• 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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Review - Adrenaline Mob OMERTA

Image: Omerta, Adrenaline Mob, Pitriff, CD ReviewAdrenaline Mob
OMERTA

Mike Portnoy sure did torch his career in short order, didn’t he? In the span of a year, he went from one of the most loved and respected musicians in the world to a punching bag amongst metal fans. The whole drama with quitting Dream Theater, joining Avenged Sevenfold, being thrown out of Avenged Sevenfold, then being blocked from rejoining Dream Theater was somewhat amusing to watch in a sad sort of way. In the wake of all this, Portnoy was left without a band and had to create a new one. Adrenaline Mob is that band.

All the right names seemed to be in place. Portnoy is a legendary drummer. He grabbed Symphony X vocalist Russell Allen for this project, and Disturbed bassist John Moyer. He also introduced a lot of people to the unbelievable guitar skills of Mike Orlando with this band. Certainly, on it’s face this should be a stellar project. For whatever reason though, it’s not. All the talent in the world doesn’t translate to a band that has a lot of soul, and in this case, that hasn’t happened at all. OMERTA is a solid collection of standard modern rock tunes that fall somewhere between Avenged Sevenfold and a band like Shinedown. That said, the dynamics and the passion that those bands put forth in their music is nowhere to be found here. Sure, there are some songs that come off as a bit moving. Allen’s vocal performance on the song “All On The Line” is really good; a combination of his great crooning sound he regularly showcases with both Symphony X and Allen Lande and a higher end chorus vocal that reminds in a lot of ways of Tim “Ripper” Owens. Those moments are few and far between though. While the playing is excellent throughout, there’s nary a song that really moves you. A song like “Hit The Wall” has a lot of energy and features the best drumming Portnoy does on the album, but overall this fast song just doesn’t have that oomph to make it overly memorable.

Complaints aside, OMERTA introduces many of us to guitarist Mike Orlando for the first time. This guy is a player. His guitar sizzles throughout; changing styles and mixing in a lot of old school 80s meets Zakk Wylde soloing and riffing throughout. He’s the sole reason many of these songs are listenable. As an example, a song like “Psychosane” is a terrible tune who’s only redeeming quality is Orlando’s thrashing guitar and pinch harmonics for effect. While names like Russell Allen and Mike Portnoy may be more known, the reason to listen to OMERTA is to hear newcomer Mike Orlando.

PITRIFF RATING – 55/100 - Yes, these guys are tremendous musicians. That really doesn’t mean much when they write a collection of average, fairly uninteresting modern rock tunes. OMERTA will give them something to tour on, but it’s my hunch that it will be received poorly and will end up turning Adrenaline Mob into a one-off project instead of a new band. It’s just not that interesting.

Chris Akin

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