• 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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    CD

    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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SpiralArms - FREEDOM

SpiralArms, Freedom, Pitriff, CD ReviewSpiralArms
FREEDOM

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There are great recordings, and then there are releases that just get better each and every time you listen to them.  SpiralArms new release FREEDOM is one of those releases.  I loved it the first time I heard it, and it's done nothing but get stronger with each and every listen for me.  Maybe it's the mood I'm in these days, or maybe it's just that great music is coming out fast and furiously, but it seems like for the past two months, each release has been better than the last.  In the last 3 months alone, I've proclaimed "album of the year" twice before...Vista Chino's PEACE and Scorpion Child's self-titled debut.  Now, I'm proclaiming it once again.  Full of diversity and influences from all the right bands in the history of rock and metal, FREEDOM stands as the lone perfect listening experience of 2013 for me.  This one is a stunner.

Describing exactly what is going on here with SpiralArms' FREEDOM is not an easy task.  It's appealing to a lot of different audiences, to say the least.  Without question, the music will work very well for the stoner rock/metal crowd, although much like Scorpion Child's release it's not a full on, fuzzed out hempfest of a release.  Guitarist Craig Locicero's (ex-Forbidden / ex-Manmade God) has a much bigger and fuller guitar tone than the standard stoner rock guitarist.  As a former thrash veteran, he also knows how to bring it a lot heavier.  Songs like "Dropping Like Flies" prove that there's a lot of metal in this band when they want to showcase it.  Other songs, like the driving "Drugs & Alcohol" find Locicero just rockin through some of the chunkier, more galloping riffs of his professional career.

Locicero is only a small part of the story here though.  SpiralArms is led vocally by former Systematic vocalist Tim Narducci.  Unlike the generic sounds that band had, his vocals on FREEDOM are far more gritty, powerful and emotional.  In fact, there are four or five songs on the disc that are mid-tempo that seem built to showcase Narducci's emotional delivery time and time again.  Listening to "Exit 63", you feel his passion exploding from his soul as he calmly roars through the chorus.  This song is arguably the best song on the disc, with the giant crescendo building in the middle of the song instrumentally before Narducci repeats the simple, yet effective chorus.  The song also features a sweet piano line which also closes the song that is very much reminiscent of the Derek & The Dominos classic "Layla (Piano Exit)".  ' If that song isn't enough, it's quickly followed by another masterpiece called "Blackmoon Morning", which adds an almost Stone Temple Pilots vibe at the beginning as Narducci starts low before taking his vocal to his higher, more powerful place with Locicero laying in a fat, Soundgarden-esque riff underneath.  It just rocks...period.

PITRIFF RATING - 100/100 - I'm not one for giving perfect scores, as there's almost always flaws in everything.  I can't find one here.  While I know for some their score might be lower because they don't have as wide a musical diversity as I do, there's literally nothing in the hard rock/heavy metal template that isn't touched on here for me.  This has been the sole release in my iPod for a couple of weeks now, because the songs are just so strong and impressive.  This needs to be experienced.

 

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