• Godsmack - 1000HP

    Image: Godsmack, 1000hp, review, pitriff, modern metal Godsmack


    I must be getting old, because recently, I've noticed my attitude softening toward the dreaded "nu-metal" bands of fifteen years ago. Maybe it's just nostalgia for what I now perceive (incorrectly, I'm sure) as a simpler time, but the burnout and disinterest I felt circa 2002, the year I quit seriously listening to mainstream rock radio has mellowed of late. Don't

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  • Wovenwar - WOVENWAR

    Image: Wovenwar, Pitriff, CD Review, Modern Metal Wovenwar


    More singers should try to have their wives killed if the resulting project to come from that nightmare sounds like Wovenwar. Holy shit is this project great! Being perfectly honest, I wasn't much of an As I Lay Dying fan, so hearing that the surviving members were forming a new project and carrying on with a new singer and new name

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    Image: Overkill, White Devil Armory, Pitriff, Review, Thrash Metal



    Holy shit! Who saw this coming? In an astonishing detour off the band's well-trampled musical path. Their latest album ventures into heretofore uncharted territories, embracing such unexpected sonic offshoots as Eastern-tinged black metal, polka-dotted folk-metal, and, in what is sure to be a harbinger of trends to come, Tuvan throat-singing.

    Nah, just fuckin' with you to see if you

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    Image: Fozzy, Do You Wanna Start A War, Pitriff, Modern Metal, Review Fozzy


    All the stars are aligned for me to be an absolute worshipper of Fozzy. And yet, I'm just not. It's not that I don't want to be. I'm a huge fan of the WWE, which is where Chris Jericho calls home professionally at least part of the time. To that fact, I'm a fan of Chris

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  • Goatwhore - Constricting Rage Of The Merciless

    Image: Goatwhore, pitriff, review, death metal Goatwhore


    Here's one for the stout of heart and strong of neck: New Orleans's Goatwhore have just barfed up their sixth album, and if you liked the last few releases, Constricting Rage of the Merciless is sure to appease your charred heart. If you haven't been following along, Goatwhore is sort of a supergroup, if having members of

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  • Blues Pills - BLUES PILLS

    Image: Blues Pills, Blues Pills, Stoner Rock, Pitriff Blues Pills


    It's not a secret that this whole retro movement in the worlds of Hard Rock and Heavy Metal has been an absolutely God sent for my musical palette. For so many years now, probably 20 or more, the ONLY band I've had to hold onto when I wanted new music from a band who's influences were steeped into the

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  • Unbreakable - KNOCKOUT

    Image: unbreakable, knockout, review, classic metal, pitriff Unbreakable


    Retro has become in these days, and there are more and more bands creeping up that have harkened their sound back to a time that left well over 30 years ago. The last 2 years have seen an influx of bands reaching back to the '70s. Bands like Blues Pills, Vista Chino, Scorpion Child and Rival Sons have all emerged with

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  • The Treatment - RUNNING WITH THE DOGS

    Image: The Treatment, Running With The Dogs, Pitriff, Classic Metal, Review The Treatment


    Admit it: you've just about given up on England when it comes to producing quality rock 'n' roll. The land that brought us the Beatles, the Stones, Zeppelin, and of course the revered NWOBHM--in the past twenty-five years, what have they given us? The Wildhearts? Come on. The Darkness? Come the fuck on!

    The Treatment are a

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  • Arch Enemy - WAR ETERNAL

    Image: Arch Enemy, War Eternal, review, death metal, kip massey, pitriff Arch Enemy

    The big story surrounding Arch Enemy's ninth studio album is that the band has done the impossible. They replaced their lead singer calmly, quietly, and without anybody knowing about it until it was already done—and somehow didn't miss a beat in the process. It's hard enough to replace a singer just once, but Arch Enemy has done it twice, and while

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  • California Breed - CALIFORNIA BREED

