• Sweet & Lynch - ONLY TO RISE

    Image: Sweet & Lynch, Only To Rise, CD Review, Classic Metal, Pitriff Sweet & Lynch
    ONLY TO RISE

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    MP3

    Being completely honest here, I really didn't expect a whole lot out of this. I'm not the biggest Stryper fan in the world by a long shot, and the truth is that I just never could fully get into Michael Sweet's vocals. There's just always been something about him. I'm not sure what it is. I guess

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  • AC/DC - ROCK OR BUST

    Image: Rock Or Bust, AC/DC, Chris Akin, Pitriff, Classic Metal, Review AC/DC
    ROCK OR BUST

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    MP3

    In a year that has see a foundational piece of AC/DC succumb to a debilitating illness and another to his own personal insanity, AC/DC emerges after seemingly forever away with ROCK OR BUST. To be fair and truthfully honest, expectations on this release were pretty low. I know that AC/DC is a band that's been in business almost 50

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  • Whitesnake - BACK TO THE BONE

    Image: Whitesnake, Back To The Bone, Pitriff, Chris Akin Whitesnake
    LIVE IN '84 - BACK TO THE BONE

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    David Coverdale and company have had a very long and successful history that started even before he formed Whitesnake. There's no denying the legacy here. Coverdale has had a fantastic career with Whitesnake, and his time in Deep Purple was every bit as strong to that band as a Sammy Hagar was to Van Halen

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  • Wretch - WARRIORS

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

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    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
    BLOODSTONE & DIAMONDS

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    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
    A TRIBUTE TO MOTLEY CRUE

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    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
    RIDE ON

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    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
    LITE ROAST

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    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
    PANDEMONIUM

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    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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Judas Priest - REDEEMER OF SOULS

judas priest, redeemer of souls, power metalJudas Priest
REDEEMER OF SOULS

CD
MP3

Judas Priest has a lot to atone for in the eyes of all fans except for Jim "Nostradamus" Bartek. Given the fact that Bartek's 524 day listening streak to NOSTRADAMUS probably doubled the count of the rest of the Priest fanbase combined, it's clear that the once Mighty Priest needed to do something very, very metal this time around or it might just be time to call it a day. Not only was NOSTRADAMUS a bomb, but it also marked the moment that the dynamic duo of Tipton and Downing split in half, as KK decided to take his skills to the golf course and leave the band behind. With that said, and given that Priest fans have gone 9 long years without a good Judas Priest release to listen to, there's a ton of expectation on REDEEMER OF SOULS.

Well, I will give them this. They did record a metal Judas Priest album. There's no question that many of these songs will sound great in the live setting. Sadly though, they are going to have to, because the production on REDEEMER OF SOULS is abysmal. Songs like "Halls Of Valhalla" could easily have become favorites from the band, but the production is just bad. The sound is just terribly thin, in parts sounding like demos. The guitar volume is all over the place in spots, and in others the sound just sounds very raw and far too unpolished for a typical Judas Priest release. Other songs, like "Sword Of Damocles" quite literally sound like a mess of noise in parts. On all levels - guitars, drums, bass (where is it) and even vocals, the production is shoddy at best, demo like at worst and throughout. Even compared to their releases from the 70s, this is worse. Simply, this is unacceptably bad for a band of Judas Priest's stature in 2014.

That's too bad too, because there are some truly solid songs here. The previously mentioned "Halls Of Valhalla" is probably the best of the bunch, but other songs like "March Of The Damned" rock as well. While it's somewhat strange to get an entire Priest release with almost no Halford screams and full of the singer in the lower register, he's still passable and still more than fulfills the "Metal God" persona. "Down In Flames" is a good song with a really terrible guitar mix on it. In fact, this is probably the worst sounding guitar ever on a Priest release. To be honest, this is a big problem throughout the release. When they tag team solo, guitarists Glenn Tipton and Richie Faulkner just sound off. I'm assuming that Faulkner is the 2nd guitarist in on the solos (at least on this song), and his guitar just sounds terribly raw. It's far too contrasting for the Tipton's parts, and it doesn't work. "Hell & Back" is another really good song that is plagued with crap production. It's the lone time on the disc where Ian Hill's bass really shows up, but it's so loud and mushy that it's distracting. As for drummer Scott Travis, he seems to have gotten screwed over the most on REDEEMER OF SOULS. Normally, Travis brings a huge, arena-like drum sound to the studio. Here, he's so muffled in the mix on most songs that you'd almost never know it's the same guy from previous releases.

PITRIFF RATING - 52/100 - To say the least, REDEEMER OF SOULS is a disappointment. While it has some good songs on it, the production is an absolute killer. Sounding more like demos than a studio ready Priest album, this one goes up on the shelf next to NOSTRADAMUS; filed under "rarely if ever listen to". What a bummer.

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