• Sweet & Lynch - ONLY TO RISE

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


    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


    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


    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


    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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Review - Marilyn Manson - BORN VILLAIN

Image: Marilyn Manson, Pitriff, news, reviews, interviews, heavy metalMarilyn Manson

It's ironic that shock rocker Marilyn Manson's career didn't crash and burn due to waning interest and a lack of ability to shock people anymore. Sure, both of those things have happened to Manson, but how quickly we all forget that those first several albums had some real musical meat on their bones as well. No, it wasn't anything outside that killed off Manson. It's was Manson himself, as he decided that he was his character and the world would be interested in his relationship struggles as converted and perverted into the soundscape he records with. To say the least, it was a monumental flop. Both of his last two droning tales of relationship woes, EAT ME, DRINK ME and THE HIGH END OF THE LOW. Sure, both had their moments of patented Manson Violence, but both were ruined by morbid tales of relationship failures and the deviant thoughts he was having as relationships ended. Simply put, those albums were not very good at all.

BORN VILLAIN is really a pivotal album for Manson. Another dreary and self-loathing album and he'll probably end up headlining some "special small hall shows". Even Manson himself must have seen this. While certainly not the best work of his career, BORN VILLAIN is a huge step back in the right direction. For Manson, BORN VILLAIN is to his career what DEATH MAGNETIC was to Metallica. The album is not quite the over the top violent opus you used to get with ANTICHRIST SUPERSTAR or "This Is The New Shit", but it's pretty close. It's clear that Twiggy Ramirez returning to the fold and working with Manson again rekindled a lot of the old spark. Songs like "Overneath The Path Of Misery" have the punk, industrialized vibe that Manson really has showcased much since PORTRAIT OF AN AMERICAN FAMILY came out, and it's a welcome listen. On other songs, like first single "No Reflection" and "Hey, Cruel World", there's moments of frenetic energy that were all but lost from the last two albums. Other songs, like "Slo-Mo-Tion" come off as a less glammed up song from the MECHANICAL ANIMALS era of the band.

As you may have noticed, there's a lot of references here to other Manson material here. That could very well be purposeful by Manson, Ramirez and producer Chris Vrenna. With this album being so important for the band to reconnect with the fans, it's a safe assumption that they tried hard to recapture what made Manson a standout performer to so many in the first place. The problem is that a lot of this material, while solid, feels like you've heard it before and doesn't have a lot of hold on your psyche like the old material used to. That said, he does go into some very bizarre places that haven't been touched on before. Songs like "The Gardener" featurea very creepy spoken word interlude that seems to be a melded description of serial killing and gardening as a morbid art. The song breaks into a more traditional yelling chorus from Manson, but that spoken word portion of the song is really...well...disturbing.

PITRIFF RATING - 81/100 - A solid effort from Marilyn Manson; welcome after several years of uninteresting efforts about his love life. It's not likely you'll ever hear Slayer's Tom Araya singing songs about a fight he had with his wife Sandra, and its definitely hopeful that Manson will learn from his mistakes and follow the lead of his longtime touring partner in avoiding this on future efforts. BORN VILLAIN is the best album Marilyn Manson has done in a lot of years. It's about time.

Chris Akin

Marilyn Manson

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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.

CLICK HERE to learn more about LITTLE VICTORIES.

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

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