• 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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  • 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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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.

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Fear Factory - THE INDUSTRIALIST

Image: Fear Factory, The Industrialist, pitriff, reviews, news, interviews, heavy metalFear Factory
THE INDUSTRIALIST

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.

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Review - Exumer

Image: Exumer, Pitriff, CD Review, heavy metal, newsExumer
FIRE & DAMNATION

How can a band that openly acknowledges their influence as Slayer be bad?  Obviously, it could be, but it certainly isn't here.  Having not released an album since 1987, Exumer storms back onto the scene with a killer collection of Thrash that will have fans of everyone from Slayer to Havok moshing around in ecstasy.  FIRE & DAMNATION is a seriously punishing thrash album powered by ripping riffs and chord changes that the mighty Slayer would be proud of had they written them themselves.

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Review - Red Lamb - RED LAMB

Image: Red Lamb, Pitriff, CD ReviewRed Lamb
RED LAMB

This is a release I’ve been waiting for a long time, and it seems like a fast one has been played on us all. Last May, it was reported that Dan Spitz of Anthrax fame had teamed up with Megadeth leader Dave Mustaine to create a new project called Red Lamb. The prospects of that were great – two riffmasters that basically built the thrash scene playing together in a new project sounded terrific. That’s not what we got though – not exactly. Instead, what we were delivered was an album WRITTEN and PRODUCED by Spitz and Mustaine, but not featuring Mustaine’s musical chops on the disc.

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Review - Overkill THE ELECTRIC AGE

Image: Overkill, Pitriff, CD ReviewOverkill
THE ELECTRIC AGE

If you are a fan of most of the big name metal bands and have been for 20+ years as so many of us have been, then you have really lived through ebbs and flows in their careers. For most of them, they are simply not as good as they once were. Sure, we still like what they do and support it, but let’s be honest about it. We do so out of respect for the past brilliance, and not because today’s stuff is of the same caliber. Pick a band – Metallica, Slayer, Megadeth, Anthrax, Exodus, Testament – some have put out strong releases, but can you say that their career in the last 15 years has been as strong as the first 10-15? Probably not. In my eyes, only one band of that ilk can say they are as strong, and I would argue they are stronger. That band is Overkill. While every album hasn’t been a home run (IMMORTALIS was kind of lacking), it’s pretty hard to argue that albums like FROM THE UNDERGROUND AND BELOW, IRONBOUND and NECROSHINE aren’t as strong or stronger than the classics like TAKING OVER or UNDER THE INFLUENCE.

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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.

CLICK HERE to learn more about CAUSE/EFFECT: METALLICA.

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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Read Reviews and Excerpts from LITTLE VICTORIES: A TALE OF DIVORCE, DEBAUCHERY AND FINDING HAPPINESS HERE!

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

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