• 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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  • Opeth - PALE COMMUNION

    Image: Opeth, Pale Communion, Pitriff, Review, Progressive Metal Opeth
    PALE COMMUNION

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    Opeth simply fails as a band, at least to me. While I'll admit to never fully understanding the amazement and awe so many have for this band, I've appreciated them from afar. I've listened, and I've at least wrapped my head around what they were trying to do. Their fusing of death metal with progressive elements always made for an

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  • Cannibal Corpse - A SKELETAL DOMAIN

    Cannibal Corpse, A Skeletal Domain, Review, Death Metal Cannibal Corpse
    A SKELETAL DOMAIN

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    So really, what does anyone expect when you get a Cannibal Corpse release handed to you? Ballads, love songs and fun? Not hardly. There's an expectation of severe brutality which the band delivers time and time again. Certainly, it comes with different levels of acceptance to one's ears, but ultimately the only thing that matters if it says

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  • Exodus - BLOOD IN, BLOOD OUT

    Image: Exodus, Blood In Blood Out, Pitriff, Review, Thrash Metal Exodus
    BLOOD IN, BLOOD OUT

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    Unless you call Testament a "thrash band" (which I don't personally), Exodus would rank as my favorite true Thrash band of all time. They have had good times and bad. Occasionally, like on FABULOUS DISASTER, they have misstepped along the way. But overall, they are one of the true powerhouses in the history of thrash metal. Since 2004

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  • Mr. Big - ...THE STORIES WE COULD TELL

    Mr. Big, The Stories We Could Tell, Reviews, Classic Metal, Chris Akin, Pitriff Mr. Big
    ...THE STORIES WE COULD TELL

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    As a fan of Mr. Big, I can't honestly say that many people thought that their reunion was much more than a cash grab opportunity for the guys in the band who, while immensely talented, failed to find solo success to match their collaborative efforts. It was never a question of if they could still play.

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American Dog - POISON SMILE

Image: Poison Smile, American Dog, Pitriff, heavy metal, news, reviews, interviewsAmerican Dog
POISON SMILE

I don't know what to call the development of a band like American Dog.  For most bands, you would say that they have matured as a band.  But I think if bassist/vocalist Michael Hannon or guitarist Steve Theado heard me say they had matured, they would knock me to the ground, give me a wedgey and piss in my face to prove that nothing had changed in the always crazy world of Canine Country!  Clearly, a band like American Dog does not "mature",  Just their playing does.

Reviewing POISON SMILE is pretty easy to do in all honesty.  If you have liked them in the past, you will love this.  If you hated them before, well...wait until tomorrow and a new review will be posted.  As a fan, I'm always excited to receive a new American Dog release because they always deliver for me.  Their own special brand of made in America, barroom rock n' roll is some of the best in a genre that is very crowded with great bands.

Read more: American Dog - POISON SMILE

Review - Voodoo Brother

Image: Voodoo Brother, Pitriff, news, reviews, interviews, heavy metalVoodoo Brother
VOODOO BROTHER

While I'm sure most of you are going "who?", this is one release that I've been anticipating for well over a year.  From the ashes of the band, and this site's namesake, PiT, guitarist Jim Lavender and bassist Curt Briscar have found new members, a new musical vision, and have finally resurfaced as Voodoo Brother.

To say the least, Voodoo Brother is a far cry from what these guys have done previously.  So much so in fact, that Lavender no longer uses his former stage name of Joe Campo.  He fooled me!  Voodoo Brother is like a collaboration of the known and the unknown; like if Down shared a tour bus with the late, great Agatha Crawl.  

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Havok - POINT OF NO RETURN

Image: Havok, Point Of No Return, Heavy Metal, reviews, news, interviews, pitriffHavok
POINT OF NO RETURN

The single hardest working new thrash band in the world has returned with a quick four song EP that is designed to do one thing and one thing only - give them a reason to stay on tour!  Mission Accomplished.

Since this is a four song EP, there's not a ton to write about.  POINT OF NO RETURN featured two new songs and two covers.  Starting with the new material, this stuff has to be material that didn't make TIME IS UP.  I have no idea why.  

