• Sweet & Lynch - ONLY TO RISE

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

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    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

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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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    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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Queensryche - QUEENSRYCHE

Image: Queensryche, Pitriff, Reviews, news, interviewsQueensryche
QUEENSRYCHE

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Is this sad saga of one band splitting into two not just the saddest thing in recent memory when it comes to classic metal? Let's face it, if you followed Queensryche at all in the 80s or even through a lot of the bad times of the last two years, they were almost always a dignified bunch that seemed above the fray of the rest of the riff raff. Now, we have two bands. We have the Geoff Tate version of the band - an act powered largely by some sort of insanity that has overtaken the once dignified Tate and turned him into a babbling maniac who's more than willing to tell you about his black man's stereotypical penis than about his music. He's REALLY challenged people to even care about anything called Queensryche in recent months, and it's just sad to see happen. Then you have "the other guys". They've stayed largely silent about the split after the first few weeks, and aside from a lot of positive posts on their various social media sites, really haven't had much to say regarding the split and the new version of the band featuring vocalist Todd LaTorre. I guess they've decided to let the music do the talking.

And talking it does. QUEENSRYCHE, while definitely a second tier release that would fall below everything from PROMISED LAND back in their catalog, is also the best and closest release to their classic sound of that same time period. There is little doubt that fans of the classic era will be more than happy with this release, if for no other reason than it actually "sounds" like the band most fans have missed for a long time.

Let's get to the obvious main focus of the album, vocalist Todd LaTorre. Certainly, regardless of what kind of crap has had the name "Queensryche" on it over the last two decades, the voice has been the signature that held fans to the band. LaTorre comes from Crimson Glory, and interestingly spent his life as a lifelong Geoff Tate fan. What's great about his performance here on QUEENSRYCHE is that he does sound like Tate in places, but it's not merely an imitation of the once great vocalist. Listening to songs like "Vindication", he not only channels Tate in some parts, but sets his own signature to the sound in other places. For his part, LaTorre sounds really good on the album. Only on "Redemption" do they throw some ridiculously unnecessary effect or recording technique on his vocals which is kind of useless in my eyes.

As for the band, they sound great. Michael Wilton and Parker Lundgren have seemingly revisited the band's back catalog to recreate the vibe on guitar lost the day Chris DeGarmo ran from the band. They are balanced by the always firm backend created by drummer Scott Rockenfield and bassist Eddie Jackson. As far as performances, they sound very good.

For this version of Queensryche though, it all comes down to the actual sound and style of the songs. For the most part, they have done a good job recreating the vibe. Songs like "A World Without" could easily have been mixed in on PROMISED LAND without sounding widely different, while other songs like "Where Dreams Go To Die" and "Spore" have an EMPIRE-like flair to them. There's nothing on QUEENSRYCHE that's going to take you to the ugly place filled with such turds as DEDICATED TO CHAOS or AMERICAN SOLDIER. That said, and while the album is pretty damn solid, there's something that's just not all the way there yet. I'm not sure what it is, but you don't walk away from a listen to QUEENSRYCHE thinking you've just heard something monumentally special the way you did RAGE FOR ORDER, EMPIRE or the legendary OPERATION MINDCRIME. Maybe that's too much to hope for in the first place.

PITRIFF RATING - 84/100 - While I do really dig this and I'm glad to see the mighty Queensryche come roaring back after two decades of utter crap, QUEENSRYCHE does not jump all the way back to where the band was at their peak. I'm sure that's far too much to expect, but unfortunately for the core 3 members of this band, that's the standard they set by being so ridiculously great early in their career. Very solid effort, and certainly one that won't disappoint anyone that has waited forever for these guys to make it back. They have.

Image: Cause/Effect Metallica, Chris Akin

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.

CLICK HERE to learn more about CAUSE/EFFECT: METALLICA.

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

CLICK HERE to learn more about LITTLE VICTORIES.

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

Available January 13th in Paperback and Digital Formats on Amazon and iTunes.

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