• 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

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    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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  • Opeth - PALE COMMUNION

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    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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Review - Scalp

Image: Scalp, Heavy Metal, Reviews, PitriffScalp
SCALP

Well, this is a first for me - a band reaching out and asking me to review their new music by listening to it on Spotify.  I guess that's an OK strategy, although if I really liked the material this would not be acceptable to have to burn up my 3G bandwidth that AT&T robs me for using.  Still, I'm in front of the computer most of the time, so why not give this a listen.

For those that don't know, Scalp is a project who's mere mention probably put Andrew McNeice of MelodicRock.com into convulsions!  This is an AOR supergroup of sorts - featuring members of acts like W.E.T., Insania, Eclipse, Baltimoore and Sabaton).  Unfortunately for Scalp, the amalgamation of a lot of talent doesn't always translate into a great project.  SCALP is a pretty sub-standard AOR rocker that suffers from somewhat murky production as well as fairly drab material.

Again, it's not horrible by any means.  There's just not a ton of material here that really stands out.  A big part of that comes from the production, which is definitely lacking for this genre of music.  One of the key elements to this kind of music thriving is the huge, lush production quality that these bands usually showcase.  It's just not here.  Songs like "Frozen Days" and "Do You Dream" are plagued by simply awful guitar tone and drum sound.  "Frozen Days", in particular, is an absolute mess sonically.  I have no idea with guitarists Emanuel Hedberg and Tobias Jakobsson were going for on this song, but what they captured with a thin, seemingly filtered tone that is very lacking.  There are times in this progressive wannabe song when the entire band seems completely out of sync with each other, and specifically with vocalist Dmitri Keiski.  For his part, Keiski is not the most appealing singer.  He's got a quality to his voice that is very reminiscent of some early 70s pop singer that I can't quite place, but that's not a good thing.  He incorporates a simply horrible vocal effected callout under his voice on "I Just Wish".  Not only is the effect bad, but the callback is too loud throughout to where it interferes with the vocal line itself.

Production is a large part of the problem, but the other half of the issues with Scalp come from songs that just aren't very good.  Listening through the material, it's amazing that these guys came up with such middle of the road AOR music considering how much more dynamic their real projects are.  To listen to songs like "Romes Peace" or the seemingly out of tune "Time For Revolution", you almost can't believe that guys that have done so much better would put their names on this.

PITRIFF RATING - 32/100 - I'm quite sure the theme going into this project was to do something unlike their bigger named projects.  They've certainly accomplished that.  SCALP is a pretty tough listen plagued with either poor production and dreadfully average songs, or bad decisions about what to do with the sound and direction of the project.  Either way, this was a difficult listen.

Chris Akin

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