• 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

    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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Europe - BAG OF BONES

Image: Europe, Bag Of Bones, news, reviews, interviews, heavy metalEurope
BAG OF BONES

Wow! Europe has been pretty good recently, but never in their career have they been this good. Yes folks, it seems that the band that created arguably the worst back to back hits the 80s hair scene had to offer ("The Final Countdown" and "Carrie") have completely reinvented themselves. By completely, I mean that there's not a single note of music here that could be mistaken for anything in the band's past. In fact, I'd bet most people wouldn't even recognize this as the same band.

BAG OF BONES is a spectacular effort from Europe; a full on rock record with a heavy blues feel at times that would make Jimmy Page and Robert plant blush in wake of their homage to the mighty Zeppelin. Without question, "Not Supposed To Sing The Blues" has a very strong does of that Led Zeppelin "blues meets dreaming" aura that skyrocketed the band to superstardom. This is not the only time. Guitarist Jon Norum is one of the most gifted, yet underappreciated, guitarists out there. On songs like "Firebox", Norum showcases a solid dose of Page influenced riffage with a much more updated, modern riff that you might expect from one of today's more elite active rock players. Norum shines throughout BAG OF BONES.

He's not alone though. Vocalist Joey Tempest sounds like a brand new singer...completely and totally. In fact, I had to go to the credits and make sure he was still the singer of the band. Everything about his performance on BAG OF BONES is so different than we've come to know that it's simply hard to believe it's the same guy. There's no more senseless wailing. His once overly clean vocal has been completely replaced as well. In it's place is a somewhat clean lower toned voice with some years of weathering on it to give it a much more heartfelt sound. In short, old Joey Tempest was (to me, anyway) sterile to the point of beng unlistenable. On new songs like "Bag Of Bones", you get the feeling that these songs are from the heart and genuine. This newfound sound from Tempest is very effective. He has a great tone on the eerie, 70s influenced (again, heavy Zeppelin influenced) "Drink And A Smile".

PITRIFF RATING - 96/100 - I'm a guy that literally hated this band. I learned to hate them all over again when "The Final Countdown" appeared on Rock Band or Guitar Hero or whatever game that was a few years ago. That said, this is a complete and total reinvention of Europe, and it kicks a whole lot of ass. Full of blues riffs and music made for partying at your favorite pub, BAG OF BONES is one of the strongest rock records released to date this year. Great release...I'm as stunned as you are that I'm saying that.

Chris Akin



Europe

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