• 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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    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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  • Sammy Hagar - LITE ROAST

    Image: Sammy Hagar, Lite Roast, NonMetal, Review Sammy Hagar
    LITE ROAST

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    I get it. You are Sammy Hagar. You've seen huge success in virtually every world you've entered. In music, he was the main focus of Montrose. He parlayed that into a very successful solo career. That wasn't enough, so he joined the world's largest band at the time (Van Halen), and took them to commercial heights that even they

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  • Cavalera Conspiracy - PANDEMONIUM

    Image: Cavalera Conspiracy, Pandemonium, Pitriff, Death Metal, Review Cavalera Conspiracy
    PANDEMONIUM

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    There's always good news and bad news whenever Max Cavalera gets busy with new music. The good is that you get a whole lot of new music, seemingly all in a very short time. The bad news is it's generally spotty at best, because he simply writes and releases too much music at the same time. His band Soulfly released

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  • 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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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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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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