• Megadeth - DYSTOPIA

    Image: Megadeth, Dystopia, Dave Mustaine, David Ellefson, Kiko Loureiro, Chris Adler Megadeth
    DYSTOPIA

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    More than any other metal band in history, being a hardcore Megadeth fan is truly a rollercoaster ride. This is a band with multiple duds in their catalog, and yet they always seem to rebound. Think about it, they’ve truly had some bad releases in their catalog. RISK was terrible. THE WORLD NEEDS A HERO wasn’t a lot better. And yet,

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  • Anthrax - FOR ALL KINGS

    Image: Anthrax, For All Kings, Pitriff, Chris Akin Anthrax
    FOR ALL KINGS

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    Depending on your perspective, Anthrax is either having a career resurgence or floundering at the end of their career. I’m stunned how many people actually didn’t like their last effort, FOR ALL KINGS. In these ears, that was the best effort of their career. What made it great, to me, was the mixture of crushing heaviness combined with some

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  • Sevendust - KILL THE FLAW

    Image: Sevendust, Kill The Flaw Sevendust
    KILL THE FLAW

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    When I first saw Sevendust’s new release was titled KILL THE FLAW, my initial thought was “what exactly is the flaw?” It leads you to wonder just what it is that caused this band to not break big, while bands with lesser quality catalogs like Disturbed or Korn had such crazy amounts of success at the same time. This

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  • Iron Maiden - THE BOOK OF SOULS

    Image: Iron Maiden, The Book of Souls, Review, Classic Metal, Pitriff, Chris Akin Iron Maiden
    THE BOOK OF SOULS

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    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
    REPENTLESS

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    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
    THE KEY

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    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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  • W.A.S.P. - GOLGOTHA

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

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    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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Image: Shadows Fall, Pitriff, Reviews, News, Interviews, heavy metal, pitriffShadows Fall
FIRE FROM THE SKY

There's definitely some credit that has to be given to Shadows Fall.  Without question, they are one of the most recognizable band from a collection of extreme metal bands to have broken out in the early 2000s.  When you look at their contemporaries - God Forbid, Lamb Of God, Killswitch Engage - they fit perfectly in there with that small collection of bands that a lot of modern metalheads actually care about from release to release.  To me personally, they've done the most with the least amount of "it" factor.  To their credit (or discredit if you must), they have always featured a sound that's all their own while merging pieces parts from everything else around them.

Shadows Fall did put out a strong effort in 2009 with RETRIBUTION, and with FIRE FROM THE SKY they seem to have picked up where they left off.  Full of song with chunky riffs, the combination of modern guitar mixed with old school riffs and fills, and the somewhat generic scream - sing - scream vocals, FIRE FROM THE SKY continues what was started with their last release.  To be perfectly honest, this is a damn solid effort that showcases almost nothing new, unexpected or overly interesting...if that makes any sense at all.  To explain that, the songs are all good, but you really don't even need to know the names of them as they all sound the same on this album and with virtually everything else these guys have done on the last 3 or 4 albums.  There's some very mild differences, but they don't really lead you to think that something new and great has occurred.  Songs like "Save Your Soul" could easily be mistaken for a Trivium outtake by any average fan of this musical genre.  Vocalist Brian Fair mixing his screaming, singing and death metal barking around nicely to fit all the right spots on each song.  Songs like "Weight Of The World" are standard issue for Fair, who is one of the more versatile vocalists making this style of music.

As always though, Fair is only one piece of the Shadows Fall puzzle.  Jonathan Donais and Matt Bancand are, to me anyway, the sole reason to listen to Shadows Fall.  They are about as good as any guitar duo today at mixing the downtuned modern riffage with a clear and undeniable showcase of respect to the old school metal riffing of the 80s metal thrashers.  They put it all together on "Blind Faith"; a thrashing headbanger with an intricate intro that leads into an all out speed metal riff attack.  As always, the band is rounded out solidly on every song by the much respected Jason Bittner on drums and Paul Romanko on bass.  Bittner is a terrific drummer, and his excellent skills show through as they always do on every song he plays on.

PITRIFF RATING - 80/100 - Let's be honest here.  Shadows Fall is never going to be the most creative or the "best" band in anyone's collection.  That said, they are one of the most consistent, serviceable and entertaining acts in modern metal today.  FIRE FROM THE SKY really doesn't do a lot as far as breaking any kind of new ground.  I doubt it's meant to.  Workmanlike effort from Fair and company.

Chris Akin



Shadows Fall

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