• 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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    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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    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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CD Review - CRASHDIET

Image: Crashdiet, The Savage Playground, Pitriff, The Classic Metal Show, CD ReviewCrashdiet
THE SAVAGE PLAYGROUND

For 80s metalheads, there are two types of people. There are the type that stand firm by the explosion of Nirvana onto the scene as the moment when all future music stopped being good, and there are those that are always looking for new and exciting music that maintains that melodic, fun spirit that the 80s produced. For me, I fall into the latter category. Any band that's trying to recapture that fun, rockin' spirit that the 80s unleashed on the world will always get my ear. There's good and bad for these newer bands. On the bad side, there's always the old bands that prove that they've hung on too long, or new bands that poorly recreate the look and don't have the music to back it. Then there are some really good bands out there that really capture it without becoming a spoof band like Steel Panther. Crashdiet are one of those bands that get it. While many wrote them off with the death of vocalist Dave Lepard, this band has really put it back together. Their latest, THE SAVAGE PLAYGROUND, is about as solid a classic metal sounding release as you will ever hear.

To be clear, Crashdiet is not a band that you'll listen to and think "Ratt, Warrant or Motley Crue". To the contrary, they have a sound that's pretty much all their own. They are solid, and yet their passion for strong, melody driven songs with solid guitars, vocal harmonized choruses and a driving underbelly prove that they are heavily influenced by a genre long gone in today's world. While they have released nothing but solid efforts in the past, THE SAVAGE PLAYGROUND is their "HYSTERIA" moment where their songs are all about as perfect as they can be; memorable, addictive, and sticking into your head like gum in a school girl's hair. In short, THE SAVAGE PLAYGROUND is an album that just about any fan of the mid to late 80s music scene will love.

It's really amazing to hear a band like this in 2013. Their songs are so addictive, and simply make your head bob while you think "fuck yeah". Songs like "California" or "Cocaine Cowboys" can be defined by a simple word - fun. Vocalist Simon Cruz has fully found his sound with Crashdiet, and the band has finally morphed to his voice from where they were years ago with Lepard. He's not only a great singer, but he packs a lot of attitude and swagger on each and every song. He brings it home on the piss and vinegar, middle finger in the air anthem "Lickin' Dog".

Cruz is but one part of this great release. Without question, this band has learned their classic metal lessons well. Songs like "Circus" could have been huge hits back in 1989, and yet probably could be today as well with a little bit of airplay. That's because the guitarwork of Martin Sweet is so tasty and solid. He's not the flashy player you generally expect from bands like this, instead providing more solid riffs than solos. In many ways, his riffs that drive most of the songs remind me of a softer sounding Chris Holmes on many of the early WASP records. The riffs drive the songs, while the backbone created by drummer Eric Young and bassist Peter London keep each and every song skipping forward. In short, Crashdiet are just a great hard rock band that are doing their part to keep a lost era alive for fans that want something new and great.

PITRIFF RATING - 93/100 - THE SAVAGE PLAYGROUND doesn't feel that savage to me, although it certainly is a place where I want to play often. While this band will probably never get the attention they deserve here in the United States, Crashdiet are as good as it gets at what they do. THE SAVAGE PLAYGROUND proves it.

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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