• Wretch - WARRIORS

    Image: Wretch, Warriors, Review, Power Metal, Chris Akin, Pitriff Wretch


    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

    Read More
  • Machine Head - BLOODSTONE & DIAMONDS

    Image: Machine Head, Bloodstone & Diamonds, Pitriff, Review, Thrash Metal Machine Head


    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

    Read More
  • Nashville Outlaws - TRIBUTE TO MOTLEY CRUE

    Image: Nashville Outlaws, Motley Crue Tribute Nashville Outlaws


    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

    Read More
  • Texas Hippie Coalition - RIDE ON

    Image: Texas Hippie Coalition, Ride On, Heavy Metal, Hard Rock, Review, Classic Metal Texas Hippie Coalition


    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

    Read More
  • Sammy Hagar - LITE ROAST

    Image: Sammy Hagar, Lite Roast, NonMetal, Review Sammy Hagar


    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

    Read More
  • Cavalera Conspiracy - PANDEMONIUM

    Image: Cavalera Conspiracy, Pandemonium, Pitriff, Death Metal, Review Cavalera Conspiracy


    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

    Read More
  • Slipknot - .5 THE GRAY MATTER

    Image: Slipknot, .5 The Gray Matter, Pitriff, CD Review, Modern Metal Slipknot


    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,

    Read More
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 6
  • 7

Baroness - YELLOW & GREEN

Image: Baroness, Pitriff, Heavy Metal News, Interviews


While the Red and Blue albums certainly shimmered with moments of grand brilliance, the masterful Yellow & Green is Baroness' most complete majestic offering to date. Filled with melodious surprises the new platter is genius from alpha to omega — no small feat considering its 1.2 hour play time spread over 18 disparate yet somehow analogous sonic puzzle pieces.

Where Baroness rise above their peers is in their expert use of dynamics. The band's best trick is an uncanny ability to lull listeners into a hypnotic state with delicate droning passages only to boisterously break trance an instant later with a wall of fuzzed out intellectual cacophony.

Lush layers of sonic bliss carry voices that bellow melodiously as they wind though and crash over mountains of solid rhythmic groove. Guitars jangle like the Cure on quaaludes as effectively as they harmonize in Lizzy-esque flourishes only to refrain to a grungy wall of dissonance. Occasional acoustic interludes hint at the group's Georgian heritage with a blue grass hue that acts as sinew binding the muscular riffs that surround.

Cuts like "Take My Bones Away" and "Board Up The House" resonate as obvious singles in their deft popish swagger. Meanwhile the gorgeous "Eula" ebbs and flows, nodding to emo's 2nd wave when the term referred to emotional maestros like Sunny Day Real Estate, not foppish swoop haired scenesters. If a vinyl version of "Yellow & Green" were left to slightly warp on a dashboard before being played through a dirty needle, the instrumental sections of "Psalms Alive" might be mistaken for a lost B-side of Drama-era Yes. The album is that quirky.

Where it all coalesces is on "Cocanium." This pièce de résistance ramps from Syd Barrett worthy art rock mystique until a final minute crescendo that Hetfield might have coined had he remained in the garage rather than hitting the metal lottery. Drums and bass are on lockdown, playing off each other in a way not unlike those scenes from "Song Remains The Same" where John Paul and Bonzo seem to be holding their own private concert while the crowd focuses on the pretty stars.

The final star of this show is the consistently brilliant and magnetic artwork of vocalist/guitarist John Baizley. For anyone considering downloading this opus, the smart money is on purchasing the discs. Two CDs with amazing iconic imagery woven through a booklet of insightful lyrics...all for under $10? Someone would have to be stoned not to buy this album.

PITRIFF RATING - 95/100 - Much respect to Baroness for bravely following their prog muse and sloughing the constricting skin of stoner cliches that bury genre hopefuls in pits of molasses. Moving toward the center with emphasis on hooks while maintaining a legitimate artistic integrity is a shrewd career move that should position these dark horses in the race with major label mainstreamers Mastodon & QotSA.

Jason Myers

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.


Buy Now:  Paperback    Digital

Image: Little Victories, Book, Chris Akin

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

CLICK HERE to learn more about LITTLE VICTORIES.

Buy Now:  Paperback     Digital


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

 Image: Keel, pitriff, heavy metal, news, reviews, interviews

Want Streets Of Rock N' Roll Radio On Your Phone - CLICK HERE To Download The New App