• Iron Maiden - THE BOOK OF SOULS

    Image: Iron Maiden, The Book of Souls, Review, Classic Metal, Pitriff, Chris Akin Iron Maiden


    They don’t do it that often anymore, but there’s always excitement when Iron Maiden comes out with new music. Knowing that they are closing in on the end of their career, you really do end up hoping that when they go out for good, it will be with a bang. I think it’s universally agreed upon that

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  • Slayer - REPENTLESS

    Image: Slayer, Repentless, Pitriff, Review, Thrash Metal, Chris Akin Slayer


    Probably more than any release in their history, Slayer came into releasing this album at a crossroads. This WAS the album that, in many ways, dictated if the band could continue on or if it was indeed time to drift off quietly to Hell. The loss of guitarist Jeff Hanneman and the removal of drummer Dave Lombardo had almost every Slayer

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  • Operation: Mindcrime - THE KEY

    Image: Operation Mindcrime, Geoff Tate, Reviews, Music, heavy metal Operation: Mindcrime


    Geoff Tate’s falling out and subsequent two years of lawsuits, multiple versions of the same band and overall craziness in the press definitely tarnished a legacy that once seemed untouchable. Think about it. Even with over a decade of arguably bad releases (Q2K, TRIBE, AMERICAN SOLDIER, DEDICATED TO CHAOS), it wasn’t until the now infamous spitting incident and the

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    Image: WASP, Golgotha, Blackie Lawless, Pitriff, Review, Heavy Metal W.A.S.P.


    W.A.S.P. is one of those bands that has a ridiculously loyal fanbase...and good for them, actually. Doing THE CLASSIC METAL SHOW, we get shit on repeatedly anytime we say anything that is less than glowing about W.A.S.P., Blackie Lawless or any of the band’s former or present members. Oh well...comes with the territory, I guess. After what seems like quite a

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  • Halestorm - INTO THE WILD LIFE

    Image: Halestorm, Into The Wild Life, Pitriff, heavy metal, reviews, interviews Halestorm


    With the release of THE STRANGE CASE OF…, I fell in love with Lzzy Hale. So much so, in fact, that I jokingly got down on one knee and asked her to marry me at Rock On The Range two years ago (a proposal that she didn’t flat out turn down, so maybe there’s still hope!!). Let’s be

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Image: Jorn Lande, Bring heavy rock to the land, heavy metal, pitriff, news, interviews, reviewsJorn Lande

Jorn Lande is one of the greatest living metal vocalists out there today, and yet there's surprisingly few people that truly appreciate his music.  To think that he was chosen by the surviving members of Black Sabbath to stand in for the greatest metal vocalist ever to take a stage (Ronnie James Dio), one would think that alone would have seen his ascent to the elite position in metal reserved for such greats as Dickinson or Halford.  For whatever reason, it hasn't happened though.  Instead, Jorn Lande finds himself mixed into that collection of vocalists that everyone knows are brilliant but no one actually buys.  That list includes guys like Russell Allen, Tim "Ripper" Owens and Primal Fear's Ralf Sheepers among others.

Image: Godsmack, Live & Inspired, heavy metal, pitriff, news, reviews, interviewsGodsmack

I'm sure I'll probably get killed here by my metal brethren, but I actually like Godsmack.  Certainly, I realize they are a more metal version of Nickelback; a band whose sole goal is to create three or four radio hits on each album, sell a good amount of music and concert tickets, and basically be a key cog in the radio rock syndicate.  I get it - it's less about the art of music than the business of music with them.  That said, they have been consistently solid with their albums...so much so that most say they are the modern day AC/DC where there's NO difference from record to record.  For Godsmack, all a new album means to most people is that they will be invading radio with the sames songs as always...but with different words attached to them.

