• 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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    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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Review - Freedom Call

Image: Freedom Call, Land Of The Crimson Dawn, PitriffFreedom Call
LAND OF THE CRIMSON DAWN

One of the most difficult things there is to do when reviewing power metal bands is to find the slight variations in the sound from band to band.  While I'm definitely a fan of the genre, it is the most defined sound of all the subgenres of metal.  Let's face it - each and every song has a fast drum beat that rides underneath fast riffs which create a galloping sound to the music.  In short, if you can listen to a power metal album from start to finish and you never tap out the "da da dum da da dum" beat on the table in front of you, then the music is probably not very good.

Freedom Call is what I'd call a typical power metal band.  Their album, LAND OF THE CRIMSON DAWN, is pretty much what you'd expect from any German power metal band out there.  Their music features big, sweeping gang style choruses, galloping paces on every song, a pretty clean vocal and music that's pretty well within the framework of this musical style.  In short, LAND OF THE CRIMSON DAWN is a pretty typical power metal album.

That said, I hope you don't read it as a bad album at all.  It's not.  Songs like "Rockstars" are as solid as anything Primal Fear or Blind Guardian have put out in years.  Vocalist Chris Bay is not the greatest singer in that his voice is pretty indistinguishable, but he's solid throughout.  In a way, Bay reminds a lot of Joacim Cans of Hammerfall, particularly in his phrasing on songs.  Listening to him on material like "Crimson Dawn", it's hard to be sure that it's not Cans singing the song as a guest appearance.

Musically, LAND OF THE CRIMSON DAWN is pretty much typical.  They fall right into my main criticism of power metal; each and every song being based on "the fight", "the struggle", "marching on" and "winning the great battle".  Sure, this kind of music has etched it's place in the minds and souls of Dungeons & Dragons fans and annual Renaissance Fair participants, but the ever repeating message is somewhat of a downer in this genre.  There's no shortage of it here.  Song like "66 Warriors", "Valley Of Kingdom" and most others just emphasize this fairly typical storyline from which they write from.

PITRIFF RATING - 70/100 - Not bad, not great.  Definitely not something that stands out much, but at the same time not something you would turn off if it popped on your radio or IPod.  This is a solid effort from Freedom Call, although my bet is that if you aren't a follower of them as a band you wouldn't distinguish it from any of the other zillion just like them out there.

Chris Akin

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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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