• 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 - Lillian Axe

Image: Lillian Axe, The Days Before Tomorrow, Pitriff, CD ReviewLillian Axe
XI: THE DAYS BEFORE TOMORROW

To say the least, Lillian Axe continuing on must just be the mission of guitarist Steve Blaze.  Certainly, even he would have to admit that the band has suffered it's share of setbacks over the last few years.  With five years of seemingly a new vocalist fronting the band for each release, it's just been tough to get continuity as a band for Blaze and company.  For THE DAYS BEFORE TOMORROW, they even had to switch albums mid-cycle when former Metal Church vocalist Ronnie Munroe left the band.  Still, they have carried on.

 XI: THE DAYS BEFORE TOMORROW is a solid effort from Lillian Axe.  It's not an effort that's going to win the band a lot of new fans, but it won't scare anyone away either.  In short, THE DAYS BEFORE TOMORROW is a fairly standard release from "The Axe".  With the focus once again on a new singer, Brian C. Jones steps in and does an admirable job here.  He shines brightest on "Death Comes Tomorrow"; a ballad built to showcase the smooth, strong voice that Jones possesses.  Throughout the entire disc, Jones is solid.  He's not an overly dynamic singer by any means, but the music on THE DAYS BEFORE TOMORROW do not call for that.

One thing that's highly noticable on THE DAYS BEFORE TOMORROW is the fairly standard, unflashy performance from Steve Blaze.  While Lillian Axe has never been a virtuoso guitar band, they have always been a heavily guitar oriented band with a very dynamic sound coming from Blaze's six strings.  For whatever reason, that's not really happening here.  Sure, Blaze plays well, but the riffs and leads are just not as sharp and ripping on past efforts.  Songs like "Gather Up The Snow" are a prime example.  There's a nice solo and a good crunchy riff throughout the song, but it's just not powerful and dynamic.  This may be a production thing and not a playing thing, but it just feels flat here.  That's far from the normal with Blaze.  Faster numbers, like "Caged In", suffer from this same quality, although this song is somewhat more biting with the leads that are tossed into the mix.

PITRIFF RATING - 70/100 - Being honest, I expected a bit more from Lillian Axe because I'm a big fan of Steve Blaze.  This release is solid enough, but far from memorable the way even recent albums like WATERS RISING were.  You won't hate this, but you certainly won't keep this in heavy rotation in your IPod either.

Chris Akin

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