• 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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  • 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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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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