• Sweet & Lynch - ONLY TO RISE

    Image: Sweet & Lynch, Only To Rise, CD Review, Classic Metal, Pitriff Sweet & Lynch
    ONLY TO RISE

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    MP3

    Being completely honest here, I really didn't expect a whole lot out of this. I'm not the biggest Stryper fan in the world by a long shot, and the truth is that I just never could fully get into Michael Sweet's vocals. There's just always been something about him. I'm not sure what it is. I guess

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  • AC/DC - ROCK OR BUST

    Image: Rock Or Bust, AC/DC, Chris Akin, Pitriff, Classic Metal, Review AC/DC
    ROCK OR BUST

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    In a year that has see a foundational piece of AC/DC succumb to a debilitating illness and another to his own personal insanity, AC/DC emerges after seemingly forever away with ROCK OR BUST. To be fair and truthfully honest, expectations on this release were pretty low. I know that AC/DC is a band that's been in business almost 50

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  • Whitesnake - BACK TO THE BONE

    Image: Whitesnake, Back To The Bone, Pitriff, Chris Akin Whitesnake
    LIVE IN '84 - BACK TO THE BONE

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    David Coverdale and company have had a very long and successful history that started even before he formed Whitesnake. There's no denying the legacy here. Coverdale has had a fantastic career with Whitesnake, and his time in Deep Purple was every bit as strong to that band as a Sammy Hagar was to Van Halen

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  • 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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Sledge Leather - IMAGINE ME ALIVE

Image: Sledge Leather, Imagine Me Alive, pitriff, heavy metal, news, reviews, interviewsSledge Leather
IMAGINE ME ALIVE

Sometimes things happen for a reason.  Cult favorites Rude Girl were all set to become a dominant force on the metal scene back in the 80s, and that didn't happen for whatever reason.  It certainly wasn't because they didn't have the talent.  Vocalist Leather Leone was widely regarding as one of the very best heavy metal vocalists of that era - having the rare distinction of being compared favorably to guys like Halford and Dio at the time.  Still, it didn't happen for Rude Girl, and following was some solo work, and then a solid and equally brilliant but unappreciated run as the vocalist of the long underground heroes Chastain.  For whatever reasons, she just up and disappeared and was never heard from again...until recently.

Moved by the death of her friend Ronnie James Dio, Leather Leone re-emerged, teamed up with her old friend and drummer from Rude Girl Sandy Sledge, recorded a cover of Dio's song "Egypt",  and found that they wanted to work together again.  Now, after years and years, they are teamed up as Sledge Leather, and have surfaced with a killer collection of songs called IMAGINE ME ALIVE.  Without question, Leather Leone has still got it.  Her raspy wailing is as strong now as it's ever been, and just as compelling.  Songs like "The Guy Upstairs Lied" simply smoke, with Leone driving the song with her almost Overkill-like vocals on the track.  The song is equally impressive from Sledge on drums with it's hyperspeed pace and combination drumming that, while subtle, switches between singular tom beat and intricate doubles at the transition points of the song.  It's some very, very cool old school metal and as a former drummer, the intricacies of this song are very appealing.  That said though, the rest of the disc is equally interesting.   The title track, "Imagine Me Alive", is a smoker as well, while they stretch out with the mid-tempo rocker "Her Father's Daughter" which leads into the absolutely haunting piano reprise of the same song.  It's cool stuff, from start to finish.

PITRIFF RATING - 86/100 - IMAGINE ME ALIVE is a solid old school record from a new band with a lot of old school history.  It's great to see Sandy Sledge and Leather Leone recording together again.  Hopefully this will be a much longer term project.

Chris Akin



Imagine Me Alive - Sledge Leather

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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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