• 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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  • Slash - WORLD ON FIRE

    Image: Slash, Myles Kennedy, Conspirators, World On Fire, Pitriff, review, classic metal Slash
    WORLD ON FIRE

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    Hey Gene Simmons. The corpse of rock n' roll just had a baby. That baby is not an average baby at all. That baby was not stillborn, but came out kicking and screaming with an intensity rarely seen. This baby is destined for greatness. This infant is out to prove you wrong. While your days of spitting fire and

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  • Davey Suicide - WORLDWIDE SUICIDE

    Image: Davey Suicide, Worldwide Suicide, Pitriff, Reviews, Modern Metal Davey Suicide
    WORLDWIDE SUICIDE

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    I had the pleasure of working directly with Davey Suicide as he prepped his debut release a few years ago for release. I got to work with him on some promotional stuff, some publicity stuff, his website and a lot more of that kind of stuff. In that work, I quickly found him to be far more than the

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  • Ministry - LAST TANGLE IN PARIS

    Image: Ministry, Last Tangle In Paris, Pitriff, Review, Industrial Metal Ministry
    LAST TANGLE IN PARIS

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    Al Jourgensen of Ministry has been threatening to take his ball and go home for a long time now. Quite frankly, I'm not sure I believe that he'll ever retire. Every time he says he's retiring, he seems to come right back with more music that's stronger, meaner and just better than anything in his past. Being quite

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Skid Row - UNITED WORLD REBELLION

Image: Skid Row, United World Rebellion, review, pitriff, heavy metalSkid Row
UNITED WORLD REBELLION: CHAPTER 1

Let's just be honest here.  Skid Row has done themselves no favors since Johnny Solinger took over as the lead vocalist.  They have put out two really subpar albums; subpar at least to those of us that were fans of their great past.  I'm more giving than most, and even with that, I found both REVOLUTIONS PER MINUTE and THICKSKIN to be pretty much unlistenable (even though both did have a couple of tolerable moments).  It's a shame too, because the band clearly can do some good things with Solinger, who doesn't sound like their old singer Sebastian Bach, but has enough of a "real rock" sound to fit well with their music (both the past stuff, and what they can do moving forward).  If nothing else, listening to UNITED WORLD REBELLION: CHAPTER 1 seems to tell a story that the band finally understands what they need to be doing.  By far, this is the best thing Skid Row has done since SUBHUMAN RACE.

To be completely fair to Solinger, the problems with their previous two albums had more to do with the band and the songwriting than it did with Solinger's performance.  It just seemed like the band lost focus on what the name "Skid Row" meant with those past two albums.  For UNITED WORLD REBELLION, it's clear that they have recorded music designed to "sound" like Skid Row.  Listening to songs like "Get Up", there are some clear reminders of songs like "Mudkicker"; specifcally in the guitar and basslines provided by Dave "Snake" Sabo and Rachel Bolan.  Even on songs like "Stitches" where they take cues from THICKSKIN ("New Generation"), they've chosen one of the better places to draw from of the post-Bach era.  For some, this song may draw a bit too directly from "New Generation", but it rocks regardless of being somewhat of a clone.  "Kings Of Demolition" has a cool vibe to it that feels cut straight from "Livin' On A Chain Gang".  "Let's Go" is a pretty terrible song lyrically, but in true 80s metal fashion, it doesn't really matter because the song flat out rocks.  All in all, UNITED WORLD REBELLION is a very, very good listen.

PITRIFF RATING - 88/100 - Skid Row is a band that I, personally, never gave up on.  They entertained me in their heyday about as much as any band in that era; enough so that I'm always willing and anxious to hear what they are doing.  UNITED WORLD REBELLION brings things back around for the band, as it's very SLAVE TO THE GRIND-esque.  If you're like me and have been waiting for a decade for them to come back to kicking ass, the wait is over.  This one rocks!

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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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