• 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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Review - Soulfly ENSLAVED

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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