• Black Label Society - CATACOMBS OF THE BLACK VATICAN

    Image: Black Label Society, Catacombs Of The Black Vatican, Pitriff, Review, Classic Metal Black Label Society
    CATACOMBS OF THE BLACK VATICAN

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    When Zakk Wylde decides to release new music, the metal world definitely stops for a moment and listens. They may not like it all, but they do listen. It's a testament to how unbelievable the man is on guitar; a true legend who stands shoulder to shoulder with the Eddie Van Halen's and Dimebag Darrell's

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  • Lacuna Coil - BROKEN CROWN HALO

    Image: Lacuna Coil, Broken Crown Halo, Review, Modern Metal, Pitriff Lacuna Coil
    BROKEN CROWN HALO

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    It's not really much of a secret that two of my favorite bands out there today are fronted by ladies. Those two bands are Halestorm and Lacuna Coil. While it took me awhile to latch onto Halestorm, Lacuna Coil was a band that I latched on the very first time I heard them. I remember getting a sampler

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  • Sevendust - TIME TRAVELERS & BONFIRES

    Image: Sevendust, Time Travelers & Bonfires, Review, Modern Metal, Pitriff Sevendust
    TIME TRAVELERS & BONFIRES

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    Sevendust are really a band for the fans, and the fans are definitely always there for the band. Case in point - their latest release TIME TRAVELERS & BONFIRES. This release is one paid for by the latest trend hitting the music business, pre-funding by the fans to pay for a project. The band asked for a lot for

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  • Various Artists: Ronnie James Dio - THIS IS YOUR LIFE

    Image: Dio, This Is Your Life, Pitriff, Review, Classic metal Various Artists
    RONNIE JAMES DIO: THIS IS YOUR LIFE

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    As much as I want to take this at face value, it's hard to not at least wonder just how many times Wendy Dio is going to visit the Dio well and mine more material culled from his past work. There's already been multiple live releases, deluxe reissues, an officially sanctioned band playing the

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  • Red Reign - CHASING SHADOWS

    Image: Red Reign, Chasing Shadows, Pitriff, Review, Classic Metal Red Reign
    CHASING SHADOWS

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    It's not very often that a band that has zero backing behind it sweeps in and just monopolizes my listening time. Generally, bands like Red Reign get 30 seconds as I quickly scan through their music and I'm on to something else that I'm getting pressured to review by a publicist. For Red Reign, I was asked to review

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  • Steel Panther - ALL YOU CAN EAT

    Image: Steel Panther, All You Can Eat, The Classic Metal Show Steel Panther
    ALL YOU CAN EAT

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    They certainly are the joke that just keeps on being retold and being funny, now aren't they? I'm sure there's a lot less people that remember them as Metal Shop, Metal Skool or even way back to the Danger Kitty days, but a whole lot more people have discovered this band since they adopted the name Steel

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  • Sebastian Bach - GIVE 'EM HELL

    Sebastian Bach, Give 'Em Hell, Pitriff, CD Review Sebastian Bach
    GIVE 'EM HELL

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    It seems like every time Sebastian Bach releases new music, the first thought that comes to my mind is "this dude comes off like a douchebag ALOT in interviews, but he just kicks ass musically." Amazing how that comes back around. Baz is back, and he's been saying some interesting things in recent interviews. Yet, just ignoring that

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  • Gamma Ray - EMPIRE OF THE UNDEAD

    Image: Gamma Ray, Empire Of The Undead, Pitriff, CD Review, Power Metal Gamma Ray
    EMPIRE OF THE UNDEAD

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    My affinity for Gamma Ray really predates the band itself, as it's much more of an appreciation for the vocal work of singer Kai Hansen. Be it with Gamma Ray or his legendary work with his previous band Helloween, Hansen has always been not only one of the most elite vocalists in power metal in my eyes,

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  • Vandenberg's MoonKings - VANDENBERG'S MOONKINGS

    Image: Vandenberg's Moonkings, Pitriff, Classic Rock, Classic Metal Vandenberg's MoonKings
    VANDENBERG'S MOONKINGS

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    Adrian Vandenberg and Jake E. Lee have seemingly the same career path. Both were great in super huge bands (Vandenberg in Whitesnake, Lee in Ozzy), recorded even better material when they broke away (Lee with Badlands, Vandenberg with Manic Eden), and then both walked away and just left music behind for awhile. Now, both are back. Lee's Red Dragon

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  • Pilgrim - II: VOID WORSHIP

