• 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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  • Evergrey - HYMNS FOR THE BROKEN

    Image: Evergrey, Hymns For The Broken, Review, Progressive Metal Evergrey
    HYMNS FOR THE BROKEN

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    In the world of progressive metal, there are exactly 2 bands which I worship. Those bands are Symphony X and Evergrey. Both bands are immensely talented, feature incredible musicianship, and come full of great lyrical and musical representations that tell amazing stories to the listeners. Following their last release GLORIOUS COLLISION, it really seemed like Evergrey may have

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  • Ace Frehley - SPACE INVADER

    Image: Ace Frehley, Space Invader, Pitriff, Classic Metal, Reviews Ace Frehley
    SPACE INVADER

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    Am I the only one that is tired of not only Ace Frehley, but all members of Kiss past and present? Since they were nominated for the ROCK AND ROLL HALL OF CORPORATE, it has been a steady stream of nonsense, bickering, anger, hurt feelings and now emotional trauma. It's over already. Get over it. It's 2014. Kiss is

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  • Blackberry Smoke - LEAVE A SCAR

    Image: Blackberry Smoke, Leave A Scar, Pitriff, Review, Rock Blackberry Smoke
    LEAVE A SCAR - LIVE IN NORTH CAROLINA

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    Right up front, Blackberry Smoke is not a metal band. They are a southern-rock band, in the classic, original sense. These days, the term "southern rock" has been applied to everybody from Black Stone Cherry to Nashville Pussy to Crowbar, all sounds that would be alien and extreme in the days of Skynyrd and

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  • Skid Row - UNITED WORLD REBELLION, CHAPTER 2

    Image: Skid Row, United World Rebellion Chapter 2, Pitriff, Classic Metal, Review Skid Row
    UNITED WORLD REBELLION, CHAPTER 2

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    Part two of the three part Skid Row series known as UNITED WORLD REBELLION has been unleashed. Dubbed as RISE OF THE DAMNATION ARMY, UWR2 picks up where the first EP left off. There's simple math here. Over the course of these two EPs you have 14 songs. If you put the two together, you've got

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  • Downset - ONE BLOOD

    Image: Downset, One Blood, Pitriff, Review Downset
    ONE BLOOD

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    As a fan of Downset, I wasn't really surprised when the band split up in 2009. They claimed that "the band has run it's course". As a fan, I believe that. They definitely had a huge influence on a lot of the bigger nu-metal bands of the 2000s. Certainly, anyone that heard releases like DO WE SPEAK A DEAD LANGUAGE

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Godsmack - 1000HP

Image: Godsmack, 1000hp, review, pitriff, modern metalGodsmack
1000HP

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I must be getting old, because recently, I've noticed my attitude softening toward the dreaded "nu-metal" bands of fifteen years ago. Maybe it's just nostalgia for what I now perceive (incorrectly, I'm sure) as a simpler time, but the burnout and disinterest I felt circa 2002, the year I quit seriously listening to mainstream rock radio has mellowed of late. Don't get me wrong, I still won't go out of my way to listen to Creed (for just one example), but maybe I'm not going to dive through a glass door to get to the tuner to change the station before Scott Stapp's droning vocals start.

All this brings us to Godsmack's latest album, 1000hp. I thought Godsmack were just about the best of the best of the new breed back in '98, when their self-titled debut was released. I can still remember walking around campus my freshman year of college, inwardly chanting the chorus of "Whatever." The song just came out at the perfect time in my life. And even though I got bored with Godsmack after their second album, partly because there was just so much music out there to explore in the post-Napster universe, I still respected them. It seemed to me like they, and a few others, actually understood what metal is supposed to FEEL like. A lot of bands can drop-tune and sound angry or moody, but they forget about that sense of power that's supposed to be there.

So here they are again, Sully and the gang returned after four years and nearly breaking up over hurt feelings about side-projects. And although song titles like "FML" (I guessed "Fuck My Life" even before I'd heard the song), "Something Different," and "What's Next," would indicate a deep yearning for change and a dissatisfaction with the predictable, Godsmack play it straight down the middle. There's nothing as aggressive or raging as the first two albums, but if you've heard Faceless, IV, or The Oracle, you know what to expect. Chunky, heavy riffs, midtempo grooves, and angsty psychobabble lyrics. It's a poor man's mix of Black Album-era Metallica and early Alice In Chains, Sully's Hetfield-isms leading the way. And yet he seems to be singing more and growling less with each successive release. The more energetic songs like "What's Next," "Locked & Loaded" and the title track (complete with the overused motorcycle sound effect) remind me why I still like this band.

But there's no denying the music sounds pretty samey after not very long. That's one of the problems with drop-tuning. Whether you drop your top string to D, C or B, you're pretty much stuck playing in that key—there's not that much you can do with the guitar until you tune it back up. This has always been a problem with Godsmack. The unwavering approach extends to the lyrics as well. "Don't cry or sympathy," Sully sings on "Locked & Loaded," "All your whining, it fuckin' tires me." Interesting words from a guy who's never shied away from trite, talk show-style self-examination.

PITRIFF RATING - 71/100 - It's Godsmack. You know what you're getting. 1000hp might overestimate its engine specs by about half, but fans of the band have no reason in the world to be disappointed. Having said that, if you've moved on at all on your own personal musical odyssey, no one could blame you for not being bowled over. There's a definite sense of having heard it all before. I prefer the Godsmack of the first two albums, back when, if they did a ballad, it was the creepiness of "Voodoo," and not this album's "Something Different." Godsmack do what they do, and do it well, so to give them a lower rating would be unfair. And in their own active-rock world, I'd take 'em in a heartbeat over Three Days Grace or Papa Roach.

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