    Image: California Breed, Pitriff, Non Metal, Review California Breed


    It definitely sucks when you watch a band that you are REALLY a fan of implode. For me, that's just what I had to do with Black Country Communion. As the band that I think a lot of people compared head to head with Sammy Hagar's supergroup Chickenfoot, BCC stormed out quickly and recorded three tremendous releases. Still, as

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  • MuckRaker - KARMAGEDDON

    Image: Karmagaddon, Muckraker, Pitriff, Stoner Metal, Review MuckRaker


    One of the hardest things I'm tasked to do when reviewing bands is to look past the individual history of the members when a new project pops up. Many times, you really can't help but to think about a guy's past work in another band. That's especially true when the guy is the singer. MuckRaker is one of those bands for

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  • Judas Priest - REDEEMER OF SOULS

    judas priest, redeemer of souls, power metal Judas Priest


    Judas Priest has a lot to atone for in the eyes of all fans except for Jim "Nostradamus" Bartek. Given the fact that Bartek's 524 day listening streak to NOSTRADAMUS probably doubled the count of the rest of the Priest fanbase combined, it's clear that the once Mighty Priest needed to do something very, very metal this time

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  • Quiet Riot - 10

    Image: Quiet Riot, Jizzy Pearl, 10, Pitriff, reviews Quiet Riot


    I'm generally excited when Jizzy Pearl fronts any band. He's one of my favorite singers out there from the classic metal era; a distinct sounding guy who has proven to be a chameleon while maintaining a sound there is no mistaking. Jizzy joining Quiet Riot was a welcome thought to me, personally. While I've never been a huge Quiet Riot

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  • Black Stone Cherry - MAGIC MOUNTAIN

    Image: Black Stone Cherry, Magic Mountain, Classic Metal, Review, Pitriff Black Stone Cherry


    Well, they finally did it. After nearly a decade of being hailed as the new kings of southern rock, and receiving favorable comparisons to Zeppelin and Skynyrd, western Kentucky's Black Stone Cherry have released an album that's worthy of all the praise.

    I've always liked the IDEA of Black Stone Cherry. I mean, what's not to like about

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  • American Dog - NEANDERTHAL

    Image: Neanderthal, American Dog, Classic Metal, Pitriff, Review American Dog


    God bless American Dog! For fifteen years, a bunch of blue-collar working stiffs from Columbus, Ohio have been churning out their brand of greasy, grimy redneck metal, and doing it all themselves. You gotta respect a band with American Dog's tenacity, toiling away in obscurity while other, much lesser bands soak up the major-label success. Oh yeah, and the tunes

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  • Hurtsmile - RETROGRENADE

    Image: Hurtsmile, Gary Cherone, classic metal, review, pitriff, chris akin Hurtsmile


    For so many people, they hear Gary Cherone's name and immediately think about the failed Van Halen album III that he fronted. I get it. How can you not? It was such an unbelievably bad effort, and really should never have had the Van Halen name on it at all. Unfortunately though, Cherone has always been the blamesake of that release,

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    Image: Steelhammer, U.D.O., classic metal, review, pitriff U.D.O.


    I really have no idea why U.D.O. is not a much, much bigger band than they are. Without question, everyone is all too quick to celebrate Accept, both with and without vocalist Udo Dirkschneider in the band. And yet, for all the love fans have for Dirkschneider's era of Accept, U.D.O. has really remained an afterthought instead of

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  • Ronny Munroe - ELECTRIC WAKE

    Image: Ronnie Munroe, Electric Wake, review, thrash metal, metal church Ronny Munroe


    One of the most disrespected singers in all of heavy metal, Ronny Munroe has more than ably fronted Metal Church for a decade now. Fronting Metal Church since 2004, the band has been a touch inconsistent (A LIGHT IN THE DARK and GENERATION NOTHING being great, WEIGHT OF THE WORLD and THIS PRESENT WASTELAND being a bit forgettable), but

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  • Vader - TIBI ET IGNI

    Image: Vader, Tivi Et Igni, Pitriff, review, death metal Vader


    I could write all kinds of stuff about how Vader are the icons of Polish Death Metal. I could put all kinds of praise on them, and talk about how they and Behemoth are the trendsetters that allowed people to understand that Poland had some death metal brilliance coming out of their country. I could talk for a long

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  • Tesla - SIMPLICITY

    Image: Tesla, Simplicity, classic metal, review, pitriff Tesla


    Even as a fan of Tesla, it's not hard to look at the band and find them to be somewhat less than energetic when it comes to putting out new music. They've now come forth with just their 7th studio album of new material since 1986. Let's be honest here, folks...that's not a lot of material over a VERY LONG period

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  • Tankard - R.I.B.

