• 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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  • Opeth - PALE COMMUNION

    Image: Opeth, Pale Communion, Pitriff, Review, Progressive Metal Opeth
    PALE COMMUNION

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    Opeth simply fails as a band, at least to me. While I'll admit to never fully understanding the amazement and awe so many have for this band, I've appreciated them from afar. I've listened, and I've at least wrapped my head around what they were trying to do. Their fusing of death metal with progressive elements always made for an

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  • Cannibal Corpse - A SKELETAL DOMAIN

    Cannibal Corpse, A Skeletal Domain, Review, Death Metal Cannibal Corpse
    A SKELETAL DOMAIN

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    So really, what does anyone expect when you get a Cannibal Corpse release handed to you? Ballads, love songs and fun? Not hardly. There's an expectation of severe brutality which the band delivers time and time again. Certainly, it comes with different levels of acceptance to one's ears, but ultimately the only thing that matters if it says

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  • Exodus - BLOOD IN, BLOOD OUT

    Image: Exodus, Blood In Blood Out, Pitriff, Review, Thrash Metal Exodus
    BLOOD IN, BLOOD OUT

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    Unless you call Testament a "thrash band" (which I don't personally), Exodus would rank as my favorite true Thrash band of all time. They have had good times and bad. Occasionally, like on FABULOUS DISASTER, they have misstepped along the way. But overall, they are one of the true powerhouses in the history of thrash metal. Since 2004

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  • Mr. Big - ...THE STORIES WE COULD TELL

    Mr. Big, The Stories We Could Tell, Reviews, Classic Metal, Chris Akin, Pitriff Mr. Big
    ...THE STORIES WE COULD TELL

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    As a fan of Mr. Big, I can't honestly say that many people thought that their reunion was much more than a cash grab opportunity for the guys in the band who, while immensely talented, failed to find solo success to match their collaborative efforts. It was never a question of if they could still play.

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  • Slash - WORLD ON FIRE

    Image: Slash, Myles Kennedy, Conspirators, World On Fire, Pitriff, review, classic metal Slash
    WORLD ON FIRE

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    Hey Gene Simmons. The corpse of rock n' roll just had a baby. That baby is not an average baby at all. That baby was not stillborn, but came out kicking and screaming with an intensity rarely seen. This baby is destined for greatness. This infant is out to prove you wrong. While your days of spitting fire and

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  • Davey Suicide - WORLDWIDE SUICIDE

    Image: Davey Suicide, Worldwide Suicide, Pitriff, Reviews, Modern Metal Davey Suicide
    WORLDWIDE SUICIDE

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    I had the pleasure of working directly with Davey Suicide as he prepped his debut release a few years ago for release. I got to work with him on some promotional stuff, some publicity stuff, his website and a lot more of that kind of stuff. In that work, I quickly found him to be far more than the

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  • Ministry - LAST TANGLE IN PARIS

    Image: Ministry, Last Tangle In Paris, Pitriff, Review, Industrial Metal Ministry
    LAST TANGLE IN PARIS

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    Al Jourgensen of Ministry has been threatening to take his ball and go home for a long time now. Quite frankly, I'm not sure I believe that he'll ever retire. Every time he says he's retiring, he seems to come right back with more music that's stronger, meaner and just better than anything in his past. Being quite

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  • Kix - ROCK YOUR FACE OFF

    Image: Kix, Rock Your Face Off, Classic Metal, Pitriff, Review Kix
    ROCK YOUR FACE OFF

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    Kix might just be the last of the '80's bands to release new material. By now, it seems like everybody else you could name from the glory days of yesteryear has made a stab at making music in the new millennium. Of course, a lot of them, we wish they hadn't, and just left us to our misty-eyed

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Hatecore Inc. - NO HOPE, NO ESCAPE VOL. 1

Image: Hatecore Inc, No Hope, No Escape Vol 1, Pitriff, ReviewHatecore, Inc.
NO HOPE, NO ESCAPE VOL. 1: WELCOME TO MY WAR

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Being from the Cleveland area, I've seen a lot of bands get ignored for whatever reason. On the national side of things, most people look at bands north of Columbus as being from "Cleveland". Unfortunately though, that's not how it works. For as long as I've been in this scene, there were Akron bands and there were Cleveland bands. Even though it's only about a 30 mile drive, they have long been separated. That may not seem like a big deal, but when you factor in the difficulty to get the more quality gigs and exposure from Cleveland vs. Akron, you ended up seeing a lot of bands from Akron that just didn't get the appropriate amount of love on the national level. Looking back a decade or so when both scenes were both thriving, bands like Spawn, Funny, Funnel and NDE all failed to find record deals when they were superior to a good amount of those that did find success at that level. Hatecore Inc. is another that falls into that category.

To be honest about Hatecore Inc, this wasn't their only problem. This local band had more members come through their doors than Whitesnake or Megadeth, which never helps a local band that's trying to build a fanbase that starts with friends who take sides when a member leaves the fold. Still, under the neverending passion of guitarist Kris Dann, Hatecore Inc. has soldiered on. With a new lineup in tow (big surprise there!), they have returned with NO HOPE, NO ESCAPE VOL. 1: WELCOME TO MY WAR. In what is always their way, NO HOPE is an intense listen as you would expect. From start to finish, it's a riff driven, punishing extreme metal hammer to the skull that avoids any and all trappings of metalcore and the more recent emocore nonsense that has severely diluted this genre for the 20-something Hot Topic pussies calling themselves "metal" today. While I think the band does a horrible job classifying what it is they do (they reference bands like Pantera and Megadeth as influences, which I'm simply not hearing at all here), there's a level of viciousness here that needs to be heard to be appreciated. If you are looking for a better comparison, think more of a Napalm Death if they somehow found some melody to go with their brutal assault.

Having heard Hatecore Inc. and it's earlier predecessor N-Factor, it's interesting to see how much the band has grown musically. Guitarist Kris Dann is a fiery guitarist who provides some stark, yet crushing riffs that don't rely on speed as much as tone and tempo. Listening to a song like "Seven", your head gets bobbing as you follow along with the nasty riffs that drive the song. He's countered well by Chef on bass and Troy Hays on drums to create a nasty bottom end for the band. "Isolation" returns reworked a bit from their last release, but is greatly enhanced by better production and somewhat cooler fills provided by Hays. This song could very well be ripped from an early Chimaira recording session, as it has that same feel as some of the more raw stuff they did early on in their career.

Vocally, Daniel Allen steps in and adds his own flavor to the material. He really gives a new vibe to a lot of this music. He's got more range than anyone in Hatecore Inc. has shown in the past, and mixes in the occasional singing part here and there to add diversity to the sound. He works well with a female lead on "My Slave"; an interesting track that definitely features a good amount of Cleveland flavored vibe to it, as well as sowing the most growth this band has shown since their inception.

PITRIFF RATING - 88/100 - Solid effort. They lose some points because a couple of the songs fade a bit hard and almost feel like they were incomplete, but other than that, you've got a seriously enjoyable EP here on your hands to carry you through a half hour of metallic aggression. Definitely worth checking out.

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