• Winger - BETTER DAYS COMIN'

    Image: Winger, Better Days Comin', Pitriff, CD Review, Classic Metal Winger
    BETTER DAYS COMIN'

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    Of the bands that have come back into an active state from the 80s, it's hard to argue that any has created stronger music than Winger. Their IV and KARMA releases have been enjoyable to say the least, and have shown that there is still plenty of magic left when this collection of musicians gets together. While not as

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  • Black Label Society - CATACOMBS OF THE BLACK VATICAN

    Image: Black Label Society, Catacombs Of The Black Vatican, Pitriff, Review, Classic Metal Black Label Society
    CATACOMBS OF THE BLACK VATICAN

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    When Zakk Wylde decides to release new music, the metal world definitely stops for a moment and listens. They may not like it all, but they do listen. It's a testament to how unbelievable the man is on guitar; a true legend who stands shoulder to shoulder with the Eddie Van Halen's and Dimebag Darrell's

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  • Lacuna Coil - BROKEN CROWN HALO

    Image: Lacuna Coil, Broken Crown Halo, Review, Modern Metal, Pitriff Lacuna Coil
    BROKEN CROWN HALO

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    It's not really much of a secret that two of my favorite bands out there today are fronted by ladies. Those two bands are Halestorm and Lacuna Coil. While it took me awhile to latch onto Halestorm, Lacuna Coil was a band that I latched on the very first time I heard them. I remember getting a sampler

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  • Sevendust - TIME TRAVELERS & BONFIRES

    Image: Sevendust, Time Travelers & Bonfires, Review, Modern Metal, Pitriff Sevendust
    TIME TRAVELERS & BONFIRES

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    Sevendust are really a band for the fans, and the fans are definitely always there for the band. Case in point - their latest release TIME TRAVELERS & BONFIRES. This release is one paid for by the latest trend hitting the music business, pre-funding by the fans to pay for a project. The band asked for a lot for

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  • Various Artists: Ronnie James Dio - THIS IS YOUR LIFE

    Image: Dio, This Is Your Life, Pitriff, Review, Classic metal Various Artists
    RONNIE JAMES DIO: THIS IS YOUR LIFE

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    As much as I want to take this at face value, it's hard to not at least wonder just how many times Wendy Dio is going to visit the Dio well and mine more material culled from his past work. There's already been multiple live releases, deluxe reissues, an officially sanctioned band playing the

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  • Red Reign - CHASING SHADOWS

    Image: Red Reign, Chasing Shadows, Pitriff, Review, Classic Metal Red Reign
    CHASING SHADOWS

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    Amazon

    It's not very often that a band that has zero backing behind it sweeps in and just monopolizes my listening time. Generally, bands like Red Reign get 30 seconds as I quickly scan through their music and I'm on to something else that I'm getting pressured to review by a publicist. For Red Reign, I was asked to review

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  • Steel Panther - ALL YOU CAN EAT

    Image: Steel Panther, All You Can Eat, The Classic Metal Show Steel Panther
    ALL YOU CAN EAT

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    They certainly are the joke that just keeps on being retold and being funny, now aren't they? I'm sure there's a lot less people that remember them as Metal Shop, Metal Skool or even way back to the Danger Kitty days, but a whole lot more people have discovered this band since they adopted the name Steel

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  • Sebastian Bach - GIVE 'EM HELL

    Sebastian Bach, Give 'Em Hell, Pitriff, CD Review Sebastian Bach
    GIVE 'EM HELL

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    It seems like every time Sebastian Bach releases new music, the first thought that comes to my mind is "this dude comes off like a douchebag ALOT in interviews, but he just kicks ass musically." Amazing how that comes back around. Baz is back, and he's been saying some interesting things in recent interviews. Yet, just ignoring that

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  • Gamma Ray - EMPIRE OF THE UNDEAD

    Image: Gamma Ray, Empire Of The Undead, Pitriff, CD Review, Power Metal Gamma Ray
    EMPIRE OF THE UNDEAD

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    CD

    My affinity for Gamma Ray really predates the band itself, as it's much more of an appreciation for the vocal work of singer Kai Hansen. Be it with Gamma Ray or his legendary work with his previous band Helloween, Hansen has always been not only one of the most elite vocalists in power metal in my eyes,

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  • Vandenberg's MoonKings - VANDENBERG'S MOONKINGS

    Image: Vandenberg's Moonkings, Pitriff, Classic Rock, Classic Metal Vandenberg's MoonKings
    VANDENBERG'S MOONKINGS

