• 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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    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

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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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Michael Schenker's Temple Of Rock - BRIDGE THE GAP

Image: Michael Schenker, Temple Of Rock, Bridge The GapMichael Schenker's Temple Of Rock
BRIDGE THE GAP

MP3
CD

Michael Schenker is one of those guys where you either are 1000% in,or you really don't care at all about what he's doing. To me personally, I've just never understood the incredible amount of hype surrounding him. I get that he made a huge mark on the rock world with UFO and a somewhat less statement with Scorpions, but in the end, I can listen to either of those bands or anything since and really not hear anything earth shattering on guitar. Eddie Van Halen he's not. Still, there are tons of people that worship him, so good for him for finding such a strong allegiance.

Worshippers and us casual listeners pretty much agree though that his output since SAVE YOURSELF as McAuley Schenker Group has been, for the most part, fairly below average. There's been a few things that have been solid, but for the most part, Schenker has has 20 years of forgettable music. He's tried several different lineups to find a good combination, but he's never recaptured anything even close to the UFO or Scorpions days. I would imagine that, at least on some level, that's why he did this Temple Of Rock project with former Scorpions members Herman Rarebell and Francis Buchholz, as well as his long running bandmate Wayne Findlay of the MSG days. You have to think that he longed for recapturing that magic, at least on some level.

It's too bad that genie has long since found a new bottle to live in. While BRIDGE THE GAP is far better than a lot of Schenker's output for far too many years, it's a tedious listen that you quickly bore with as you make your way through the album. This is not to say that it doesn't have some good moments on it. "Rock And Roll Symphony" is one of the better songs that Schenker has done in a very long time; a fast song with a lot of energy and one of the more innovative, albeit simple, driving riffs Schenker has done in awhile. The same can be said about "Land Of Thunder", although it sounds remarkably similar to the aforementioned "Rock And Roll Symphony".

The problem though is so much of the rest of the release is just plain boring. Even the vocal skills of the largely underrated Doogie White can't save dullard tunes like "Too Live For The King". "Temple Of The Holy" tries to sound epic, but ends up plodding dully for what seems like a neverending 3 ½ minutes. As if that wasn't enough, "Shine On" follows the same formula, and fully ends any energy and emotion you might have had toward the disc.

PITRIFF RATING - 62/100 - Again, this is not the worst thing you will hear from the Schenker camp, but it's definitely one of the least memorable releases. Sad to say, but there's a lot of those. BRIDGE THE GAP is, hopefully, just that - a bridge between the abysmal IN THE MIDST OF BEAUTY or TEMPLE OF ROCK and something that resembles his glory days. At this moment though, it's little more than a crosswalk that I won't remember venturing across.

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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