• 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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  • Sammy Hagar - LITE ROAST

    Image: Sammy Hagar, Lite Roast, NonMetal, Review Sammy Hagar
    LITE ROAST

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    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
    PANDEMONIUM

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    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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  • 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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Godsmack - LIVE & INSPIRED

Image: Godsmack, Live & Inspired, heavy metal, pitriff, news, reviews, interviewsGodsmack
LIVE & INSPIRED

I'm sure I'll probably get killed here by my metal brethren, but I actually like Godsmack.  Certainly, I realize they are a more metal version of Nickelback; a band whose sole goal is to create three or four radio hits on each album, sell a good amount of music and concert tickets, and basically be a key cog in the radio rock syndicate.  I get it - it's less about the art of music than the business of music with them.  That said, they have been consistently solid with their albums...so much so that most say they are the modern day AC/DC where there's NO difference from record to record.  For Godsmack, all a new album means to most people is that they will be invading radio with the sames songs as always...but with different words attached to them.

Another thing I've learned about Godsmack though is that their consistency does not stop in the recording studio.  Having seen them 3 times, they are consistently boring on stage.  I saw them once before they were big, and twice after they made it.  They killed it before they were big.  They were very dull live after they hit.  LIVE & INSPIRED pretty much captures the successful live Godsmack experience.  They bring all the energy of the corpse in the first minute of an episode of LAW & ORDER: SVU.  Each member of the band (sans drummer Shannon Larkin, who's drums are booming throughout) puts forth a remarkably drab performance here that is boring to painful to get through.  Songs like "Straight Out Of Line" are greatly diminished without the studio enhancements added to the vocals of Sully Erna.  That song is still decent, but it gets worse as things move on.  "Moon Baby" is simply painful to listen to as Erna drones on and on through a megaphone or some other voice altering device.  The band drone on and on throughout this show; playing all of their hits and making you wish that you had just decided to listen to one of their studio albums instead.

Also included on this release are four newly recorded cover songs - Joe Walsh's "Rocky Mountain Way", The Beatles "Come Together", Pink Floyd's "Time" and Metallica's "Nothing Else Matters".  In short, four unnecessary versions of these songs that really no one needed to hear.  In fairness, the reworking of "Come Together" is interesting and pretty good.  As for "Rocky Mountain Way" and "Time", both are pretty much standard re-recordings of the work that lack what the originals had.  As for "Nothing Else Matters", I think that speaks for itself.

PITRIFF RATING - 34/100 - Boring, uninspired and featuring about as much life as Whitney Houston's bath water, LIVE & INSPIRED is certainly one of the least necessary releases to come along in awhile.  Just buy the studio albums - they are a whole lot better.  On a side note, since Oracle came out we've had a Sully solo album, a greatest hits and now a live record.  Is this band about to call it a day?

Chris Akin



Live & Inspired - Godsmack

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