• Sweet & Lynch - ONLY TO RISE

    Image: Sweet & Lynch, Only To Rise, CD Review, Classic Metal, Pitriff Sweet & Lynch
    ONLY TO RISE

    CD
    MP3

    Being completely honest here, I really didn't expect a whole lot out of this. I'm not the biggest Stryper fan in the world by a long shot, and the truth is that I just never could fully get into Michael Sweet's vocals. There's just always been something about him. I'm not sure what it is. I guess

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  • AC/DC - ROCK OR BUST

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

    CD
    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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    MP3

    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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    MP3

    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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    MP3

    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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Steve Harris - BRITISH LION

Image: Steve Harris, British Lion, PitriffSteve Harris
BRITISH LION

I've been dreading writing this review for a really long time, but I can't dodge it any longer. As much as Iron Maiden is one of the CORE bands of my entire existence, saying that BRITISH LION is anything but mediocre to subpar drivel is impossible. Certainly, the guys from Iron Maiden have done projects outside the band before. Bruce Dickinson's solo career is astoundingly good. Adrian Smith's Psycho Motel albums weren't bad either. But this...ugh. It hurts to write, because more than anything else, Steve Harris basically IS Iron Maiden. He's the maestro of their sound, the creative force behind the band. He's the producer. He's just about everything for Maiden. That said, you have to wonder just why he brought NONE of that skillset to this project that has his name on top of it. BRITISH LION is a dull, drab collection of songs with fairly subpar production value (for which Kevin Shirley should be ashamed for taking a check considering the mix of this turd). Listening to this and even remotely comparing this sound to ANYTHING Iron Maiden has released since, say, 1985 leaves you wondering why Harris didn't just scrap this or put more money into it to make it sound better.

To be clear on this, BRITISH LION may say Steve Harris on the top of it, but there is a band behind it. On vocals is Richard Taylor, and he's a major source of the issue with this release. While the guy kind of has a soft Paul Rodgers trait to his voice, he's very dull and uninspired in his presentation. On songs like "Karma Killer", his voice drones on and on as he repeats the over the top repetitive line "come and get it" over and over again. I'm not just why, but there's just something missing here vocally with Taylor. Certainly he has a decent enough voice, but it just doesn't work very well here.

Musically, BRITISH LION does not work well either. The mix is terrible. While I get that Harris is the recognized focal point of this band, the overly loud push of his bass on songs like "Us Against The World" is just too much. In fact, his bass lines on this tune literally drown out Taylor through the chorus. Several drummers play on BRITISH LION as well, and all sound like they were playing on the crates their kits came in instead of the actual drums they were provided. Throughout the entire effort, the performances are just average to below throughout.

I can't say enough though about how disappointing the mix and production is on BRITISH LION. This is so very, very un-Harris-like. Songs like "The Chosen Ones" have a completely different sound than other songs on the disc, like they were recorded and mixed in a different studio and performanced on completely different equipment and captured with completely different recording software. It's hard to explain, but listening from track to track is kind of like listening to different tracks from different eras of your favorite band's music. It's amateurish, which is stunning for a Steve Harris project.

PITRIFF RATING - 31/100 - This is seriously disappointing; arguably one of the most disappointing releases I've received in a long time because I'm such a fan of Harris and the mighty Maiden. Lord knows, I WANTED to like this, but don't. BRITISH LION is a dog. Hopefully, this wasn't much more to Harris than a reason for him to get some friends together, drink a few dozen pints in a studio, and have some fun away from the business of Iron Maiden. Whatever it is, it's not meant for public consumption. This is not a very good release...not good at all.

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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The shockingly honest and emotional first book from radio personality and rock critic Chris Akin.

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Read Reviews and Excerpts from LITTLE VICTORIES: A TALE OF DIVORCE, DEBAUCHERY AND FINDING HAPPINESS HERE!

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