• 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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    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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Vicious Rumors - LIVE YOU TO DEATH 2: AMERICAN PUNISHMENT

Image: Vicious Rumors, Live You To Death 2, American Punishment, Pitriff, Review, Thrash metalVicious Rumors
LIVE YOU TO DEATH 2: AMERICAN PUNISHMENT

CD
MP3

There are some bands that just seem to live on and on.  Like cockroaches, nothing can really kill them.  Vicious Rumors is one such band.  With a roster that now lists 34 current and past players in their history, there's just something that does not allow this band to die.  That something is guitarist Geoff Thorpe.  One of the most underrated in the thrash/power metal genre from back in the day, Thorpe has long kept Vicious Rumors not only alive, but creating killer releases that their small but loyal fanbase continues to crave.  Last year's ELECTRIC PUNISHMENT was about as good a release as the band had ever done, and yet, even with that, the lineup was turned over by the time they got out on the road and began touring for it.  Still, the band soldiers on and presents the most current lineup in the surprisingly crisp and biting new live release, LIVE YOU TO DEATH 2: AMERICAN PUNISHMENT.

Without question, the interest in this release comes in the form of young Dutch vocalist Nick Holleman.  Literally from out of nowhere, Holleman just appeared on the last tour and made Vicious Rumors his own.  While this is a band that has long boasted great vocalists (James Rivera, Carl Albert, Ronnie Stixx, Brian Allen), few have come in and morphed the sound to them like Holleman has.  Listening to material like "You Only Live Twice", it's clear that Holleman feels perfectly at home belting out these songs.  Nothing against the other guys that have held the microphone in this band, but Holleman is the first in a while that has fit the band instead of the band fitting him.  While James Rivera is one of my favorite singers ever, every band he sings in sounds like James Rivera.  That just didn't work as well as this does for Vicious Rumors.  Holleman just brings it strong, and you can feel his excitement presenting songs like "Mastermind".  He's solid.

As for the rest of the band, they are tight, strong and powerful as always.  The rhythm section of drummer Larry Howe and bassist Tilen Hudrap may have been teaming for the first time on this tour, but they created a killer thump for each song.  They bring it strong on tracks like "Electric Punishment".  That is only bettered by the guitar tandem of Geoff Thorpe and Bob Capka.  Thorpe has long been a favorite of mine, and he is blistering on songs like "I Am The Gun" and the fan favorite, "Don't Wait For Me".  All in all, LIVE YOU TO DEATH 2 is a true metal release that I would think most fans of stuff on the "Metal Church/Anthrax/Exodus" level of heavy will love.

PITRIFF RATING - 88/100 - They may never have been a part of the "Big Four", but Vicious Rumors was always one of those bands that deserved better.  Their lineup inconsistency is probably what bit them back in the day, but that never stopped them from writing great material and delivering it better than just about anyone out there.  LIVE YOU TO DEATH 2 is solid, and features an incredible new vocalist who I can't wait to hear more from personally.  Fans of live metal will dig this.

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