• 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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    MP3

    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

    Image: Whitesnake, Back To The Bone, Pitriff, Chris Akin Whitesnake
    LIVE IN '84 - BACK TO THE BONE

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    MP3

    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

    Image: Wretch, Warriors, Review, Power Metal, Chris Akin, Pitriff 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

    Image: Machine Head, Bloodstone & Diamonds, Pitriff, Review, Thrash Metal Machine Head
    BLOODSTONE & DIAMONDS

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    MP3

    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

    Image: Nashville Outlaws, Motley Crue Tribute Nashville Outlaws
    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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  • 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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Review - Corrosion Of Conformity

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.

CLICK HERE to learn more about CAUSE/EFFECT: METALLICA.

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The shockingly honest and emotional first book from radio personality and rock critic Chris Akin.

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Read Reviews and Excerpts from LITTLE VICTORIES: A TALE OF DIVORCE, DEBAUCHERY AND FINDING HAPPINESS HERE!

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