    Image: Tankard, R.I.B., thrash metal, review, chris akin, pitriff Tankard


    I really don't think that, of all the bands out there, Tankard could ever do anything I don't appreciate in some way or another. Let's face it, if ever there was a "Chris Akin" band, Tankard would be it. They make the kind of metal that is closest to my heart - Thrash with just a touch of melody to make it

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Interview - Sledge Leather

There's always bands that everyone knows, and then there are bands and musicians that made an impact on you that weren't what any would call commercially gigantic.   For me, vocalist Leather Leone has long been one of those musicians.  While she never broke through like a contemporary like Doro Pesch did, her work was always as good (maybe better, to be honest) than the reigning queen of Metal's output was.  Be it the work she did with Rude Girl, the critically acclaimed recordings as the frontwoman of Chastain, or even solo, Leather Leone was almost never considered as a "female metal singer".  Instead, her grit and integrity always left her known as simply a "metal singer".  

After seemingly disappearing from the music scene for two decades, Leone has circled back to not only her career, but her Rude Girl roots.  She has teamed back up with former Rude Girl drummer Sandy Sledge to form a raw, cutting project called Sledge Leather.  To say the least, Sledge Leather's debut IMAGINE ME ALIVE will rekindle memories of past work, although it also showcases a much more deep, mature place from which these metal warriors write from.  Checking in from each other's email inboxes, PITRIFF caught up with Leone and Sledge to talk  about the new project, returning to the music scene, and what's changed since they last left the metal scene.  Here's our e-conversation:

PITRIFF - Where have you been?

LEATHER LEONE (LL) - I went on a long walk about. Wanted to take some time and lost track of her.
But its always amazing to take a left turn , step outside of what you think is yourself. Needed to live , find inspiration, or maybe just party for a while HA HA!!

SANDY SLEDGE (SS) - What a nightmare that Leather stepped away! The nightmare's over.

PITRIFF - Obviously Rude Girl had quite a cult following back in the day. Reunited, how is the dynamic different working with each other?

LL - Working and spending time with Sledge is like butter. We come from the same place most of the time. And accept it when we don't. We are wiser, know what we want and are ok with making it happen.

SS - True. We're picking up where we left off, with years of more experience and things to write and tell you guys about through our songs. Freaky place, this world is. I've found the answers are a lot more clear now.

PITRIFF - The press has indicated that you decided to come back to music as a reaction to the death of Ronnie James Dio. What was it about his passing that made you want to get back to music again?

LL - His passing made me think, have a realization of our time here. Doing what we were meant to do. I cant explain it in words . Watching his passion and the dedication that he had for his work moved me in a spiritual way that day. Its all in his honor. I shared the experience with Sledge, it was an awakening for me.

SS - Ronnie was always supportive of Leather and I, and always told us to keep doing music together. What more do we need? We all have emptiness and answers to find and Ronnie has always represented hope. It's our time to pick up the ball and keep it going.

PITRIFF - Obviously the industry is very different than when you left it originally. What has been different in your eyes since you came back?

LL - Of course technology and the internet have changed the landscape of music. Everyone can get their music out there, be heard ,be seen, be the mass audience. But I see it as the same force, hard f*ing work, tenacity, good songs. That will never change. Sledge and I were just having a conversation about being in the right place at the right time. I tend to believe that theory, her not so much!

SS - That theory... well...It's dangerous to believe in luck too much. I like to play hard, and I like to work hard. Fortunately, so does Leather. The tools that we have now enable us to work as hard as we do without needing someone else's money. That translates to us coming at you PURE. What you hear is how we feel. Not someone pulling strings so that we can get into a studio. I f*king LOVE THAT.

