• 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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    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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Muckraker - BIG BLACK BUS

Image: Pitriff, Muckraker, Will Price, pitriff, news, reviews, interviews, heavy metalMuckraker
BIG BLACK BUS

I'm one of those music snobs that doesn't like the "known" music nearly as much as the stuff that flew under most people's radar.  That said, there was a band that came and went in that I loved in the late 90s called Boiler.  While I'm sure most of you don't remember them, I do.  Two brilliant CDs and an EP...THE NEW PROFESSIONALS, COW TIPPIN' IN C SHARP and YEEHAW...three releases that have found permanent residence in my music collection, and three that still get played a lot.  Boiler was one of those bands that you could always put on to give you an energy boost as well as a shot of attitude along the way.  Songs like "Railroaded" or "Stegasaurus" are addictive as Hell.

When I found out that Boiler frontman and bassist Will Price had put together a new band that, I knew two things.  One, it was going to rock, and two...it was going to pack a lot of attitude.  Right and right.  BIG BLACK BUS has that old Boiler thump to it, but definitely leans a bit more toward the stoner side of metal (think Down, Eyehategod, heavier COC).  Price and his new band of rock enthusiasts have packed a highly charged, somewhat political and fully vicious assault of metal explosiveness into their BIG BLACK BUS.  Price has a bit more depth to his vocals than he previously exhibited.  Songs like "Haymarket Square" have a very Zakk Wylde meets Neil Fallon vocal sound, which is quite appealing.  Price rants and raves throughout, and yet he's just part of a successful formula here.  As a three piece, Muckraker has a big, fat sound.  That's due in large part to the work of guitarist Ray Mulligan.  While Mulligan's tuning is in line with most of the bands of this ilk, he's much more loud and clean than most that play this kind of music.  Instead of going for the fuzzed out guitar tone, the rich, full tones on songs like "V" and "Kingmaker" just works well on this effort.  The same can be said for drummer Batz Capo.  His drums are booming throughout, reminding me a lot of the work captured on the first couple Brand New Sin releases.  He's got an arena rock sound on songs like "The 4th Estate" that reminds of the huge sound Kiss captured on CREATURES OF THE NIGHT.  To say the least, these guys are a very cohesive unit.  They bring it all together on material like the politically charged aural assault called "We Are The Majority".

PITRIFF RATING - 91/100 - Muckraker may be an unsigned, independent band, but their sound is huge and as good or better than the bulk of Southern Lord bands that come across my desk.  While I'm not necessarily on board with all the political themes here, I like the definitive message and, more importantly, I'm a fan of the no bullshit punch in the face the music provides.  In short, I'm jumping on the BIG BLACK BUS.

Chris Akin

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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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