• Black Label Society - CATACOMBS OF THE BLACK VATICAN

    Image: Black Label Society, Catacombs Of The Black Vatican, Pitriff, Review, Classic Metal Black Label Society
    CATACOMBS OF THE BLACK VATICAN

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    When Zakk Wylde decides to release new music, the metal world definitely stops for a moment and listens. They may not like it all, but they do listen. It's a testament to how unbelievable the man is on guitar; a true legend who stands shoulder to shoulder with the Eddie Van Halen's and Dimebag Darrell's

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  • Lacuna Coil - BROKEN CROWN HALO

    Image: Lacuna Coil, Broken Crown Halo, Review, Modern Metal, Pitriff Lacuna Coil
    BROKEN CROWN HALO

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    It's not really much of a secret that two of my favorite bands out there today are fronted by ladies. Those two bands are Halestorm and Lacuna Coil. While it took me awhile to latch onto Halestorm, Lacuna Coil was a band that I latched on the very first time I heard them. I remember getting a sampler

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  • Sevendust - TIME TRAVELERS & BONFIRES

    Image: Sevendust, Time Travelers & Bonfires, Review, Modern Metal, Pitriff Sevendust
    TIME TRAVELERS & BONFIRES

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    Sevendust are really a band for the fans, and the fans are definitely always there for the band. Case in point - their latest release TIME TRAVELERS & BONFIRES. This release is one paid for by the latest trend hitting the music business, pre-funding by the fans to pay for a project. The band asked for a lot for

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  • Various Artists: Ronnie James Dio - THIS IS YOUR LIFE

    Image: Dio, This Is Your Life, Pitriff, Review, Classic metal Various Artists
    RONNIE JAMES DIO: THIS IS YOUR LIFE

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    As much as I want to take this at face value, it's hard to not at least wonder just how many times Wendy Dio is going to visit the Dio well and mine more material culled from his past work. There's already been multiple live releases, deluxe reissues, an officially sanctioned band playing the

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  • Red Reign - CHASING SHADOWS

    Image: Red Reign, Chasing Shadows, Pitriff, Review, Classic Metal Red Reign
    CHASING SHADOWS

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    It's not very often that a band that has zero backing behind it sweeps in and just monopolizes my listening time. Generally, bands like Red Reign get 30 seconds as I quickly scan through their music and I'm on to something else that I'm getting pressured to review by a publicist. For Red Reign, I was asked to review

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  • Steel Panther - ALL YOU CAN EAT

    Image: Steel Panther, All You Can Eat, The Classic Metal Show Steel Panther
    ALL YOU CAN EAT

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    They certainly are the joke that just keeps on being retold and being funny, now aren't they? I'm sure there's a lot less people that remember them as Metal Shop, Metal Skool or even way back to the Danger Kitty days, but a whole lot more people have discovered this band since they adopted the name Steel

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  • Sebastian Bach - GIVE 'EM HELL

    Sebastian Bach, Give 'Em Hell, Pitriff, CD Review Sebastian Bach
    GIVE 'EM HELL

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    It seems like every time Sebastian Bach releases new music, the first thought that comes to my mind is "this dude comes off like a douchebag ALOT in interviews, but he just kicks ass musically." Amazing how that comes back around. Baz is back, and he's been saying some interesting things in recent interviews. Yet, just ignoring that

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  • Gamma Ray - EMPIRE OF THE UNDEAD

    Image: Gamma Ray, Empire Of The Undead, Pitriff, CD Review, Power Metal Gamma Ray
    EMPIRE OF THE UNDEAD

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    My affinity for Gamma Ray really predates the band itself, as it's much more of an appreciation for the vocal work of singer Kai Hansen. Be it with Gamma Ray or his legendary work with his previous band Helloween, Hansen has always been not only one of the most elite vocalists in power metal in my eyes,

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  • Vandenberg's MoonKings - VANDENBERG'S MOONKINGS

    Image: Vandenberg's Moonkings, Pitriff, Classic Rock, Classic Metal Vandenberg's MoonKings
    VANDENBERG'S MOONKINGS

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    Adrian Vandenberg and Jake E. Lee have seemingly the same career path. Both were great in super huge bands (Vandenberg in Whitesnake, Lee in Ozzy), recorded even better material when they broke away (Lee with Badlands, Vandenberg with Manic Eden), and then both walked away and just left music behind for awhile. Now, both are back. Lee's Red Dragon

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  • Pilgrim - II: VOID WORSHIP

    Image: Pilgrim, Void Worship, Pitriff, doom metal, review Pilgrim
    II: VOID WORSHIP

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    In the epic world of doom metal, there are a lot of pretenders. There are only a few that are truly authentic though. Pilgrim is one of the most authentic I think I've ever heard. Their grinding, slow moving sludge is such from which legends put on this Earth to slay anyone or anything in it's path. Made up

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  • Hatecore Inc. - NO HOPE, NO ESCAPE VOL. 1

    Image: Hatecore Inc, No Hope, No Escape Vol 1, Pitriff, Review Hatecore, Inc.
    NO HOPE, NO ESCAPE VOL. 1: WELCOME TO MY WAR

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    Being from the Cleveland area, I've seen a lot of bands get ignored for whatever reason. On the national side of things, most people look at bands north of Columbus as being from "Cleveland". Unfortunately though, that's not how it works. For as long as I've been in this scene, there

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  • KXM - KXM

    Image: KXM, George Lynch, Dug Pinnick, Ray Luzier, Pitriff KXM
    KXM

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    Some points of clarity before I write a single world about the new project KXM, in order that this review is understood and evaluated fairly by anyone reading it. This project features three guys - Dug Pinnick of King's X, George Lynch of Dokken and Lynch Mob fame, and Ray Luzier who is currently the drummer for Korn. Out of fairness, I'll

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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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