• 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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    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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  • Opeth - PALE COMMUNION

    Image: Opeth, Pale Communion, Pitriff, Review, Progressive Metal Opeth
    PALE COMMUNION

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    Opeth simply fails as a band, at least to me. While I'll admit to never fully understanding the amazement and awe so many have for this band, I've appreciated them from afar. I've listened, and I've at least wrapped my head around what they were trying to do. Their fusing of death metal with progressive elements always made for an

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  • Cannibal Corpse - A SKELETAL DOMAIN

    Cannibal Corpse, A Skeletal Domain, Review, Death Metal Cannibal Corpse
    A SKELETAL DOMAIN

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    So really, what does anyone expect when you get a Cannibal Corpse release handed to you? Ballads, love songs and fun? Not hardly. There's an expectation of severe brutality which the band delivers time and time again. Certainly, it comes with different levels of acceptance to one's ears, but ultimately the only thing that matters if it says

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  • Exodus - BLOOD IN, BLOOD OUT

    Image: Exodus, Blood In Blood Out, Pitriff, Review, Thrash Metal Exodus
    BLOOD IN, BLOOD OUT

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    Unless you call Testament a "thrash band" (which I don't personally), Exodus would rank as my favorite true Thrash band of all time. They have had good times and bad. Occasionally, like on FABULOUS DISASTER, they have misstepped along the way. But overall, they are one of the true powerhouses in the history of thrash metal. Since 2004

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  • Mr. Big - ...THE STORIES WE COULD TELL

    Mr. Big, The Stories We Could Tell, Reviews, Classic Metal, Chris Akin, Pitriff Mr. Big
    ...THE STORIES WE COULD TELL

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    As a fan of Mr. Big, I can't honestly say that many people thought that their reunion was much more than a cash grab opportunity for the guys in the band who, while immensely talented, failed to find solo success to match their collaborative efforts. It was never a question of if they could still play.

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Dokken - BROKEN BONES

Image: Dokken, Broken Bones, Pitriff, Don Dokken, Sean McNabb, Mick Brown, Jon LevinDokken
BROKEN BONES

It's been a long road for Dokken. They have had more than their share of turmoil throughout the years. The feud between Don Dokken and George Lynch is one of the most famous feuds in the history of rock music. They've had great albums, and let's be honest, they've had a couple of true duds as well. The band "Dokken" now only contains namesake Don Dokken (and sometimes Wild Mick Brown) from the original band. Don has toured relentlessly for over 30 years now, and that once crystal clear voice has lost it's top end now. So, clearly, the deck is stacked against Dokken now to produce a solid collection of musical hits.

And yet, with all the changes to the band, the turmoil, the changes in Don's voice and anything else you can think of, the ability to write songs that cut to the point of relationships has never, ever left Don Dokken. While BROKEN BONES is not the best Dokken album by any stretch, it does showcase that innate ability Don Dokken has to capture an emotion that all of us have felt at one time or another. To me, the title track is by far the easiest song to relate to. The song deals with a broken relationship and how it's left Dokken a broken man much like a broken skeletal piece.

People continually bitch about Don Dokken's voice, so let's address that for a second. Yes, it's changed. Certainly, it's not the same as it was when songs like "Just Got Lucky", "It's Not Love" or "Alone Again" were recorded. That top end is gone. Somehow Brian Johnson gets a pass but Dokken is continually slapped for trying to give his fans new music. Whatever. He sounds decent throughout most of the album, with the exception of the god awful song "Blind", which someone should have stepped up and suggested leaving on the cutting room floor. My hunch is that Levin wanted this song in, as his guitar solo is blazing on this song. That said though, Dokken's vocal on this song is very choppy and disjointed here.

Without question, the star of BROKEN BONES is guitarist Jon Levin. Levin is such a masterful guitarist, and yet so few people even know of him. He's every bit the player that George Lynch ever was, and yet has diversity in his playing that was never featured on 'heyday' Dokken albums. His riffs and solos on songs like "Waterfall" and the almost Led Zeppelin-esque "Victim Of The Crime" is staggeringly good. He's backed ably by veteran bassist Sean McNabb and the always thunderous Mick Brown on Drums. As a unit, they explore a lot of styles here. There are definitely burners like "Empire" and "Tonight", as well as a lot of cool, mid-tempo stuff to round out the album.

PITRIFF RATING - 72/100 - Not the greatest Dokken album, but a decent album from the band that once again features the blazing guitar skills of Jon Levin. If you are a Dokken fan, you will dig this. If not, then go get UNDER LOCK AND KEY, TOOTH AND NAIL or even LIGHTNING STRIKES AGAIN and discover the band there instead of here.

Chris Akin

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A look at one of the most polarizing, iconic and best selling albums of all time from author, rock critic and shock jock radio host Chris Akin.

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