• 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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Snew - WHAT'S IT TO YA

Image: Snew, Pull My StingerSnew
WHAT'S IT TO YA

What is there to say about Snew?  They are the quintessential shit kicker band.  There's several out there.  There's bands like Broken Teeth, Rhinobucket and American Dog to name a few.  Then, there's Snew.  Snew has been kicking around for a few years now, growing a couple fans at a time but making an impact independently with a level of persistence that only guys that are truly dedicated to their craft can appreciate.  Given that life forces me to be wedged in with a lot of image conscious, douchey modern metal/post hardcore bands that would never understand this level of commitment, I'm always one to give a DIY band like Snew every chance.  Thankfully, they have proven the musical chops once again to warrant some attention from not only me, but the hard rock community at large.  WHAT'S IT TO YOU feels just like the boot hitting your ass when you were a teenager telling your dad that you couldn't do something because it was too hard.

Read more: Snew - WHAT'S IT TO YA

Icarus Witch - RISE

Image: Icarus Witch, Rise, Pitriff, Heavy MetalIcarus Witch
RISE

It's been a decade of growth, development, change and experimentation for the guys in Pennsylvania's Icarus Witch.  The band that exists today simply would not have written albums like CAPTURE THE MAGIC or SONGS FOR THE LOST.  Being completely honest, it just seems like a completely new band.  Not only has this band gone through numerous member changes (I think they are the modern day Spinal Tap as I believe they are on drummer #5), but those new members have all instilled creative changes to where the music is different from what was first experienced.  If your first taste of Icarus Witch is RISE, you would never suspect that this was once a traditional metal/power metal band only a few years ago.  That said, it's doubtful you'd be disappointed either.

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Review - Chris Robinson Brotherhood

Image: Chris Robinson Brotherhood, Big Moon RitualChris Robinson Brotherhood
BIG MOON RITUAL

Man, oh man.  Sometimes I hear music that really, really makes me question my decision of 1986 to just quit smoking pot.  I've never lied to anyone about it.  I loved smoking pot - everything about it.  I loved the buzz.  I loved the warm, bubbly feeling as you let it find its way through your lungs while you held it in before that euphoric release that was, generally, followed by a soft giggle of the purest enjoyment.  I loved the relaxing serenity it can put your mind into, specifically if you had just the right music playing while you enjoyed passing a joint around a campfire or mixing in pipe hits when you grew tired of drinking beer by the six pack.  Yes, I do miss smoking pot, but thankfully I am one of those rare breed that still enjoys the best pot smoking music while being completely herb free!

Read more: Review - Chris Robinson Brotherhood

Rush - CLOCKWORK ANGELS

Image: Rush, Clockwork Angels, CD Review, Heavy metal, pitriff, interviews, newsRush
CLOCKWORK ANGELS

It's been five years since Rush unleashed their SNAKES AND ARROWS release, and to be honest, it's been longer still since they put out a release that was truly great.  Like most of their material outside of the 80s, SNAKES AND ARROWS was a little better than competent classic progressive hard rock.  For the diehards, always being good but not great leaves them wondering when the next great release will emerge.  For those that are just fans in passing (like this guy), the thought of a new release generates very little in the way of expectation.

Read more: Rush - CLOCKWORK ANGELS

Interview - Mnemic

Images: Mnemic, Mnemesis, Mircea Gabriel EftemieThe road to success, or even survival, for any band is a difficult one.  For a band like Mnemic, that's never found a way to break through in the United States for a wide assortment of reasons, it can be even that much harder.  For every band, from the smallest local band to Metallica or Aerosmith, there always seems to come a point where the band is tested to decide if they should move forward or pack it in. 

That time seemingly came for Mnemic following the release of their SONS OF THE SYSTEM release.  It was at this point that 3/5 of the band turned over.  This left the band's lone original member Mircea Gabriel Eftemie with a decision - continue Mnemic which has always shown the potential but has never broken through on the biggest stage, or call it a day and try something else.  According to Eftemie, there really was no decision like this to be made.  Mnemic found new members and went about the business of recording their latest release, MNEMESIS.  As he explained to PITRIFF recently, the turnover of members did present it's own set of challenges, but never so much so that he ever considered putting an end to Mnemic.  Here's the conversation:

Read more: Interview - Mnemic

Kreator - PHANTOM ANTICHRIST

Image: Kreator, Phantom Antichrist, interviews, news, cd reviews, heavy metal, pitriffKreator
PHANTOM ANTICHRIST

Creating the magical moment in a band's history can certainly be a blessing.  it can also be a curse though.  Throughout the history of recorded music, most long term bands have created their "epic moment", and then followed it up (generally unsuccessfully) for the next several decades trying to recapture that moment once again.  While I'm sure people will question the band's apex moment, I'll state that ENDLESS PAIN (and specifically the brilliant track "Flag Of Hate") was Kreator's grandest moment.  While they have been one of the more excellent thrash bands since then, they never really lived up to that album...until 2009's HORDES OF CHAOS.  There was a level of brilliance with that release that most didn't think these guys had anymore.  That was the blessing.

Read more: Kreator - PHANTOM ANTICHRIST

CD Review - Dehuman

Image: DeHuman, Black Throne Of All Creation, pitriff, heavy metal, reviews, news, interviewsDehuman
BLACK THRONE OF ALL CREATION

Holy Suffocation, is this a tribute band?  Actually, it's not.  Dehuman is a Belgian death metal band that claims themselves to be an "old school death metal" band, and they are certainly right on the mark with that.  BLACK THRONE OF ALL CREATION certainly could have done well in 1996 or so...long before this genre was uprooted and bastardized by all the influence of Metalcore to ruin future generations of sonic death.

While I appreciate the old school sound that Dehuman has, they unfortunately sound like they might have recorded with gear that hasn't been updated since the '90s as well.  

Read more: CD Review - Dehuman

Firewind - FEW AGAINST MANY

Image: Firewind, CD Review, Heavy Metal, PitriffFirewind
FEW AGAINST MANY

I know I wasn't alone in worrying that guitarist Gus G. joining Ozzy would ruin Firewind.  Sure, we all get that it's a great move for Gus.  Further, we also understand that it is an unbelievable opportunity that that has propelled every other guitarist except Joe Holmes to stardom.  In short, we get why Gus did it.  That said though, Firewind has been, along with Primal Fear, the most consistently great power metal band of the last decade.  Seeing it become a part time project behind a very high profile gig could have spelled disaster.

Thankfully though, this has not happened.  While it's not the best album Firewind has ever done, FEW AGAINST MANY is very much in tune with the greatness of previous efforts and continues to show development of the band as songwriters.  To say the least, FEW AGAINST MANY kicks ass in the tradition the band had previously established.

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