So Alive IV finally came out after being promised to the KISS Army for, what, two or three years now? This KISS Symphony is waaaaaaaaaay better than what the original incarnation of ALive IV was supposed to be (the Millenium New Year’s show in Vancouver). And who can blame KISS for taking the opportunity to fix their old record label’s mistake (delay after delay of Alive IV and finally missing the boat completely when KISS left to start their own label) by finding something that they had never done yet – play with an orchestra. Tommy Thayer shines through as the Space Man of Right Now, Peter is back behind the kit where he belongs (E. Singer is great, but No), Gene keeps things tight on the bass, and Paul is, well, hard to shut up between songs. The biggest treat for KISS fans are the performances of Lick It Up, Forever, Shandi, and Great Expectations, all songs never recorded live in make-up. This version of Lick It Up is also the best version I’ve ever heard played. The show-stopper is God of Thunder with the orchestra adding even more ominous tones to an all ready dark arrangement – Gene had to be happy to with getting the top draw.Overall it’s not fair to compare this to the other three Alive albums, this one plays by its own rules. 4 out of 5 stars since Ace didn’t show up to play.