• Sweet & Lynch - ONLY TO RISE

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

    CD
    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

    CD
    MP3

    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

    CD
    MP3

    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

    CD
    MP3

    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

    CD
    MP3

    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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Review - Mollo Martin

Image: Mollo Martin, Pitriff, CD ReviewsMollo Martin
THE THIRD CAGE

I get the math. When a major band changes singers, the next guy never gets the respect of the first. If they change again, that guy always gets disrespected greatly. Look no further than the once again popular Van Halen for proof. Anyone want to argue that Gary Cherone was ever given respect in that band? I thought not. In my eyes though, the single most disrespected singer in rock history has to be vocalist Tony Martin. Martin had the distinction of being the guy who replaced Dio in Black Sabbath. You remember - Dio replaced Ozzy, and then Martin replaced Dio. As third guy on the totem pole of Black Sabbath, I would argue that his catalog from start to finish was stronger than the Ozzy era (the whole Ozzy era, not just the first 4 albums). I personally will always reach for an album like HEADLESS CROSS long before something like TECHNICAL ECSTACY. Maybe it's just me, but I have long respected and sung the praises of the Martin era of Sabbath.

For THE THIRD CAGE, Tony Martin continues his decade long relationship with Italian guitarist Dario Mollo to create some cool, albeit friendlier, hard rock that is enjoyable to listen to. Martin sounds as good as ever vocally, even if the music isn't the intense type that many remember him doing with Black Sabbath or even on his solo work like SCREAM. The music is much more Journey / Foreigner / Night Ranger like than you might expect. Still, Martin's powerful pipes power the material here. Songs like "One Of The Few" prove just how strong a singer Martin truly is. This song, which sounds like a cross between the late era pop-rock Scorpions and something Jeff Scott Soto might record, if full of Martin's flowing vocals and some virtuoso like solo fills and riffs provided by Mollo. For his part, Mollo is a tremendous guitarist. There are times when he heavies things up a bit, like on the thick rocker "Still In Love With You". Simply, Mollo can play, and showcases a lot of different styles on THE THIRD CAGE.

The lone drawback to this project is that it doesn't feel hugely organic at all. While I have no idea if this is a project or a band, it definitely feels like a project. It would not surprise me at all if this project was put together via MP3 trading. Again, I have no way to know that as true, but there's just something lacking here. It just doesn't feel like they were in the same room, where the energy would have flowed between Mollo and Martin.

PITRIFF RATING - 73/100 - A solid effort from one of the most underrated singers in the business. My hunch is this would sound a lot better performed live as there would be a new vibe to it, but it's still not too bad.

Chris Akin

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