Image: Fear Factory, The Industrialist, pitriff, reviews, news, interviews, heavy metalFear Factory

For the purists out there, this version of Fear Factory that only features original members Burton C. Bell and Dino Cazares just doesn't measure up as the "real deal".  To those people, I hope you enjoy missing out on one of the greatest resurgences in all of heavy metal.  Without question, Fear Factory was at a point where it was time to give it up and do other things.  Albums like ARCHETYPE and TRANSGRESSION were just shells of the former intensity that the band had possessed, and most thought these guys were done.  Still, Bell rekindled his relationship with Cazares, pushed aside other original members, and forged ahead.  If it did nothing else, the extremely solid MECHANIZE proved that the fire in the band was always spawned from the riffs of Cazares and the voice of Bell.  With THE INDUSTRIALIST, they have seemingly taken it all the way back to their best era of the band.

Image: Havok, thrash metal, heavy metal, news, reviews, interviews, pitriffOver the last few years, one of the most busy and biggest growing metal bands as far as reputation has been Havok.  These guys have proven, right from the start, to be one of the most motivated and hardworking bands on the planet.  They seem to be doing one of two things at every moment for the last 3 years...touring or recording.  These new band creates what has to be considered the freshest dose of Bay Area Thrash throwback music the metal scene has seen in quite some time.  There are other bands that have come along with them (Warbringer, Lazarus AD, Municipal Waste), but Havok is the only one that has seemingly stayed busy every step of the way and gained its share of attention.

Image: Taproot, The Episodes, news, reviews, interviews, heavy metalTaproot

From listening to THE EPISODES from Taproot, I guess it really wasn't that far of a leap for them to go from talented alternative rock band to a more emo flavored version of said talented alternative rock band.  You have to give these Michigan rockers credit for keeping themelves somewhat relevant in the wake of a trendy landscape that has changed markedly since they debuted.

Image: Marauder, Elegy Of Blood, Pitriff, news, reviews, interviews, heavy metalMarauder

It's amazing how many of these second and third tier "classic metal" bands there are out there.  Specifically, it's truly amazing how many bands there are that around around 20 years old, never made much of an impact, but still crank out this kind of heavy metal that touches on thrash elements from time to time.  We all know the big names that have had success doing this kind of music - Metal Church, Helloween - you know...classic metal bands that are either grand in their sound, heavy in their riffs, or both from time to time.  For every great one though, there's always the more workmanlike bands that put out solid material but just can't find that extra whatever to take them over the top.  Bands like Meliah Rage, Tankard or Helstar immediately jump to my mind.

Image: Celebrator, U.D.O., pitriff, heavy metal, news, reviews, interviewsU.D.O.

I know for many people, the fact that Accept is back with a vengeance is a bad thing since lead vocalist Udo Dirkschneider is not along for the ride.  I guess, on some level, I wish he was there as well.  That said though, I think I'm one of the few that enjoys his post Accept band U.D.O. just as much as I ever did Accept.  Let's be honest here - all U.D.O. amounts to is Accept with a slightly more electronic edge to them.  To my ears, they are virtually the same band.  The vocals are obviously the same, and even the guitar players have names that sound somewhat similar (Wolf Hoffman - Stefan Kaufmann).  It may just be due to pressure, but the last two U.D.O. albums DOMINATOR and REV-RAPTOR have smoked sonically.  Needless to say, when the latest CELEBRATOR came across my desktop, I was definitely excited.

Image: Wolfbrigade, pitriff, news, reviews, interviews, pitriffWolfbrigade are a band of some irony.  They are a punk meets metal band, and yet, they have landed on a stoner rock label like Southern Lord to release their latest album, DAMNED.  While heavily punk influenced, their latest release is far more brutal than you would expect from a band of this ilk.  Checking in from the road, Dadde from Wolfbrigade checked in to explain just what's going on with the band, with DAMNED, and with their decision to take a full year off before reconvening with DAMNED.

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Image: Cause/Effect Metallica, Chris Akin

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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Image: Little Victories, Book, Chris Akin

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

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

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