• 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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  • Opeth - PALE COMMUNION

    Image: Opeth, Pale Communion, Pitriff, Review, Progressive Metal Opeth
    PALE COMMUNION

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    Opeth simply fails as a band, at least to me. While I'll admit to never fully understanding the amazement and awe so many have for this band, I've appreciated them from afar. I've listened, and I've at least wrapped my head around what they were trying to do. Their fusing of death metal with progressive elements always made for an

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  • Cannibal Corpse - A SKELETAL DOMAIN

    Cannibal Corpse, A Skeletal Domain, Review, Death Metal Cannibal Corpse
    A SKELETAL DOMAIN

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    So really, what does anyone expect when you get a Cannibal Corpse release handed to you? Ballads, love songs and fun? Not hardly. There's an expectation of severe brutality which the band delivers time and time again. Certainly, it comes with different levels of acceptance to one's ears, but ultimately the only thing that matters if it says

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  • Exodus - BLOOD IN, BLOOD OUT

    Image: Exodus, Blood In Blood Out, Pitriff, Review, Thrash Metal Exodus
    BLOOD IN, BLOOD OUT

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    Unless you call Testament a "thrash band" (which I don't personally), Exodus would rank as my favorite true Thrash band of all time. They have had good times and bad. Occasionally, like on FABULOUS DISASTER, they have misstepped along the way. But overall, they are one of the true powerhouses in the history of thrash metal. Since 2004

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  • Mr. Big - ...THE STORIES WE COULD TELL

    Mr. Big, The Stories We Could Tell, Reviews, Classic Metal, Chris Akin, Pitriff Mr. Big
    ...THE STORIES WE COULD TELL

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    As a fan of Mr. Big, I can't honestly say that many people thought that their reunion was much more than a cash grab opportunity for the guys in the band who, while immensely talented, failed to find solo success to match their collaborative efforts. It was never a question of if they could still play.

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  • Slash - WORLD ON FIRE

    Image: Slash, Myles Kennedy, Conspirators, World On Fire, Pitriff, review, classic metal Slash
    WORLD ON FIRE

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    Hey Gene Simmons. The corpse of rock n' roll just had a baby. That baby is not an average baby at all. That baby was not stillborn, but came out kicking and screaming with an intensity rarely seen. This baby is destined for greatness. This infant is out to prove you wrong. While your days of spitting fire and

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  • Davey Suicide - WORLDWIDE SUICIDE

    Image: Davey Suicide, Worldwide Suicide, Pitriff, Reviews, Modern Metal Davey Suicide
    WORLDWIDE SUICIDE

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    I had the pleasure of working directly with Davey Suicide as he prepped his debut release a few years ago for release. I got to work with him on some promotional stuff, some publicity stuff, his website and a lot more of that kind of stuff. In that work, I quickly found him to be far more than the

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  • Ministry - LAST TANGLE IN PARIS

    Image: Ministry, Last Tangle In Paris, Pitriff, Review, Industrial Metal Ministry
    LAST TANGLE IN PARIS

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    Al Jourgensen of Ministry has been threatening to take his ball and go home for a long time now. Quite frankly, I'm not sure I believe that he'll ever retire. Every time he says he's retiring, he seems to come right back with more music that's stronger, meaner and just better than anything in his past. Being quite

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  • Kix - ROCK YOUR FACE OFF

    Image: Kix, Rock Your Face Off, Classic Metal, Pitriff, Review Kix
    ROCK YOUR FACE OFF

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    Kix might just be the last of the '80's bands to release new material. By now, it seems like everybody else you could name from the glory days of yesteryear has made a stab at making music in the new millennium. Of course, a lot of them, we wish they hadn't, and just left us to our misty-eyed

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Godsmack - LIVE & INSPIRED

Image: Godsmack, Live & Inspired, heavy metal, pitriff, news, reviews, interviewsGodsmack
LIVE & INSPIRED

I'm sure I'll probably get killed here by my metal brethren, but I actually like Godsmack.  Certainly, I realize they are a more metal version of Nickelback; a band whose sole goal is to create three or four radio hits on each album, sell a good amount of music and concert tickets, and basically be a key cog in the radio rock syndicate.  I get it - it's less about the art of music than the business of music with them.  That said, they have been consistently solid with their albums...so much so that most say they are the modern day AC/DC where there's NO difference from record to record.  For Godsmack, all a new album means to most people is that they will be invading radio with the sames songs as always...but with different words attached to them.

Another thing I've learned about Godsmack though is that their consistency does not stop in the recording studio.  Having seen them 3 times, they are consistently boring on stage.  I saw them once before they were big, and twice after they made it.  They killed it before they were big.  They were very dull live after they hit.  LIVE & INSPIRED pretty much captures the successful live Godsmack experience.  They bring all the energy of the corpse in the first minute of an episode of LAW & ORDER: SVU.  Each member of the band (sans drummer Shannon Larkin, who's drums are booming throughout) puts forth a remarkably drab performance here that is boring to painful to get through.  Songs like "Straight Out Of Line" are greatly diminished without the studio enhancements added to the vocals of Sully Erna.  That song is still decent, but it gets worse as things move on.  "Moon Baby" is simply painful to listen to as Erna drones on and on through a megaphone or some other voice altering device.  The band drone on and on throughout this show; playing all of their hits and making you wish that you had just decided to listen to one of their studio albums instead.

Also included on this release are four newly recorded cover songs - Joe Walsh's "Rocky Mountain Way", The Beatles "Come Together", Pink Floyd's "Time" and Metallica's "Nothing Else Matters".  In short, four unnecessary versions of these songs that really no one needed to hear.  In fairness, the reworking of "Come Together" is interesting and pretty good.  As for "Rocky Mountain Way" and "Time", both are pretty much standard re-recordings of the work that lack what the originals had.  As for "Nothing Else Matters", I think that speaks for itself.

PITRIFF RATING - 34/100 - Boring, uninspired and featuring about as much life as Whitney Houston's bath water, LIVE & INSPIRED is certainly one of the least necessary releases to come along in awhile.  Just buy the studio albums - they are a whole lot better.  On a side note, since Oracle came out we've had a Sully solo album, a greatest hits and now a live record.  Is this band about to call it a day?

Chris Akin



Live & Inspired - Godsmack

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