• 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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Review - Daughtry

Image: Daughtry, Break The Spell, Pitriff, CD ReviewsDaughtry
BREAK THE SPELL

I'm sure I'll get crucified for even reviewing this new release by Daughtry, but fuck it! I like this guy's tunes. In short, Daughtry is the only American Idol rocker to make it without the show's help after he was cast off the show. He's also the only one that's had success outside of the pop world that American Idol caters to. Musically, Daughtry has been solid, and has been good enough that a good number of bands have been willing to record with him without worrying that the AI stigma would infect them. Finally, let's face it. In today's world where there's almost no good hard rock being released, Daughtry is kind of like Nickelback without all the suck tunes.

Being in my mid-40s, seeing and hearing the way Daughtry's career has gone reminds me in large part of Bon Jovi in the mid '80s. Bon Jovi had two albums of really strong songs before putting it all together with SLIPPERY WHEN WET. Daughtry has followed that path. His previous efforts have been solid, but lacked that bit of swagger needed to break out. BREAK THE SPELL has definitely captured that. The songs on this release have a bit more edge to them, which is good for this radio-hit producing act. Listening to songs like "Outta My Head", it's clear that the band went for a bit more attitude-ladened rock this time out. Chris Daughtry seems to be putting a bit more emotion into his singing, which takes him outside of that Aaron Lewis wannabe sound he's cultivated and brings new identity to him as a vocalist.

Being fair though, BREAK THE SPELL is the first effort Daughtry has done that truly feels like a band and not "Chris Daughtry and some guys backing him up". Guitarist Josh Steely is a very underrated rock guitarist who plays some very tasteful riffs here. The rhythm section of Josh Paul and Robin Diaz are solid stabilizers of the songs, and Daughtry himself is a solid frontman and rhythm guitar player.

Ultimately though, what has separated Daughtry from the rest of the American Idol washouts and, for the most part, the rest of the hard rock community has been their ability to write strong, yet radio-friendly songs. There's no shortage of that here. "Start Of Something Good" is as good as anything that's been a hit at rock radio in the past five years, which is pretty much proven by it's immediate sales numbers once it was released as the single. "We're Not Gonna Fall" is an emotional mid-tempo rocker that seems destined for radio success as well..

PITRIFF RATING - 91/100 - All you hardcore metalheads have your middle finger pointed at me I'm sure, but so be it. Daughtry is a solid band, and BREAK THE SPELL is by far the best effort they've released to date. Full of radio rockers without sacrificing their musical integrity to get popular, Daughtry are the lone rock band in the '10s that get it. BREAK THE SPELL proves that out.

Chris Akin

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