• 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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  • 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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Review - Lacuna Coil

Image: Lacuna Coil, Dark Adrenaline, Pitriff, CD ReviewLacuna Coil
DARK ADRENALINE

Being a fan of this band, it's not easy to watch them disintegrate from a band that once had an edge and offered something very different from everything else to a middle of the road pop rock band. That's exactly what's going on here. By no means is this a bad album, but it's just another album that proves the creativity that came up with "Heaven's A Lie" and "Our Truth" does not exist anymore.

Again, DARK ADRENALINE is not a bad effort by any stretch. Every aspect of this release is polished to a bright, shiny gleam - maybe too polished. With all the edge of an orb, DARK ADRENALINE puts forth 12 tracks that are hardly memorable and really don't do much for the listener.

As always, the focal point of the band is vocalist and primary lyricist Cristina Scabbia. She sounds as good as she's ever sounded here. Her haunting, clean vocals are solid as always and set the mood for most songs. On songs like "End Of Time", she croons with her flowing voice overtop of the song and in stark contrast to the band's other vocalist; the more growly Andrea Ferro. She sounds fine, but a bit too polished and just lacking any emotion at all. While she's never been one to really spew emotion into songs, most of the songs here are very paint by the numbers for Scabbia. For Ferro, he's also tuned it back a bit, taking away the jagged opposite edge of the vocals that dominated early albums. Having given this 10 or 11 listens, it's clear that something is missing here vocally, but I can't quite put my finger on it. That said, songs like "I Don't Believe In Tomorrow" are fairly tepid in their vocal mix.

To be fair, the band sounds really good here; specifically guitarists Cristiano Migliore and Marcos Biazzi. Unlike anything since COMALIES, the guitars are a lot more vibrant and loud in the mix. At times, like on the aforementioned "I Don't Believe In Tomorrow", they seem to have reached back a decade and channeled Korn for their tone and direction, but for the most part the guitars have a big, thick Drop-D sound that carries the bulk of the songs. Their sound on "Intoxicated" is remarkably similar to something Disturbed has done in the past, but don't read that as a bad thing. It mimmicks Disturbed in that it sticks in your head a bit. They play well overtop the thick foundation laid down by drummer Cristiano Mozzati and bassist Marco Zelati.

As I stated before, the problem really isn't the band for the most part. It's the lack of edge to the sound itself. That's a twofold problem. First, it really appears as if they are writing material with much less bite than they did on previous albums. There's the occasional song with some energy ("The Army Inside"), but for the most part, the songs are all similar, all hard rock/pop metal instead of darker Gothic like they used to do, and seemingly written to give program directors a lot of choice on what to play. The other problem is that producer Don Gilmore has rubbed the edges of this band until it's as sharp as a marble. Their unique cover of REM's "Losing My Religion" is a great example of this. The arrangement was great, and the pattern between Scabbia and Ferro was well thought out. Yet, when you listen to it, it's dull and more like a hard edged Madonna song than anything a metal band would have ever done. In short, song after song just comes off way too slick and polished.

PITRIFF RATING - 64/100 - Over the last two albums, Lacuna Coil has transformed themselves from the better, edgier femaled fronted goth metal band to the "other band like Evanescence". For some, that may be a good thing. For me, it just doesn't feel right. If you were happy with SHALLOW LIFE last time, you will probably enjoy DARK ADRENALINE as well. If you were disappointed with it, don't expect much of a rebound. It's technically decent, but far from great.

Chris Akin

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