Read more: Havok - POINT OF NO RETURN

Muckraker - BIG BLACK BUS

Image: Pitriff, Muckraker, Will Price, pitriff, news, reviews, interviews, heavy metalMuckraker
BIG BLACK BUS

I'm one of those music snobs that doesn't like the "known" music nearly as much as the stuff that flew under most people's radar.  That said, there was a band that came and went in that I loved in the late 90s called Boiler.  While I'm sure most of you don't remember them, I do.  Two brilliant CDs and an EP...THE NEW PROFESSIONALS, COW TIPPIN' IN C SHARP and YEEHAW...three releases that have found permanent residence in my music collection, and three that still get played a lot.  Boiler was one of those bands that you could always put on to give you an energy boost as well as a shot of attitude along the way.  Songs like "Railroaded" or "Stegasaurus" are addictive as Hell.

Read more: Muckraker - BIG BLACK BUS

Job For A Cowboy - DEMONOCRACY

Image: Job For A Cowboy, Demonocracy, heavy metal, pitriff, interviews, reviews, newsJob For A Cowboy
DEMONOCRACY

For many years now, Job For A Cowboy has been somewhat of a whipping post for me.  From their start, they were a metalcore band that wanted to be a death metal band, but were seemingly afraid to take it all the way over the edge and become just that.  Their album GENESIS was kind of laughable to be honest; a collection of songs from a band that wasn't sure if they wanted to hop on the trend or have integrity.  Their followup, RUINATION was a step in the right direction, but still featured a bit too much of that deathcore spirit for my taste.  Somewhere along the way though, Job For A Cowboy must have heard from guys like me that wanted them to become a full fledged death metal band and stop messing around with trendy gimmicks.  DEMONOCRACY is just what the doctor always ordered from them - full on brilliant death metal.

Read more: Job For A Cowboy - DEMONOCRACY

New Keel Show Posted

The brand new episode of Ron Keel's "Streets Of Rock N' Roll" has be posted.

To listen to the latest episode, recorded from the road as Keel traveled on tour throughout the western portion of the United States, visit the player on the right side of the screen!  

For more information on "The Streets Of  Rock N' Roll", click HERE.  

Sledge Leather - IMAGINE ME ALIVE

Image: Sledge Leather, Imagine Me Alive, pitriff, heavy metal, news, reviews, interviewsSledge Leather
IMAGINE ME ALIVE

Sometimes things happen for a reason.  Cult favorites Rude Girl were all set to become a dominant force on the metal scene back in the 80s, and that didn't happen for whatever reason.  It certainly wasn't because they didn't have the talent.  Vocalist Leather Leone was widely regarding as one of the very best heavy metal vocalists of that era - having the rare distinction of being compared favorably to guys like Halford and Dio at the time.  Still, it didn't happen for Rude Girl, and following was some solo work, and then a solid and equally brilliant but unappreciated run as the vocalist of the long underground heroes Chastain.  For whatever reasons, she just up and disappeared and was never heard from again...until recently.

Read more: Sledge Leather - IMAGINE ME ALIVE

Hydrogyn - PRIVATE SESSIONS

Image: Hydrogyn, Private Sessions, heavy metal, reviews, interviews, news, pitriffHydrogyn
PRIVATE SESSIONS

It's interesting to follow the progress, or lack thereof, that some bands make.  Since 2004, Hydrogyn has been a band that has tried to market the hotness of their frontwoman Julie Westlake, hoping that it would overshadow their ultimately boring and clandestine music.  Album after album, there's been nothing but photos and videos of Westlake to promote the band, and nothing behind it musically to fully capture any interest her looks might have enticed.  By contrast, a band like Benedictum is also fronted by an appealing woman named Veronica Freeman, and yet the focus with them is always on the tunes and not Freeman's looks.  Not surprisingly, they are a lot farther along, respected and known than Hydrogyn.

Read more: Hydrogyn - PRIVATE SESSIONS

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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.

CLICK HERE to learn more about CAUSE/EFFECT: METALLICA.

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The shockingly honest and emotional first book from radio personality and rock critic Chris Akin.

CLICK HERE to learn more about LITTLE VICTORIES.

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Read Reviews and Excerpts from LITTLE VICTORIES: A TALE OF DIVORCE, DEBAUCHERY AND FINDING HAPPINESS HERE!

Available January 13th in Paperback and Digital Formats on Amazon and iTunes.

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