• Megadeth - DYSTOPIA

    Image: Megadeth, Dystopia, Dave Mustaine, David Ellefson, Kiko Loureiro, Chris Adler Megadeth
    DYSTOPIA

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    More than any other metal band in history, being a hardcore Megadeth fan is truly a rollercoaster ride. This is a band with multiple duds in their catalog, and yet they always seem to rebound. Think about it, they’ve truly had some bad releases in their catalog. RISK was terrible. THE WORLD NEEDS A HERO wasn’t a lot better. And yet,

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  • Anthrax - FOR ALL KINGS

    Image: Anthrax, For All Kings, Pitriff, Chris Akin Anthrax
    FOR ALL KINGS

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    Depending on your perspective, Anthrax is either having a career resurgence or floundering at the end of their career. I’m stunned how many people actually didn’t like their last effort, FOR ALL KINGS. In these ears, that was the best effort of their career. What made it great, to me, was the mixture of crushing heaviness combined with some

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  • Sevendust - KILL THE FLAW

    Image: Sevendust, Kill The Flaw Sevendust
    KILL THE FLAW

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    When I first saw Sevendust’s new release was titled KILL THE FLAW, my initial thought was “what exactly is the flaw?” It leads you to wonder just what it is that caused this band to not break big, while bands with lesser quality catalogs like Disturbed or Korn had such crazy amounts of success at the same time. This

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  • Iron Maiden - THE BOOK OF SOULS

    Image: Iron Maiden, The Book of Souls, Review, Classic Metal, Pitriff, Chris Akin Iron Maiden
    THE BOOK OF SOULS

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    They don’t do it that often anymore, but there’s always excitement when Iron Maiden comes out with new music. Knowing that they are closing in on the end of their career, you really do end up hoping that when they go out for good, it will be with a bang. I think it’s universally agreed upon that

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  • Slayer - REPENTLESS

    Image: Slayer, Repentless, Pitriff, Review, Thrash Metal, Chris Akin Slayer
    REPENTLESS

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    Probably more than any release in their history, Slayer came into releasing this album at a crossroads. This WAS the album that, in many ways, dictated if the band could continue on or if it was indeed time to drift off quietly to Hell. The loss of guitarist Jeff Hanneman and the removal of drummer Dave Lombardo had almost every Slayer

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  • Operation: Mindcrime - THE KEY

    Image: Operation Mindcrime, Geoff Tate, Reviews, Music, heavy metal Operation: Mindcrime
    THE KEY

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    Geoff Tate’s falling out and subsequent two years of lawsuits, multiple versions of the same band and overall craziness in the press definitely tarnished a legacy that once seemed untouchable. Think about it. Even with over a decade of arguably bad releases (Q2K, TRIBE, AMERICAN SOLDIER, DEDICATED TO CHAOS), it wasn’t until the now infamous spitting incident and the

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  • W.A.S.P. - GOLGOTHA

    Image: WASP, Golgotha, Blackie Lawless, Pitriff, Review, Heavy Metal W.A.S.P.
    GOLGOTHA

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    W.A.S.P. is one of those bands that has a ridiculously loyal fanbase...and good for them, actually. Doing THE CLASSIC METAL SHOW, we get shit on repeatedly anytime we say anything that is less than glowing about W.A.S.P., Blackie Lawless or any of the band’s former or present members. Oh well...comes with the territory, I guess. After what seems like quite a

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Image: Boston, Life Love and Hope, Pitriff, heavy metal, reviewsBoston
LIFE, LOVE & HOPE

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Boston is one of those bands that, as a fan, has just been one of the most frustrating to follow.  Their career has been so sporadic musically and so infrequent release-wise that they literally tanked their career for the sake of the creative musings of their leader, guitarist Tom Scholz. To be pretty honest, they haven't done anything that's been that great since the THIRD STAGE release, which came back in 1986.  Following the death of vocalist Brad Delp, they seemed like they may just be over, but were resurrected in the live setting by Stryper vocalist Michael Sweet.  Sweet has since left, but new vocalist Tommy DiCarlo seems to be a pretty good clone of Delp sonically.  So, onward does the Boston spaceship sail.

Unfortunately with LIFE, LOVE & HOPE, Boston has clearly cooled the engines.  In short, LIFE, LOVE & HOPE has a few decent moments, no great ones, and a lot of stuff that sounds like studio demos that should have been left on the cutting room floor.  For an album that took over 10 years to produce, the most shocking first impression is the tacky, poor drum sound that seems to have been clearly programmed by a drum machine.  It's absolutely annoying hearing this mechanical, cold beat underneath songs like the instrumental "Last Day Of School".  This is one of many complaints though.

The biggest problem with LIFE, LOVE & HOPE is the lack of cohesiveness in both the songs and the release as a whole.  For one thing, Scholz and company chose to use some pre-existing vocals from the now deceased Delp on LIFE, LOVE & HOPE.  Listening to songs like "Sail Away", it's pretty obvious that these were, at best, individual takes, and more than likely scratch tracks that were being worked on.  If these were finished tracks that just hadn't emerged until now, then it's clear that Delp was well on his way to suicide, as the vocal performances here are as lifeless as he now is.  Other songs like "Heaven & Earth" are somewhat better, but not much.

Scholz doesn't fair much better, ultimately.  For a guy who's guitar once had such fire behind it, the playing on LIFE, LOVE & HOPE is just dull.  Certainly, that signature wall of sound that Boston always had on guitar is there, but there's not an ounce of fire in any of the songs.  The only song that even remotely reminds you of the band's glorious past is the title track, "Life, Love & Hope", which has a catchy, familiar melody line in it that could have come from outtakes of "Long Time" or "We're Ready" from a much better time in the band's career.  Even here though, Scholz minor soloing is a bit flat and weak.

PITRIFF RATING - 32/100 - Well, the cover art is nice.  Other than that, this release is on par or even below what they gave us with CORPORATE AMERICA, which was pretty much a dud on impact as well.  No lying, I'll go visit whatever club they play locally next year as I'm a huge fan.  That said, I won't know any of the words to these songs if they decide to play them.  LIFE, LOVE & HOPE pretty much stinks.

Life, Love & Hope

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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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