    Image: Pilgrim, Void Worship, Pitriff, doom metal, review Pilgrim
    II: VOID WORSHIP

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    In the epic world of doom metal, there are a lot of pretenders. There are only a few that are truly authentic though. Pilgrim is one of the most authentic I think I've ever heard. Their grinding, slow moving sludge is such from which legends put on this Earth to slay anyone or anything in it's path. Made up

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  • Hatecore Inc. - NO HOPE, NO ESCAPE VOL. 1

    Image: Hatecore Inc, No Hope, No Escape Vol 1, Pitriff, Review Hatecore, Inc.
    NO HOPE, NO ESCAPE VOL. 1: WELCOME TO MY WAR

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    Being from the Cleveland area, I've seen a lot of bands get ignored for whatever reason. On the national side of things, most people look at bands north of Columbus as being from "Cleveland". Unfortunately though, that's not how it works. For as long as I've been in this scene, there

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  • KXM - KXM

    Image: KXM, George Lynch, Dug Pinnick, Ray Luzier, Pitriff KXM
    KXM

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    Some points of clarity before I write a single world about the new project KXM, in order that this review is understood and evaluated fairly by anyone reading it. This project features three guys - Dug Pinnick of King's X, George Lynch of Dokken and Lynch Mob fame, and Ray Luzier who is currently the drummer for Korn. Out of fairness, I'll

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Review - Spineshank

Image: Spineshank, Anger Denial Acceptance, Pitriff, heavy metal, reviewSpineshank
ANGER DENIAL ACCEPTANCE

I'm a guy that pretty much accepted, but never really liked, a whole lot of that late 90s/early 2000s brand of metal that was inspired by the success of Slipknot but really took dramatic steps toward being a more sterile version of that exciting band.  That said though, one band that I truly did enjoy immensely was Spineshank.  Their STRICTLY DIESEL release was an impressive collection of polished, angry modern metal that should have stood as the blueprint of how to move the genre along.  It didn't though, as the masses gravitated more to the Killswitch Engage sound than what Spineshank had to offer.  They continued on, but the albums got weaker and weaker as  they came along...eventually leading to the band breaking up.

Years have now passed, and they have returned with ANGER DENIAL ACCEPTANCE.  Sometimes a band should just accept the fact that it's over and move on.  This is one of those times.  While horrible by no means, ANGER DENIAL ACCEPTANCE is something that I never thought I'd think about a Spineshank record.  It's boring.  There are a few spots where the energy is there (like the title track), but overall ANGER DENIAL ACCEPTANCE sounds just like every other band out there in this post-hardcore era that combines screamo with mournful clean vocals to portray their "deep inner pain".  Vocalist Jonny Santos has returned to the fold for ANGER DENIAL ACCEPTANCE, but he left all the parts of his voice that were interesting with his other band, Silent Civilian.  Replacing it is a lot of standard fare in modern metal - a lot of whining about how the world has fucked him over, a lot of screaming that sounds almost the exactly the same when every vocalist of this genre does it, and a solid dose of clean vocal apathy to showcase how deep that inner pain really is.  In short, Santos sounds like the perfect whiny bitch that mirrors the attitude of this entire generation of music fans in their "you owe me, I'm too pathetic to do anything myself" lives.

Musically, they just don't score very high on the interesting meter either.  Again, it's not terrible or anything, but it's pretty lacking of a lot of interesting or memorable moments.  There are moments, like the nice intro called "Ploration Morbus", but it's bleeds right into a wall of poor, almost muffled distortion on "Everything Everyone Everywhere Ends".  Guitarist Mike Sarkisyan has proven on past releases that he has dynamic skills.  On ANGER DENIAL ACCEPTANCE, he proves that he's more than capable at providing simple, standard riffs that fail to establish themselves as anything other than the wall of fairly muddled sound that dominates much of this release.  The rhythm section is fine performance wise as well, although it's highly questionable that drummer Tom Decker came out of these sessions happy with the flat sound captured of his playing.

PITRIFF RATING - 55/100 - If 50% is the middle of the road, then ANGER DENIAL ACCEPTANCE comes in slightly above that.  The muddled sound of the music combined with an overall boring performance from Santos derails this release before it gets off the ground.  That said, receiving this made me pull out STRICTLY DIESEL and the brilliant release THE HEIGHT OF CALLOUSNESS, so I guess that's good enough for me.  If you are new to the band, don't start here.  If you aren't new to them, then skip over this and avoid the disappointment.

Chris Akin

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