Creatures of the Night' (1982)
Following the disco-fied Dynasty, the soft-rocking Unmasked and the concept-album misfire Music from "The Elder", 1982's Creatures of the Night was viewed by many as a return to form for Kiss. What it really signaled, however, was the birth of an entirely new Kiss, one now encased in an Eighties-appropriate metallic sheen. Eric Carr, several years into his tenure with the band, emerged as a more forceful and commanding drummer than Peter Criss, and Frehley, though still pictured on the album's cover, was by this point out for good, here replaced by a shreddier group of guitarists led by Vinnie Vincent. The result is a sound and an approach that's more pile-driving than party-hearty, and an album that, at its best — the chugging title track, the "We Will Rock You"-style gang vocal-laden "I Love It Loud," the elephant-stomping Simmons-penned closer, "War Machine" — can stand up to almost any hard rock or mainstream metal effort released that year.