[Gruesome Music] Album Review – 10,000 VOLTS – Ace Frehley

With the release of 10,000 VOLTS – his first release in four years – Ace Frehley reminds metal fans everywhere of the legend he is. So much of Ace’s post-KISS career has been mired with the infighting and arguing between him and his former bandmates that the thing that matters most – his music – seemed to have gotten lost in the tussle.

That ends with the debut of 10,000 VOLTS.

A return to form for the guitar legend Ace is back in 70’s form with smashing riffs, searing solos, and fun, thoughtful, playful, and yes in some cases – very poignant lyrics.

Coming in at a lean 41 minutes – these 11 tracks are perfectly produced and are lean, mean, in-your-face tunes kicking off with the title track 10,000 VOLTS with its perfect blend of thundering power chords, catchy hook, and crisp, clean solo guitar work.

Ace has never been known for his amazing vocal skills, but these songs were written with his vocal range in mind – and his often monotonal delivery serves him well on every track. Add some deftly placed backing vocals – and all is right with the world.

For my money – the second and third tracks of this release are the weakest of the eleven offerings but the fourth track – titled CHERRY MEDICINE is an earworm of a song that I have not been able to stop singing since I listened to it and while the writing on this one isn’t the most meaningful ( you make me feel better when you’re in your black leather) it is one catchy tune that just begs to be played on 11 as you tear ass down the road. Fun stuff.

BACK IN MY ARMS AGAIN is jaunty, sing a long throwback to the 80’s that centers more on Ace’s vocal abilities with its subdued, almost acoustic feel that leads into a great little guitar solo that plays right back into Ace’s vocals.

This is no doubt that the song carrying the heaviest message on this collection is BLINDED which warns of the dangers of technology, misinformation, and fear (technology with no empathy, we’re about to lose control) and is delivered with no tongue-in-cheek vagueness – this is a serious song about a serious subject. It delivers on all levels. (zeros and ones rule the world – zeros and ones got us by the balls)

The album closes out with an instrumental piece titled STRATOSPHERE which is brilliant in its simplicity and highlights how masterful Ace is on the guitar – given all the power chords and bravado of the first ten tracks – this is the perfect after-dinner mint to cleanse the pallet.

10,000 VOLTS is a home run for Ace Frehley – easily a top ten contender for album of the year and a bold statement from one of metals icons.

Dave Dreher
Co-Founder / Lead News Reporter at Gruesome Magazine
Dave is co-founder and lead news reporter for Gruesome. Dave has built his resume working for Diabolique Magazine, The Horror Channel, Horrornews.net, House of Horrors and Creature Corner. He has worked with Tom Savini on his official site since 1997 and is also co-host of the popular podcast Horror News Radio.