• Halestorm - INTO THE WILD LIFE

    Image: Halestorm, Into The Wild Life, Pitriff, heavy metal, reviews, interviews Halestorm
    INTO THE WILD LIFE

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    With the release of THE STRANGE CASE OF…, I fell in love with Lzzy Hale. So much so, in fact, that I jokingly got down on one knee and asked her to marry me at Rock On The Range two years ago (a proposal that she didn’t flat out turn down, so maybe there’s still hope!!). Let’s be

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  • Marilyn Manson - THE PALE EMPEROR

    Image: Marilyn Manson, The Pale Emperor, Pitriff, Modern Metal, Reviews Marilyn Manson
    THE PALE EMPEROR

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    Let’s just call it the way it is. It’s been a very, very long time since Marilyn Manson recorded a really good, memorable release that any of us still listen to on a regular basis. To many, the would probably says that it’s been since MECHANICAL ANIMALS back in 1998. For me personally, I’ll be a bit more

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  • Black Star Riders - THE KILLER INSTINCT

    Image: Black Star Riders, The Killer Instinct, Review, Classic Rock, Pitriff Black Star Riders
    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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  • Lynch Mob - SUN RED SUN

    Image: Lynch Mob, Sun Red Sun, George Lynch, Classic Rock, Reviews Lynch Mob
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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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  • Karma To Burn - ARCH STANTON

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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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    Image: Sweet & Lynch, Only To Rise, CD Review, Classic Metal, Pitriff Sweet & Lynch
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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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    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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    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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Image: Queensryche, Pitriff, Reviews, news, interviewsQueensryche
QUEENSRYCHE

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Is this sad saga of one band splitting into two not just the saddest thing in recent memory when it comes to classic metal? Let's face it, if you followed Queensryche at all in the 80s or even through a lot of the bad times of the last two years, they were almost always a dignified bunch that seemed above the fray of the rest of the riff raff. Now, we have two bands. We have the Geoff Tate version of the band - an act powered largely by some sort of insanity that has overtaken the once dignified Tate and turned him into a babbling maniac who's more than willing to tell you about his black man's stereotypical penis than about his music. He's REALLY challenged people to even care about anything called Queensryche in recent months, and it's just sad to see happen. Then you have "the other guys". They've stayed largely silent about the split after the first few weeks, and aside from a lot of positive posts on their various social media sites, really haven't had much to say regarding the split and the new version of the band featuring vocalist Todd LaTorre. I guess they've decided to let the music do the talking.

And talking it does. QUEENSRYCHE, while definitely a second tier release that would fall below everything from PROMISED LAND back in their catalog, is also the best and closest release to their classic sound of that same time period. There is little doubt that fans of the classic era will be more than happy with this release, if for no other reason than it actually "sounds" like the band most fans have missed for a long time.

Let's get to the obvious main focus of the album, vocalist Todd LaTorre. Certainly, regardless of what kind of crap has had the name "Queensryche" on it over the last two decades, the voice has been the signature that held fans to the band. LaTorre comes from Crimson Glory, and interestingly spent his life as a lifelong Geoff Tate fan. What's great about his performance here on QUEENSRYCHE is that he does sound like Tate in places, but it's not merely an imitation of the once great vocalist. Listening to songs like "Vindication", he not only channels Tate in some parts, but sets his own signature to the sound in other places. For his part, LaTorre sounds really good on the album. Only on "Redemption" do they throw some ridiculously unnecessary effect or recording technique on his vocals which is kind of useless in my eyes.

As for the band, they sound great. Michael Wilton and Parker Lundgren have seemingly revisited the band's back catalog to recreate the vibe on guitar lost the day Chris DeGarmo ran from the band. They are balanced by the always firm backend created by drummer Scott Rockenfield and bassist Eddie Jackson. As far as performances, they sound very good.

For this version of Queensryche though, it all comes down to the actual sound and style of the songs. For the most part, they have done a good job recreating the vibe. Songs like "A World Without" could easily have been mixed in on PROMISED LAND without sounding widely different, while other songs like "Where Dreams Go To Die" and "Spore" have an EMPIRE-like flair to them. There's nothing on QUEENSRYCHE that's going to take you to the ugly place filled with such turds as DEDICATED TO CHAOS or AMERICAN SOLDIER. That said, and while the album is pretty damn solid, there's something that's just not all the way there yet. I'm not sure what it is, but you don't walk away from a listen to QUEENSRYCHE thinking you've just heard something monumentally special the way you did RAGE FOR ORDER, EMPIRE or the legendary OPERATION MINDCRIME. Maybe that's too much to hope for in the first place.

PITRIFF RATING - 84/100 - While I do really dig this and I'm glad to see the mighty Queensryche come roaring back after two decades of utter crap, QUEENSRYCHE does not jump all the way back to where the band was at their peak. I'm sure that's far too much to expect, but unfortunately for the core 3 members of this band, that's the standard they set by being so ridiculously great early in their career. Very solid effort, and certainly one that won't disappoint anyone that has waited forever for these guys to make it back. They have.

Image: Cause/Effect Metallica, Chris Akin

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.

CLICK HERE to learn more about CAUSE/EFFECT: METALLICA.

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

CLICK HERE to learn more about LITTLE VICTORIES.

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Read Reviews and Excerpts from LITTLE VICTORIES: A TALE OF DIVORCE, DEBAUCHERY AND FINDING HAPPINESS HERE!

Available January 13th in Paperback and Digital Formats on Amazon and iTunes.

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