• 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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  • 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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CD REVIEW - Richie Sambora

Image: Richie Sambora, AFtermath Of The LowdownRichie Sambora
AFTERMATH OF THE LOWDOWN

Richie Sambora is an amazing talent who has wasted so much of that talent by toiling away in Bon Jovi for so many crummy, formulaic albums that followed KEEP THE FAITH. Those albums just seemed like lame, adaptive releases that packed little excitement or energy like the original Bon Jovi albums did. For Sambora though, his work outside of the framework has always been underappreciated by the masses, but consistently excellent. Both STRANGER IN THIS TOWN and UNDISCOVERED SOUL showcased not only a different side of Sambora as a player, but absolutely impressive lead vocals that were worthy of heading up a major rock band all by himself.

Accolades aside though, Sambora has had a few really tough years. He's had public romantic breakups and an equally public trip to rehab. While that may not have been good for his soul, it certainly led Sambora to write some of his best, most honest songs to date on AFTERMATH OF THE LOWDOWN. Without question, these songs ooze real emotion and were clearly written out of the true frustrations of his day to day life. Many of these songs, like "Weathering The Storm", are songs about breakups that feel not only recent, but painful. This song showcases Sambora's singing voice triumphantly; an almost Beatles-like quality takes over some parts (specifically right before the deeply bluesy solo in the middle of the song). Definitely some of Sambora's best work to date. This is definitely one of those songs that could have been a Bon Jovi classic in the same way that "Wanted Dead Or Alive" or "Always" have become.

This said though, there's a nice assortment of faster songs on AFTERMATH OF THE LOWDOWN as well. Songs like "Burn The Candle Down" are the kind of bluesy jams that have your toes tapping and your head bobbing as they kick in. Sambora shines guitarwise on this song as well, with a much dirtier, raw guitar sound than he's really ever showcased anywhere else in his recorded career. Still other songs like the taunting "Sugar Daddy" have an almost '70s rock vibe to them. Overall, it's just a cool album from a guy that's been in a largely overglorified yet average band for over 20 years now.

PITRIFF RATING - 88/100 - There's a video out there of Bon Jovi playing Japan in 1985. On the video, as they go into "In And Out Of Love", Sambora rips through a solo that leads into a blazing riff that dominates this live version of the song. Ever since that moment, most of the fire has been gone from Sambora. Certainly there's nothing heavy like that here on AFTERMATH OF THE LOWDOWN, but it's clear that he's got more passion and fire toward this project than he's had for anything else in a very long time. Excellent stuff from Richie Sambora once again. Well worth the purchase.

Chris Akin

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A look at one of the most polarizing, iconic and best selling albums of all time from author, rock critic and shock jock radio host Chris Akin.

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