• Halestorm - INTO THE WILD LIFE

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  • Marilyn Manson - THE PALE EMPEROR

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    THE KILLER INSTINCT

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    When Black Star Riders made their decision to record under a new name instead of as Thin Lizzy, it was met with a lot of opinions. For most, I would assume they were happy that they decided to move away from the name they had been touring under. For many, I'm sure there was a lot of

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    On THE CLASSIC METAL SHOW, George Lynch is regularly a topic of conversation. Maybe that has to do with the fact that Neeley is a personal friend of Don Dokken and I work for Don on his website, but I like to believe that he becomes a topic because, first and foremost, we are big fans of the

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    There are those of us who know. We will forever be known as the "fortunate ones". There are those of you that have no idea. You will be known as the "unfortunate ones". What is it we know that you don't? We know the sheer greatness of Karma To Burn. For those that are unfortunate ones, let me

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  • U.D.O. - DECADENT

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    I'm sure I'm not in the minority here, but I'm glad that we now have a killer version of Accept with Mark Tornillo as well as the continuation of U.D.O. with Udo Dirkschneider. In short, it's led to both bands stepping up their game and creating great music. While neither side will admit competition with the other band, the fans certainly

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    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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    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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Image: Geoff Tate, Kings And Thieves, Pitriff, Heavy Metal News, ReviewsGeoff Tate
KINGS AND THIEVES

It's weird going into a record from someone you actually like but fully expecting it to suck. That is the case with KINGS AND THIEVES, the latest from Queensryche frontman Geoff Tate. Having not been a fan of his last two Queensryche albums as well as remembering how abysmal his last solo album was a decade ago, there was a lot of thought that KINGS AND THIEVES would be a train wreck. Add to that all the drama that's been going on with him being ejected from Queensryche, the legal stuff that has followed, and now his all star band that he's calling Queensryche, and you can imagine that thoughts of anything good coming from this solo album were few and far between.

And surprise, KINGS AND THIEVES is not all that bad at all. Is it classic Queensryche? No, but it's really not intended to be either. There's a lot of exploration on KINGS AND THIEVES, but not the kind that usually spells disaster for an artsy guy like Tate who can so easily be lead toward a vibe instead of a cohesive musical thought because their whim is more important to them than their audience. To the contrary, Tate has crafted a collection of interesting, driving and surprisingly focused songs that don't stretch out too far but still explore new boundaries of his musical spectrum.

To be clear, this is NOT Queensryche, nor is it intended to be. There's songs with a lot of deep groove in them, such as the surprising "In The Dirt". This song finds Tate adding an almost bluesy funk to his sound. The song has a big bass line that keeps it's mid tempo groove rolling, all while Tate snarls about a rebellious woman. While other songs tackle Tate's longstanding political slants, songs like "Take A Bullet" do so without resembling anything musically from his career. In fact, it's safe to say that "Take A Bullet" may just be the most "common" song Tate has ever recorded.

This is not to say it's all good. Tate's obsession with sex has gotten out of control. I think I can say I speak for most of the hardcore fans that absolutely hated the Queensryche cabaret. That said, listening to Tate's explicit descriptions of handcuffing and fucking some chick on "Say U Luv It" are pretty tough to listen to. Simply put, there's just not a lot of people clamouring for mental images of Geoff Tate banging out a bondage chick. That song is a tough listen. It's one of the few though, as most of the stuff like "Dark Money" or "These Glory Days" are pretty solid songs.

PITRIFF RATING - 76/100 - Certainly a surprise that it's listenable, Geoff Tate has captured a cool vibe throughout most of KINGS AND THIEVES. While it's probably one that will be forgotten shortly by most as both versions of Queensryche make their next moves, Tate can still be proud of this one. He's created something interesting and entertaining...far more than a lot of us thought.

Chris Akin

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