• Wretch - WARRIORS

    Image: Wretch, Warriors, Review, Power Metal, Chris Akin, Pitriff Wretch


    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


    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


    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


    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


    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


    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


    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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Boston - LIFE, LOVE & HOPE

Image: Boston, Life Love and Hope, Pitriff, heavy metal, reviewsBoston


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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The shockingly honest and emotional first book from radio personality and rock critic Chris Akin.

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Available January 13th in Paperback and Digital Formats on Amazon and iTunes.

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