• Sweet & Lynch - ONLY TO RISE

    Image: Sweet & Lynch, Only To Rise, CD Review, Classic Metal, Pitriff Sweet & Lynch
    ONLY TO RISE

    CD
    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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    MP3

    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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    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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    MP3

    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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Ektomorf - BLACK FLAG

Image: Ektomorf, Black Flag, Pitriff, CD ReviewEktomorf
BLACK FLAG

Without question, Ektomorf's last two albums, BLACK FLAG and THE ACOUSTIC, are the one-two punch of disappointment that makes me really hate when bands forget what made them good in the first place.  To be clear, I'm well aware that this is a band that's never been big and never will be, but every decade I tend to latch onto a few bands that never make it big but just kick my ass each and every time out.  Bands like Skinlab and Stuck Mojo have filled that void previously for me, and up until recently, Ektomorf was one of those acts.  They were my favorite Soulfly sounding band that filled the rare void between Cavalera albums.  THE ACOUSTIC was a disastrous mistake in my opinion, as Ektomorf is just one of those bands that you don't want to hear play acoustically.  Back to being heavy with BLACK FLAG, it's apparent there weren't a lot of fresh ideas this time around.

BLACK FLAG just doesn't hit home on any level, and in fact almost sounds like an Ektomorf tribute band.  So many of these songs, like "Unscarred", sound heavy like Soulfly or their own previous work, but just not as good.  Vocalist Zoltan Farkas barks it out as he always does, and there's a lot of rhyming profanity and anger being thrown around as always, but this collection of songs just sounds hollow by comparison to past efforts like INSTINCT or DESTROY.  Farkas and fellow guitarist Michael Rank have developed much more of a Meshuggah like droning tone which certainly adds heaviness to the sound, but takes away from the songs as most of the songs find a monotonous, dull vibe as a result.  They may be a groove metal band, but most of the songs here lack that real groove.  Only songs like "The Cross" have that full on power that previous albums had proven them capable of.  It's disappointing really, as I'm a long time supporter and fan of their stuff.

To be fair though, most people still have not even discovered Ektomorf yet.  If you like straight up, heavy stuff then you aren't likely to hate this.  Songs like "Fuck Your God" or "Cut It Out" are certainly biting and heavy.  In fact, "Fuck Your God" has an almost punk-like speed and rage that is missing throughout most of this album.  That said though, the overwhelming majority of the music here just sounds re-treaded from the band's past work.  It's disappointing.

PITRIFF RATING - 52/100 - I'm a huge fan of this band, and I won't be listening to this release often, if at all.  The music, the presentation and the overall vibe of the thing is just boring and lacking when compared against their past work.  There's a few songs I really do dig ("Fuck Your God", "Never Surrender"), the overall feeling from listening to this is that they lost their way a couple of albums ago and are just trying desperately to find their way back.  As of yet, it has not happened.

Chris Akin

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