• 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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    CD

    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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Review - Sabaton

Sabaton, Carolus Rex, Pitriff, news, interviews, reviews, heavy metalSabaton
CAROLUS REX

There's really two kinds of German metal out there.  There's the traditional power metal; stuff like Primal Fear or Scorpions that just kicks your ass with rhythmic playing and powerful vocals.  Then, there's the other variety that sounds like the metal version of a battle at a renaissance faire.  Bands like Blind Guardian come to mind.  This kind of music has an appeal, but you'd better be brilliant if you want to pull it off.  For years, Sabaton has been on the cusp of that greatness.  With CAROLUS REX, they fall far short of not only that standard, but their own standard of excellence as well.

p>In short, the best word to describe CAROLUS REX is boring.  Everything about it is tired; like a boring tribute to their past work.  It's not surprising.  Most of the band has quit or been fired from the band, which calls into question where the creativity was even coming from writing and recording this effort.  It shows.  In many ways, CAROLUS REX runs like a bad tribute to albums like THE ART OF WAR or the brilliant COAT OF ARMS.  Replacing dynamic songsmithing this time are tired attempts to be "triumphant" on songs like "A Lifetime Of War".  This song is the epitome of dull, with vocalist Joakim Broden's deep voice just wearing you out with his false sense of inspired patriotism.  For his part, he sounds decent.  Songs like "1 6 4 8" find Broden roaring about as well as he ever does.

The problem is not Broden, and it's not any of the musicianship to be quite honest.  It's all fine.  The problem is that the songs are just not very good at all.  Song after song, you get dealt a sad shell of this kind of music.  There's so little inspiration in songs like "Carolus Rex" and "The Lion From The North" that you end up bored as you work through the album.  I don't know how else to describe it.  In short, CAROLUS REX just sounds like they went into the studio and wrote songs to sound like other stuff instead of really having any creative juices flowing to create another exciting slab of metal.  There's NOTHING exciting here.

PITRIFF RATING - 35/100 - This is not only boring, but it's also disappointing as Sabaton has become one of the elite bands in this genre.  CAROLUS REX could very well be a misstep considering how much turmoil was going on with the band when it was being written and recorded.  That said though, that doesn't forgive this tepid slab of boredom.  Sabaton missed the mark here.

Chris Akin



Sabaton

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