• 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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Mad Margritt - SHOW NO MERCY

Image: Mad Margritt, Show No Mercy, Pitriff, CD ReviewMad Margritt
SHOW NO MERCY

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If BACK TO THE FUTURE was a real concept that could actually happen, it's my belief that Mad Margritt would be a name that every single one of you that owns Skid Row, Slaughter and Dokken records would hold in the highest esteem. You would see them still touring around playing package shows together with other bands that had their run "back in the day", and you would hear interviews with Eddie Smith about his upcoming book that details all the debauchery of being a superstar back in the heyday. Unfortunately though, BACK TO THE FUTURE is fake, which leaves Smith and company recording music they love and that, while solid, is hard to get people to listen to because their door on new music slammed shut the day Kurt Cobain reached #1 on Billboard. It's too bad that so many in that 40-50 age range are like that too, because they are missing out on a ton of music that falls right in their wheelhouse. SHOW NO MERCY is one of those they are missing.

While not the best release ever, SHOW NO MERCY is a solid, 80s sounding hard rock/classic metal album that showcases driving music with a hard edge, a lot of melody, and hooks being enough to go deep sea fishing with. The Skid Row and Dokken comparison above is pretty apropo in this case. For so many reasons, Mad Margritt has long channeled those two bands, as well as a bit of Warrant, into their music. A song like "Ever Since You've Been Gone" could very well be a lost Warrant tune if it was not for the grittier, less frilly guitar solo from Smith. Vocally is where Smith continues to shine on SHOW NO MERCY. He's a very solid vocalist that is distinct, even though most of the time you listen you find yourself going, "who does this guy sound like." His voice is clean, but has just enough edge to not sound Steelheart or Alias soft. Songs like "The Way Your Loving Me" or the AC/DC cover of "Touch Too Much" feature a smooth vocal that, at the same time, sounds full and not the least bit weak or soft. It's good stuff.

While Smith is solid, his band is equally strong throughout as well. Smith and fellow guitarist Carl Culpepper have a lot of edge to their player. Songs like "Down In Flames" are strong guitar driven tracks. They are complimented nicely but the unflashy, solid bottom end provided by Brandon Faulkner on drums and Skip Mullis on bass. While you can hear them as they keep each song churning forward, the production throughout is a touch lacking to where you don't get their full impact the way I imagine you do in the live setting. Collectively as a musical unit though, Mad Margritt are definitely a tight, polished unit. SHOW NO MERCY proves that.

PITRIFF RATING - 83/100 - If this same release had been recorded with a touch better production captured to where the edge of the rhythm section and some of the blistering guitar solos weren't diminished, this is a low 90s score. The songs are definitely worthy of that. Bottom line though, it sounds pretty good. It's 80s metal folks, and there's no denying that. If you were a fan back then (or now), Mad Margritt is one of those bands that will give you a new fix of the old style. SHOW NO MERCY is certainly worth checking out.

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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Image: Little Victories, Book, Chris Akin

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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