• Halestorm - INTO THE WILD LIFE

    Image: Halestorm, Into The Wild Life, Pitriff, heavy metal, reviews, interviews Halestorm
    INTO THE WILD LIFE

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    With the release of THE STRANGE CASE OF…, I fell in love with Lzzy Hale. So much so, in fact, that I jokingly got down on one knee and asked her to marry me at Rock On The Range two years ago (a proposal that she didn’t flat out turn down, so maybe there’s still hope!!). Let’s be

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  • Marilyn Manson - THE PALE EMPEROR

    Image: Marilyn Manson, The Pale Emperor, Pitriff, Modern Metal, Reviews Marilyn Manson
    THE PALE EMPEROR

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    Let’s just call it the way it is. It’s been a very, very long time since Marilyn Manson recorded a really good, memorable release that any of us still listen to on a regular basis. To many, the would probably says that it’s been since MECHANICAL ANIMALS back in 1998. For me personally, I’ll be a bit more

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  • Black Star Riders - THE KILLER INSTINCT

    Image: Black Star Riders, The Killer Instinct, Review, Classic Rock, Pitriff Black Star Riders
    THE KILLER INSTINCT

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    When Black Star Riders made their decision to record under a new name instead of as Thin Lizzy, it was met with a lot of opinions. For most, I would assume they were happy that they decided to move away from the name they had been touring under. For many, I'm sure there was a lot of

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  • Lynch Mob - SUN RED SUN

    Image: Lynch Mob, Sun Red Sun, George Lynch, Classic Rock, Reviews Lynch Mob
    SUN RED SUN

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    On THE CLASSIC METAL SHOW, George Lynch is regularly a topic of conversation. Maybe that has to do with the fact that Neeley is a personal friend of Don Dokken and I work for Don on his website, but I like to believe that he becomes a topic because, first and foremost, we are big fans of the

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  • Karma To Burn - ARCH STANTON

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    ARCH STANTON

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    There are those of us who know. We will forever be known as the "fortunate ones". There are those of you that have no idea. You will be known as the "unfortunate ones". What is it we know that you don't? We know the sheer greatness of Karma To Burn. For those that are unfortunate ones, let me

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  • U.D.O. - DECADENT

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    DECADENT

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    I'm sure I'm not in the minority here, but I'm glad that we now have a killer version of Accept with Mark Tornillo as well as the continuation of U.D.O. with Udo Dirkschneider. In short, it's led to both bands stepping up their game and creating great music. While neither side will admit competition with the other band, the fans certainly

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  • Sweet & Lynch - ONLY TO RISE

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    ONLY TO RISE

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    Being completely honest here, I really didn't expect a whole lot out of this. I'm not the biggest Stryper fan in the world by a long shot, and the truth is that I just never could fully get into Michael Sweet's vocals. There's just always been something about him. I'm not sure what it is. I guess

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  • AC/DC - ROCK OR BUST

    Image: Rock Or Bust, AC/DC, Chris Akin, Pitriff, Classic Metal, Review AC/DC
    ROCK OR BUST

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    In a year that has see a foundational piece of AC/DC succumb to a debilitating illness and another to his own personal insanity, AC/DC emerges after seemingly forever away with ROCK OR BUST. To be fair and truthfully honest, expectations on this release were pretty low. I know that AC/DC is a band that's been in business almost 50

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  • Whitesnake - BACK TO THE BONE

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    LIVE IN '84 - BACK TO THE BONE

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    David Coverdale and company have had a very long and successful history that started even before he formed Whitesnake. There's no denying the legacy here. Coverdale has had a fantastic career with Whitesnake, and his time in Deep Purple was every bit as strong to that band as a Sammy Hagar was to Van Halen

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  • Wretch - WARRIORS

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    There's an unwritten rule that I rarely follow here in Cleveland. That rule is that if a band is from Cleveland, I'm supposed to write all glowing things or else be called a hater by the local community. It's sad that it's like that, but the truth is what it is. For years I've lived with that stigma, to the point

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  • Machine Head - BLOODSTONE & DIAMONDS

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    BLOODSTONE & DIAMONDS

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    What happened to Machine Head really is a crime. Unfortunately for them, it's a crime they perpetrated upon themselves. With a mistake so many made in their youth, this band singlehandedly torpedoed themselves from ascending to the heights in metal held by only the select few like Metallica and Megadeth before them. After THE MORE THINGS CHANGE came

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  • Nashville Outlaws - TRIBUTE TO MOTLEY CRUE

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    A TRIBUTE TO MOTLEY CRUE

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    With the music industry pretty much dead anymore, nothing really comes off as shocking. After all, you have very desperate companies trying to hang on and make money from an industry that has about as much relevance today as the typewriter ribbon makers of the world still do. The current trend for the last half decade

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Image: Mystic prophecy, ravenlordMystic Prophecy
RAVENLORD

When it comes to power metal bands out there that a lot of people don't know but should, Mystic Prophecy jumps right to the top of the list.  Their albums are consistently excellent, with their SATANIC CURSES being a tremendous effort that's still in steady rotation in my IPod almost 5 years after it was released.  With every band though, when you set the bar extremely high, you have that moment where you fall back a little bit.  Being fair here, I do really like RAVENLORD, but it's simply not as good as their past releases.  It's solid, but probably the worst of their catalog.

 Again, not a bad album by any stretch.  There are times when these guys turn up the speed and just launch.  "Die Now" is probably the fastest and heaviest song of the bands career; complete with vocalist Roberto Dimitri Liapakis snarling his way through the song instead of using his more clean vocal that he's known for.  As always though, Liapakis is the solid leader of this band.  He roars throughout, reminding at times of Tom Englund of Evergrey in choruses.

Regardless of Liapakis, Mystic Prophecy will always be a band that lives and dies with their guitar players.  The band once featured legendary guitarist Gus G., and now features Markus Pohl and Constantine.  They are equal to the task once again on RAVENLORD.  They rip it up, specifically in the solo, on the album's best track, "Eyes Of The Devil".  Constantine and Pohl are stablized by a rock solid underbelly created by bassist Connie Andreszka and fairly new drummer Claudio Sisto.  They rip as a unit on "Damned Tonight".

While most of this album is solid, Mystic Prophecy suffer a few bumps along the way, and one jarring misstep.  That misstep comes with their over the top, pretty horrible cover of Ozzy's "Miracle Man" from NO REST FOR THE WICKED.  This one is just all over the place.  The guitars are kind of out of control, centered around the excitement of throwing in pinch harmonics every two seconds a la Zakk Wylde, but with far less control.  The guitars are not the issue though.  The vocals from Liapakis on this song are terrible...and I mean really terrible.  Simply put, Liapakis tries and fails at putting on an Ozzy voice, and it almost sounds like they didn't put the effects on his voice that gave him the booming quality on the rest of the album.  This song is horrible, sloppy, and really puts a bad ending on an otherwise solid to extremely good album.

PITRIFF RATING - 75/100 - Most of this kicks ass as power metal goes, but the ending is a total downer.  RAVENLORD is a solid effort from a band that generally delivers far more than a solid effort, so it's a bit of a disappointment.  Still, it's worth having.  While not the best effort these guys have ever done, if you leave "Miracle Man" off your IPod, you won't be disappointed with the listening experience at all.

Chris Akin

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A look at one of the most polarizing, iconic and best selling albums of all time from author, rock critic and shock jock radio host Chris Akin.

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