• 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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  • Evergrey - HYMNS FOR THE BROKEN

    Image: Evergrey, Hymns For The Broken, Review, Progressive Metal Evergrey
    HYMNS FOR THE BROKEN

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    In the world of progressive metal, there are exactly 2 bands which I worship. Those bands are Symphony X and Evergrey. Both bands are immensely talented, feature incredible musicianship, and come full of great lyrical and musical representations that tell amazing stories to the listeners. Following their last release GLORIOUS COLLISION, it really seemed like Evergrey may have

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  • Ace Frehley - SPACE INVADER

    Image: Ace Frehley, Space Invader, Pitriff, Classic Metal, Reviews Ace Frehley
    SPACE INVADER

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    Am I the only one that is tired of not only Ace Frehley, but all members of Kiss past and present? Since they were nominated for the ROCK AND ROLL HALL OF CORPORATE, it has been a steady stream of nonsense, bickering, anger, hurt feelings and now emotional trauma. It's over already. Get over it. It's 2014. Kiss is

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  • Blackberry Smoke - LEAVE A SCAR

    Image: Blackberry Smoke, Leave A Scar, Pitriff, Review, Rock Blackberry Smoke
    LEAVE A SCAR - LIVE IN NORTH CAROLINA

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    Right up front, Blackberry Smoke is not a metal band. They are a southern-rock band, in the classic, original sense. These days, the term "southern rock" has been applied to everybody from Black Stone Cherry to Nashville Pussy to Crowbar, all sounds that would be alien and extreme in the days of Skynyrd and

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  • Skid Row - UNITED WORLD REBELLION, CHAPTER 2

    Image: Skid Row, United World Rebellion Chapter 2, Pitriff, Classic Metal, Review Skid Row
    UNITED WORLD REBELLION, CHAPTER 2

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    Part two of the three part Skid Row series known as UNITED WORLD REBELLION has been unleashed. Dubbed as RISE OF THE DAMNATION ARMY, UWR2 picks up where the first EP left off. There's simple math here. Over the course of these two EPs you have 14 songs. If you put the two together, you've got

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  • Downset - ONE BLOOD

    Image: Downset, One Blood, Pitriff, Review Downset
    ONE BLOOD

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    As a fan of Downset, I wasn't really surprised when the band split up in 2009. They claimed that "the band has run it's course". As a fan, I believe that. They definitely had a huge influence on a lot of the bigger nu-metal bands of the 2000s. Certainly, anyone that heard releases like DO WE SPEAK A DEAD LANGUAGE

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  • Madball - HARDCORE LIVES

    Image: Pitriff, Madball, Hardcore Lives, Pitriff, Harcore Madball
    HARDCORE LIVES

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    As a total fan of hardcore metal, it's a genre that doesn't always make a lot of sense. Certainly, there's no real questioning why a band like Agnostic Front is the "Black Sabbath" of the genre. Equally, it's not much of a surprise that Biohazard was so well regarded as they broke the style into the mainstream with the big

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  • Accept - BLIND RAGE

    Image: Accept, Blind Rage, Pitriff, Clasic Metal, Review Accept
    BLIND RAGE

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    Accept continue to rage on. Since his debut with the band, it's as clear as can be that vocalist Mark Tornillo has completely revitalized this band. His first two discs with the band, BLOOD OF THE NATIONS and STALINGRAD, were both masterpieces that sit near the top of the Accept catalog...regardless of who the singer is. This is not to

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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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