• 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: 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.

THE INDUSTRIALIST is the second best album in the Fear Factory catalog.  Only DEMANUFACTURE stands above it in the catalog.  I know, that's extremely high praise when you consider that albums like OBSOLETE and SOUL OF A NEW MACHINE are being passed for those words.  Still, it is what it is.  THE INDUSTRIALIST, a concept album from Bell loosely based on one of his always present themes (machinery evolving to take over mankind), feels so much like the DEMANUFACTURE/OBSOLETE era of the band that it wouldn't be at all surprising if this album was written and shelved for whatever reason back in that era.  While Bell and Cazares basically performed this album themselves (drummer John Sankey performed on it and did the programming, but all vocals, guitars and bass were performed by Bell and Cazares), the results are astonishingly full and vibrant.  Fear Factory has found its way back to its core sound.  Tracks like the blistering "New Messiah" showcase both the multi-inflectioned voice of Bell and the brilliant, tight industrial meets metal riffs that have defined Cazares' long career.  Bell is particularly good on THE INDUSTRIALIST, as some of his vocals on later records almost came off as a parody of older releases.  Still, leading the way is Cazares.  Always having his own extremely identifiable sound, Cazares has added little things here and there to really expand what he's done previously.  Songs like "God Eater" are prime examples of the expanded playbook of Cazares.  On this track, he not only features his heavy riffing that's instantly recognizable, but he also incorporates a lower, droning type line (a la a band like Meshuggah) to the underside of the song to just fatten it up that much more.

PITRIFF RATING - 96/100 - Without question, I love this album.  As a Fear Factory fan that has been disappointed with most of their output since OBSOLETE, I was glad to see them start the process of a full on resurgence with MECHANIZE.  I'm even more happy to see them claw all the way back with THE INDUSTRIALIST.  Without question, this is the best release they've put out in 20 years.

Chris Akin

Fear Factory

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.

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

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

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