• 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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    MP3

    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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Alter Bridge - FORTRESS

Image: Alter Bridge, Fortress, Pitriff, heavy metal, hard rock, reviewAlter Bridge
FORTRESS

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Amazon
Concert Tickets

Not that Alter Bridge has ever had any problem getting exposure, but there's no doubt that there will be more eyes and ears on FORTRESS than past efforts. Based solely on his extremely successful run with Slash, vocalist Myles Kennedy has all but assured a new segment of fans will be listening this time around. For many, that could be both good and bad. It could be a blessing to have a lot of new ears, but it could also be a curse for people looking for an album full of the bluesy swagger that comes out of Slash's six strings. Not that guitarist Mark Tremonti isn't a great guitarist (in fact, based solely on talent, I'd say he's actually better than Slash), but just not Slash. From his days in Creed to his more aggressive times now with Alter Bridge, Tremonti has always had more of a radio ready flavor which has won him a ton of fans and almost no favor amongst fans of harder edged rock and metal. With FORTRESS, this bridge may finally be crossed. New fans and old alike will agree that Alter Bridge may finally have found that edge that was missing.

Tremonti leads this album, plain and simple. His guitar is absolutely smoking on songs like "Addicted To Pain". While Tremonti started down this heavier patch on ABIII, he didn't quite realize it like he has here. Songs like "Cry Of Achilles" are showcases of Tremonti's amazing talent. It starts with a neo-classical intro before blasting off into a very metal-like riff. Songs like "Bleed It Dry" showcase what a truly phenomenal guitarist Tremonti is. The riffs in the song scream of modern metal, and yet the solo in the middle seems ripped from an 80s power metal band. On "Water Rising", Tremonti adds to his dominance on this release by taking the microphone from Kennedy. While he's not the best singer in the world, he holds his own and sounds sort of like Josh Todd from Buckcherry when he's singing in the lower register. This song is brilliant, as he and Kennedy teaming in the choruses just adds something completely new and fresh to the band's sound.

Let's not forget Kennedy here while I act like a lapdog for Tremonti. To be blunt, Myles Kennedy has a sound that you either like or you don't. On FORTRESS, he doesn't do a lot to really stretch his established sound. Nor does he need to. His voice has long been very distinct, and you know right away it's him. His best vocal performance comes on the album's best song, "Calm The Fire". This song finds Kennedy touching on both low and high end vocals that he rarely, if ever, has done before. It's truly great to hear. The song itself is, by far, the most progressive song Alter Bridge has ever done. From start to finish, Kennedy sounds great as always.

PITRIFF RATING - 91/100 - I almost hate giving this album a high rating as it seems I've been writing a lot of albums with scores in the 90s lately. I can't help it...a lot of really, really good releases are being released right now. FORTRESS is definitely one of them. Full of songs that radio will like, but with a far more aggressive groove and sound than ever before, Alter Bridge have created what just might be their best effort yet. Without question, it's worth the purchase. Get it!

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.

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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