• Wretch - WARRIORS

    Image: Wretch, Warriors, Review, Power Metal, Chris Akin, Pitriff Wretch


    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


    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


    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


    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


    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


    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


    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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Review - The Cult - CHOICE OF WEAPON

The Cult - Choice Of WeaponThe Cult

Having never been an overly huge fan of The Cult, I've always struggled to understand the rabid way their fans follow them. Clearly, they are one of those bands that are polarizinng. Their fans tend to REALLY love their music. Being honest, I think songs like "Edie" and "She Sells Sanctuary" are pretty cool. I have a few albums, like ELECTRIC, LOVE and SONIC TEMPLE. They are cool I guess. I think they might just be a bit too artsy for my taste, to be perfectly honest.

With CHOICE OF WEAPON, the band that would never record another album because it's a dead format have returned with another album in the dead format. Interestingly, it's the first time in the history of The Cult that they've recorded back to back albums with the same lineup. CHOICE OF WEAPON is definitely one of the most interesting albums of The Cult's career, and it's probably the least likely to find mass appeal. In short, CHOICE OF WEAPON is a very deep album that, while sounding somewhat like their past work, really expands and explores a lot of new ground for the band.

The leader of this band, vocalist Ian Astbury, really is one of the more artistically talented guys in rock music. With CHOICE OF WEAPON, he seems as if he might have been stuck channelling his inner Jim Morrison throughout many of these songs. Lyrically, the depth of writing goes from its normal level of deep to a more difficult to understand place that he, and he alone, may be the only one that can understand it. Songs like "Wilderness Now" showcase Astbury coming from a unique place musically. Other tunes like "Lucifer" may not be the deepest lyrics that Astbury has ever written, but they are some of the most biting. Vocally, age and years have deepened Astbury's voice a touch. The astronomical range of the past is not there anymore, but Astbury has adapted the material to meet his now lower tone.

The other musicians are fine throughout as well. Guitarist Billy Duffy, bassist Chris Wyse and former White Zombie drummer John Tempesta create music that sounds distinctly like the band's past work. It does sound as if it's tuned down a touch to accommodate Astbury, there will be no mistaking this for anything other than The Cult.

If I have an issue with the material, it's that it's so locked into the vision instead of simply creating great songs. I get that these guys are artsy, and that Astbury likes to write about Native American heritage, but songs like "Pale Horse" are a bit tough to decipher and come off as grandiose toward a cause that pretty much ran its course long ago.

One final thing I must address, that deserves the utmost credit - the packaging. Simply put, this is the best CD package to hit my desk in a very long time. It's a binded booklet - literally. Great imagery is included with the lyrics,a s well as a nice setup for storing the disc and the accompanying bonus disc.

PITRIFF RATING - 74/100 - While much of this material goes to some places that won't remind you at all off The Cult's heyday, there's no denying that there's a lot of quality moments on this release. While there's not a "Fire Woman" in the bunch, there's no indication they were looking to write one either. CHOICE OF WEAPON is a deep record that is solid but avoids trying to find mass appeal. Clearly, this is an Ian Astbury record and is exactly what he wanted it to be.

Chris Akin

The Cult

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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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The shockingly honest and emotional first book from radio personality and rock critic Chris Akin.

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