• 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

    Image: Arch Stanton, Karma To Burn, Pitriff, Stoner Metal, Reviews Karma To Burn
    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

    Image: U.D.O. - DECADENT, Classic Metal, Reviews, Pitriff U.D.O.
    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

    Image: Sweet & Lynch, Only To Rise, CD Review, Classic Metal, Pitriff Sweet & Lynch
    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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Corrosion Of Conformity, Pitriff, CD ReviewCorrosion Of Conformity
CORROSION OF CONFORMITY

Is it just me, or is the first album you actually hear from a band the measuring stick by which you compare everything else from that band? When I look at my musical collection, it's like that. I look at a band like Testament, where the first album I heard from them is SOULS OF BLACK. Everything they've done since is measured against that in my head, and everything before that in some way seems to be not quite up to that release in my mind. I'm not sure why that is, but I find that my first taste of a band is where I ground myself. While some releases can be better than that first release (THE GATHERING for me is far superior, as is FORMATION OF DAMNATION), I just don't see PRACTICE WHAT YOU PREACH in the same light. Maybe because it was old before I ever heard it. Dumb, I know.

What does any of this have to do with Corrosion Of Conformity? Well, with them, I discovered their music after Pepper Keenan was in the band. I'm a huge, huge fan, but for me the pre-Pepper COC never really grabbed me because it was so drastically different in sound from where I entered fandom with them. My first reaction to Pepper-less COC putting out a new album this year was, "eh", to be honest about it. But now I've heard it, and I have to say that this is a seriously triumphant release from the returning trio. CORROSION OF CONFORMITY packs a wallop musically as it does far more than those old releases like ANIMOSITY ever did. The return of COC 1.0 may be heralded as a return to the more punk style of early releases, but it's much more of a fusion of both eras of music these guys have done for 30 years.

Listening to this album, the punk influences are definitely there. You can't listen to a song like "Psychic Vampire" and not realize that these guys were heavily influenced by the heavier punk scenes from three decades ago. That said though, their stoner heritage of the Pepper era is on display throughout as well. "Come Not Here" might be the best mood-enhanced song of the band's career. They shine brighest though on songs like "What We Become", where the amalgamation of their two distinct styles merge.

For their part, the guys in the band sound great. It's clear their touring prior to recording this release helped them out greatly. Their sound, while not the lush soundscape they've done on previous efforts, has a really organic feel to it that would lend me to believe that there's not a lot of studio magic here. These songs have that live power" to them, specifically on guitar where Woody Weatherman is once again an underrated beast with his instrument.

PITRIFF RATING - 96/100 - CORROSION OF CONFORMITY is a seething return for this trio. I think their press people may be going overboard by selling the whole ANIMOSITY lineup return, because this release stands on it's own merits away from past glory from the band. This organic ass kicker may not be the most polished release of the band's career, but it's one of the best. Moody, arrogant at times, and constantly spitting in the face of their perceived sound, it's clear that this band will be just fine as a trio should "the other guy" never find his way back. This is a seriously awesome release.

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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