• 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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Boston - LIFE, LOVE & HOPE

Image: Boston, Life Love and Hope, Pitriff, heavy metal, reviewsBoston
LIFE, LOVE & HOPE

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Boston is one of those bands that, as a fan, has just been one of the most frustrating to follow.  Their career has been so sporadic musically and so infrequent release-wise that they literally tanked their career for the sake of the creative musings of their leader, guitarist Tom Scholz. To be pretty honest, they haven't done anything that's been that great since the THIRD STAGE release, which came back in 1986.  Following the death of vocalist Brad Delp, they seemed like they may just be over, but were resurrected in the live setting by Stryper vocalist Michael Sweet.  Sweet has since left, but new vocalist Tommy DiCarlo seems to be a pretty good clone of Delp sonically.  So, onward does the Boston spaceship sail.

Unfortunately with LIFE, LOVE & HOPE, Boston has clearly cooled the engines.  In short, LIFE, LOVE & HOPE has a few decent moments, no great ones, and a lot of stuff that sounds like studio demos that should have been left on the cutting room floor.  For an album that took over 10 years to produce, the most shocking first impression is the tacky, poor drum sound that seems to have been clearly programmed by a drum machine.  It's absolutely annoying hearing this mechanical, cold beat underneath songs like the instrumental "Last Day Of School".  This is one of many complaints though.

The biggest problem with LIFE, LOVE & HOPE is the lack of cohesiveness in both the songs and the release as a whole.  For one thing, Scholz and company chose to use some pre-existing vocals from the now deceased Delp on LIFE, LOVE & HOPE.  Listening to songs like "Sail Away", it's pretty obvious that these were, at best, individual takes, and more than likely scratch tracks that were being worked on.  If these were finished tracks that just hadn't emerged until now, then it's clear that Delp was well on his way to suicide, as the vocal performances here are as lifeless as he now is.  Other songs like "Heaven & Earth" are somewhat better, but not much.

Scholz doesn't fair much better, ultimately.  For a guy who's guitar once had such fire behind it, the playing on LIFE, LOVE & HOPE is just dull.  Certainly, that signature wall of sound that Boston always had on guitar is there, but there's not an ounce of fire in any of the songs.  The only song that even remotely reminds you of the band's glorious past is the title track, "Life, Love & Hope", which has a catchy, familiar melody line in it that could have come from outtakes of "Long Time" or "We're Ready" from a much better time in the band's career.  Even here though, Scholz minor soloing is a bit flat and weak.

PITRIFF RATING - 32/100 - Well, the cover art is nice.  Other than that, this release is on par or even below what they gave us with CORPORATE AMERICA, which was pretty much a dud on impact as well.  No lying, I'll go visit whatever club they play locally next year as I'm a huge fan.  That said, I won't know any of the words to these songs if they decide to play them.  LIFE, LOVE & HOPE pretty much stinks.

Life, Love & Hope

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