• Megadeth - DYSTOPIA

    Image: Megadeth, Dystopia, Dave Mustaine, David Ellefson, Kiko Loureiro, Chris Adler Megadeth
    DYSTOPIA

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    More than any other metal band in history, being a hardcore Megadeth fan is truly a rollercoaster ride. This is a band with multiple duds in their catalog, and yet they always seem to rebound. Think about it, they’ve truly had some bad releases in their catalog. RISK was terrible. THE WORLD NEEDS A HERO wasn’t a lot better. And yet,

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  • Anthrax - FOR ALL KINGS

    Image: Anthrax, For All Kings, Pitriff, Chris Akin Anthrax
    FOR ALL KINGS

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    Depending on your perspective, Anthrax is either having a career resurgence or floundering at the end of their career. I’m stunned how many people actually didn’t like their last effort, FOR ALL KINGS. In these ears, that was the best effort of their career. What made it great, to me, was the mixture of crushing heaviness combined with some

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  • Sevendust - KILL THE FLAW

    Image: Sevendust, Kill The Flaw Sevendust
    KILL THE FLAW

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    When I first saw Sevendust’s new release was titled KILL THE FLAW, my initial thought was “what exactly is the flaw?” It leads you to wonder just what it is that caused this band to not break big, while bands with lesser quality catalogs like Disturbed or Korn had such crazy amounts of success at the same time. This

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  • Iron Maiden - THE BOOK OF SOULS

    Image: Iron Maiden, The Book of Souls, Review, Classic Metal, Pitriff, Chris Akin Iron Maiden
    THE BOOK OF SOULS

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    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
    REPENTLESS

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    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
    THE KEY

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    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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  • W.A.S.P. - GOLGOTHA

    Image: WASP, Golgotha, Blackie Lawless, Pitriff, Review, Heavy Metal W.A.S.P.
    GOLGOTHA

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    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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Image: Soulfly, Enslaved, Pitriff, CD ReviewSoulfly
ENSLAVED

It’s kind of odd really how time has worked with Max Cavalera. Back when Soulfly came out, the best quality of the band was that it took Max’s music fully into directions he wanted to explore bout really couldn’t with Sepultura. For many people, they will say quite a different thing, but hear me out. Far too many people criticized Soulfly for NOT sounding like Sepultura’s ARISE or CHAOS A.D., even though that really was never the intention. Somewhat predictably though, the years that have gone by has seen Cavalera progress (or regress depending on your stance) more and more toward the classic Sepultura sound. The last two albums, OMEN and DARK AGES, could easily have been mistaken for Sepultura reunion albums. The same can be said about Cavalera’s project with his brother, Cavalera Conspiracy. The same can now be said about ENSLAVED.

With ENSLAVED, Cavalera breaks no new ground at all. The entire album is one furious blast forward after another; a never ending blast of hammer to the face speed metal that borders from time to time on death metal. Gone is the punch, Korn-influenced vibe of past Soulfly songs like “Jumpdafuckup” or “Back To The Primitive”. In its place, you get slammed over the head with dose after does of speed and aggression. Songs like “Legions” are very much stylisically similar to material from the past – songs like “Arise” come to mind. If you were a fan of the first three or four Sepultura albums (up through CHAOS AD), there’s really no reason you won’t dig ENSLAVED.

Therein lies the bigger issue though. Soulfly has really stagnated. In large part, Cavalera is way overexposed at this point. He’s released 5 full length albums in the last 5 years, and the resulting effect has been a lack of song development and a gluttony of songs that are written to sound like the past instead of truly being organic development off ideas. Listening to a song like “Intervention”, you have to think that Cavalera simply consciously (or unconsciously) took an old song like “Dictatorshit” and repopulated the ideas with new lyrics and a slightly different guitar arrangement. Certainly it’s a good tune, and guitarist Marc Rizzo and new drummer David Kincade enhance it, but it just sounds like stuff we’ve heard before from Cavalera. Yes, ENSLAVED is a solid album, but it’s a bit tired because Cavalera himself has put out far too much similar material to it in the last five years.

PITRIFF RATING – 75/100 - Max Cavalera will always be one of my favorite metal guys ever. ARISE was the first disc I owned that took me from Bay Area Thrash to a whole new level of heaviness. That said though, it’s time for Max and company to take a break after this one. While I can listen to this kind of heavy music all day long, its never good when everything you do all starts to blend together to where there’s nothing distinguishable about it. That time has clearly come with Cavalera and Soulfly. It’s good as they all are, but even a hardcore fan would be hard pressed to distinguish any of this from anything else of the last five years.

Chris Akin

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