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    Adrian Vandenberg and Jake E. Lee have seemingly the same career path. Both were great in super huge bands (Vandenberg in Whitesnake, Lee in Ozzy), recorded even better material when they broke away (Lee with Badlands, Vandenberg with Manic Eden), and then both walked away and just left music behind for awhile. Now, both are back. Lee's Red Dragon

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  • Pilgrim - II: VOID WORSHIP

    Image: Pilgrim, Void Worship, Pitriff, doom metal, review Pilgrim
    II: VOID WORSHIP

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    In the epic world of doom metal, there are a lot of pretenders. There are only a few that are truly authentic though. Pilgrim is one of the most authentic I think I've ever heard. Their grinding, slow moving sludge is such from which legends put on this Earth to slay anyone or anything in it's path. Made up

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  • Hatecore Inc. - NO HOPE, NO ESCAPE VOL. 1

    Image: Hatecore Inc, No Hope, No Escape Vol 1, Pitriff, Review Hatecore, Inc.
    NO HOPE, NO ESCAPE VOL. 1: WELCOME TO MY WAR

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    Being from the Cleveland area, I've seen a lot of bands get ignored for whatever reason. On the national side of things, most people look at bands north of Columbus as being from "Cleveland". Unfortunately though, that's not how it works. For as long as I've been in this scene, there

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  • KXM - KXM

    Image: KXM, George Lynch, Dug Pinnick, Ray Luzier, Pitriff KXM
    KXM

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    Some points of clarity before I write a single world about the new project KXM, in order that this review is understood and evaluated fairly by anyone reading it. This project features three guys - Dug Pinnick of King's X, George Lynch of Dokken and Lynch Mob fame, and Ray Luzier who is currently the drummer for Korn. Out of fairness, I'll

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Review - Mystic Prophecy

Image: Mystic prophecy, ravenlordMystic Prophecy
RAVENLORD

When it comes to power metal bands out there that a lot of people don't know but should, Mystic Prophecy jumps right to the top of the list.  Their albums are consistently excellent, with their SATANIC CURSES being a tremendous effort that's still in steady rotation in my IPod almost 5 years after it was released.  With every band though, when you set the bar extremely high, you have that moment where you fall back a little bit.  Being fair here, I do really like RAVENLORD, but it's simply not as good as their past releases.  It's solid, but probably the worst of their catalog.

 Again, not a bad album by any stretch.  There are times when these guys turn up the speed and just launch.  "Die Now" is probably the fastest and heaviest song of the bands career; complete with vocalist Roberto Dimitri Liapakis snarling his way through the song instead of using his more clean vocal that he's known for.  As always though, Liapakis is the solid leader of this band.  He roars throughout, reminding at times of Tom Englund of Evergrey in choruses.

Regardless of Liapakis, Mystic Prophecy will always be a band that lives and dies with their guitar players.  The band once featured legendary guitarist Gus G., and now features Markus Pohl and Constantine.  They are equal to the task once again on RAVENLORD.  They rip it up, specifically in the solo, on the album's best track, "Eyes Of The Devil".  Constantine and Pohl are stablized by a rock solid underbelly created by bassist Connie Andreszka and fairly new drummer Claudio Sisto.  They rip as a unit on "Damned Tonight".

While most of this album is solid, Mystic Prophecy suffer a few bumps along the way, and one jarring misstep.  That misstep comes with their over the top, pretty horrible cover of Ozzy's "Miracle Man" from NO REST FOR THE WICKED.  This one is just all over the place.  The guitars are kind of out of control, centered around the excitement of throwing in pinch harmonics every two seconds a la Zakk Wylde, but with far less control.  The guitars are not the issue though.  The vocals from Liapakis on this song are terrible...and I mean really terrible.  Simply put, Liapakis tries and fails at putting on an Ozzy voice, and it almost sounds like they didn't put the effects on his voice that gave him the booming quality on the rest of the album.  This song is horrible, sloppy, and really puts a bad ending on an otherwise solid to extremely good album.

PITRIFF RATING - 75/100 - Most of this kicks ass as power metal goes, but the ending is a total downer.  RAVENLORD is a solid effort from a band that generally delivers far more than a solid effort, so it's a bit of a disappointment.  Still, it's worth having.  While not the best effort these guys have ever done, if you leave "Miracle Man" off your IPod, you won't be disappointed with the listening experience at all.

Chris Akin

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