• AC/DC - ROCK OR BUST

    Image: Rock Or Bust, AC/DC, Chris Akin, Pitriff, Classic Metal, Review AC/DC
    ROCK OR BUST

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    MP3

    In a year that has see a foundational piece of AC/DC succumb to a debilitating illness and another to his own personal insanity, AC/DC emerges after seemingly forever away with ROCK OR BUST. To be fair and truthfully honest, expectations on this release were pretty low. I know that AC/DC is a band that's been in business almost 50

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  • Whitesnake - BACK TO THE BONE

    Image: Whitesnake, Back To The Bone, Pitriff, Chris Akin Whitesnake
    LIVE IN '84 - BACK TO THE BONE

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    MP3

    David Coverdale and company have had a very long and successful history that started even before he formed Whitesnake. There's no denying the legacy here. Coverdale has had a fantastic career with Whitesnake, and his time in Deep Purple was every bit as strong to that band as a Sammy Hagar was to Van Halen

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  • Wretch - WARRIORS

    Image: Wretch, Warriors, Review, Power Metal, Chris Akin, Pitriff Wretch
    WARRIORS

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    There's an unwritten rule that I rarely follow here in Cleveland. That rule is that if a band is from Cleveland, I'm supposed to write all glowing things or else be called a hater by the local community. It's sad that it's like that, but the truth is what it is. For years I've lived with that stigma, to the point

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  • Machine Head - BLOODSTONE & DIAMONDS

    Image: Machine Head, Bloodstone & Diamonds, Pitriff, Review, Thrash Metal Machine Head
    BLOODSTONE & DIAMONDS

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    What happened to Machine Head really is a crime. Unfortunately for them, it's a crime they perpetrated upon themselves. With a mistake so many made in their youth, this band singlehandedly torpedoed themselves from ascending to the heights in metal held by only the select few like Metallica and Megadeth before them. After THE MORE THINGS CHANGE came

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  • Nashville Outlaws - TRIBUTE TO MOTLEY CRUE

    Image: Nashville Outlaws, Motley Crue Tribute Nashville Outlaws
    A TRIBUTE TO MOTLEY CRUE

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    MP3

    With the music industry pretty much dead anymore, nothing really comes off as shocking. After all, you have very desperate companies trying to hang on and make money from an industry that has about as much relevance today as the typewriter ribbon makers of the world still do. The current trend for the last half decade

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  • Texas Hippie Coalition - RIDE ON

    Image: Texas Hippie Coalition, Ride On, Heavy Metal, Hard Rock, Review, Classic Metal Texas Hippie Coalition
    RIDE ON

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    I tell this story often, but it's one of my favorites of the past year. I had the chance to interview the Texas Hippie Coalition earlier this year at Rock On The Range in Columbus, Ohio. I was in a small tent with a bunch of photographers. The tent was fairly quiet really, as the much bigger adjacent

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  • Sammy Hagar - LITE ROAST

    Image: Sammy Hagar, Lite Roast, NonMetal, Review Sammy Hagar
    LITE ROAST

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    I get it. You are Sammy Hagar. You've seen huge success in virtually every world you've entered. In music, he was the main focus of Montrose. He parlayed that into a very successful solo career. That wasn't enough, so he joined the world's largest band at the time (Van Halen), and took them to commercial heights that even they

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  • Cavalera Conspiracy - PANDEMONIUM

    Image: Cavalera Conspiracy, Pandemonium, Pitriff, Death Metal, Review Cavalera Conspiracy
    PANDEMONIUM

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    There's always good news and bad news whenever Max Cavalera gets busy with new music. The good is that you get a whole lot of new music, seemingly all in a very short time. The bad news is it's generally spotty at best, because he simply writes and releases too much music at the same time. His band Soulfly released

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  • Slipknot - .5 THE GRAY MATTER

    Image: Slipknot, .5 The Gray Matter, Pitriff, CD Review, Modern Metal Slipknot
    .5 THE GRAY MATTER

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    With a ton of speculation and even more wonderment on this band's ability to continue on without founding members Paul Gray and Joey Jordison, Slipknot has returned after far too long of a layoff with .5 THE GRAY MATTER. I've listened to this release multiple times a day for the last week or so that I've had it,

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U.D.O. - CELEBRATOR

Image: Celebrator, U.D.O., pitriff, heavy metal, news, reviews, interviewsU.D.O.
CELEBRATOR

I know for many people, the fact that Accept is back with a vengeance is a bad thing since lead vocalist Udo Dirkschneider is not along for the ride.  I guess, on some level, I wish he was there as well.  That said though, I think I'm one of the few that enjoys his post Accept band U.D.O. just as much as I ever did Accept.  Let's be honest here - all U.D.O. amounts to is Accept with a slightly more electronic edge to them.  To my ears, they are virtually the same band.  The vocals are obviously the same, and even the guitar players have names that sound somewhat similar (Wolf Hoffman - Stefan Kaufmann).  It may just be due to pressure, but the last two U.D.O. albums DOMINATOR and REV-RAPTOR have smoked sonically.  Needless to say, when the latest CELEBRATOR came across my desktop, I was definitely excited.

Just as quickly, I was let down.  The deal with CELEBRATOR is simple - b-sides, covers, unreleased tracks - your typical collection of crap that bands do at the end of their run or the end of their recording contract.  CELEBRATOR is no exception.  There's a couple of worthy tracks here, but for the most part my metal life would have been just find never hearing any of this material.

Probably the most interesting song on the collection to me is "X-T-C"; an Accept song from EAT THE HEAT which featured David Reece on vocalis.  Dirkschneider's take on the song is admirable and proves that he probably would have propelled that album a bit further than it ended up going.

As for the rest of the material, it's a mixed bag of material that ranges from average to below average; proving why most of these songs were throw away tracks reserved for singles or specialty releases.  Take a song like "Dancing With An Angel" as an example.  It features vocalist Doro Pesch in a duet with Dirkschneider; an idea that would seem like the teaming of two dynamic German vocalists.  Instead, it's a tepid ballad that just comes off flat and boring.  The same can be said about the cover of Steppenwolf's "Born To Be Wild" with Raven from all the way back in 1983.  The dynamics between the high vocals of John Gallagher and the deeper gravelly style of Dirkschneider sounds absolutely terrible and unlistenable.

Another big problem with this collection is the fact that Udo has decided now that he can be a clear throated crooner in a piano bar.  These are the worst songs of Dirkschneider's career, to say the least.  I hated this version of "Balls To The Wall" when it first appeared on one of those METAL MANIA STRIPPED releases, and I hate it worse now.  While that song is bad, "Tears Of A Clown" done in this acoustic piano ballad style is even worse.

PITRIFF RATING - 22/100 - There's a few decent songs on this 2CD set, but the overwhelming majority of this material should have been left hidden where it belongs.  There's definitely a reason this stuff wasn't released on any albums.  Terrible.

Chris Akin



U.D.O.

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