• 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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  • 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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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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