• 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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Review - Blaze Bayley THE KING OF METAL

Image: Blaze Bayley, The King Of Metal, Pitriff, CD ReviewBlaze Bayley
THE KING OF METAL

It’s amazing how many people out there only know Blaze Bayley from the two Iron Maiden albums where Steve Harris went through writer’s block. Because of how lame THE X FACTOR and VIRTUAL XI were, Bayley always got blamed. Since most people weren’t familiar with the rest of his catalog, they seemingly went along with it. That’s a shame though, because those of us that know albums like BLOOD AND BELIEF and SILICON MESSIAH know there is some KILLER metal out there that Bayley has put his name on over the years.

 

With THE KING OF METAL, Bayley does what he does best and he does it pretty well here. Considering that Bayley has been through just a ton of bad things over the last decade or so (wife dying, completely losing/firing his entire band, being unceremoniously tossed out of one of the biggest metal bands ever), it’s surprising that Bayley continues to create such quality material as he’s done here with THE KING OF METAL. Still, THE KING OF METAL showcases sides of Bayley that he’s rarely, if ever, shown before. Songs like the surprising piano ballad “One More Step” show that this guy is not invincible at all, but sometimes is pushed to the brink by all the things that have happened in his life. It’s a surprisingly moving song, and may just be the most real song of his entire catalog.

As for the rest of the material, it’s pretty much classic Blaze Bayley. Songs like “Fighter” and “The Rainbow Fades To Black” are galloping numbers that will have your head bobbing as you listen. For his part, Bayley is in pretty good voice although not the best he’s ever been. While his voice may be losing a touch of bite with age, he’s certainly not deteriorating like Brian Johnson with AC/DC or even anything close to that. Still, you hear a little bit of warble on songs like “Judge Me”. It’s insignificant though.

The only definitive negative to the album is the song “Dimebag”. I get it – its tributizing the Pantera guitar legend. Still, it’s so play by play to that fateful night in Columbus, Ohio. It’s far too informative about a bad situation instead of feeling like a true tribute. I’m sure the intention is good, but that day is one that’s better left unspoken of.

PITRIFF RATING – 82/100 –
I don’t think Blaze will ever top the brilliance of SILICON MESSIAH. That’s one of those desert island records for me. THE KING OF METAL is a solid slab of metal the way Blaze Bayley is best known for playing it. Quality metal from Mr. Bayley.

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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