PITRIFF - Who is in the band with you and Sandy?

LL - Sledge Leather is Matt Weisheit - guitar, Rick Lambert - guitar, Chris Davidson - bass, Scott Warren - keys, Sledge - skins, Leather - vox.

PITRIFF - Listening to IMAGINE ME ALIVE, it seems like this might be a highly personal album. Is that true, and what or who is the subject matter about?

LL - It was a very well thought out album. It is a journey of someone who has passed on. They are reviewing their life, and making amends along the way. It is all about the journey for us. I was discussing with Sledge that the next record should just be straight ahead Metal songs, , but we got to much going on inside of us for that right now!

Image: Sledge Leather, Pitriff, InterviewSS - LOL! These ARE straight ahead Metal songs, aren't they? Ohhhh maybe she means the in-between parts ("interstitials"). I'll always be doing 'conceptual' type cd's. It's the only thing that makes sense to me. It's like a book, or a movie. I don't see how you wouldn't want to connect everything. I like smooth transitions. LOL! The subject of IMA is a spirit reviewing the sometimes very tragic events in their many lives and commenting on those events with every song.

"IMA" - The spirit was killed early in this particular life and feels guilt for the people it left behind who are missing him\her. It's saying 'I'm still here with you. "Close your eyes--- You'll find me!" '

"The Guy Upstairs Lied" - It's saying that you can't always expect a god to do what YOU think is the right thing. What you think is the right thing may be short-sighted.You have to understand that but you can still be f*king angry about it!

"Her Father's Daughter" - For the religious this would mean that the person is doing G-d's work. For the athiests, it's the spirit having a good laugh with us about religion. But Leather wrote most of the words on this one, so I think the first answer applies more. It's highly personal to her. I guess I'm the athiest laughing. I'm also the voice of the "devil" laughing on the actual song. But I'm no devil.....*wink*

"A Taste Of Night" - The spirit is recalling an intense time of mystery and discovery in it's life, just before the WWII holocaust happened. How do I know that? I just know.

"One Glimpse" - Death. And the feeling of being slaughtered. Then the miracle of having another spirit wipe those feelings away and get some relief from the devestation. And the hope that comes with that.

"The Lost Forgiveness" - It never ends, does it? The cycle of violence against each other continues. And while the spirit finds forgiveness as a relief, it also realizes that forgiveness won't change events. But still, "Let us behold their strength and with this, their mistakes now end this." The spirit has found the strength of hope as its new religion.

"Sisyphus" - Please look up who Sisyphus is. The spirit is having a good laugh with us all.

PITRIFF - What happened with Chastain? Would you ever work with David again?

Image: Sledge Leather, Imagine Me Alive, InterviewLL - Chastain is alive and well. He is always making music whether he puts it out or not. He is of course extremely supportive. Sometimes I think he is more excited than we are. I am so appreciative of the music we made together. It made such an impact for people that I am just becoming aware of. As far as working together again, stranger things have happened but times change and we always had different ideas of accomplishment.

SS - We'll incorporate any great artist's work into Sledge Leather. And Dave is family to us.

PITRIFF - There's a whole new industry of female fronted metal bands out there right now. What are your thoughts on that?

LL - As far as the females out in Metal today, I am f*king jazzed. I am so proud of them for stepping up and showing their power. I knew back in the day that they would come. Metal UP!!!!!!!!!!!!!

SS - YEAH! Metal Grrrrrlz! We're going to stay tight. You'll see more about this from us.

PITRIFF - What is coming next for you and Sledge Leather?

LL - The plan for Sledge Leather more music, more music more music!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

SS - Killer touring plans.

PITRIFF - In three words or less, give your impressions of Doro Pesch.

LL - Proud of her!

SS - Good job!!!! Call us.

PITRIFF - What am I missing that you want people to know?

LL - Listen to IMAGINE ME ALIVE, then you'll know.

SS - Keep listening. Leather's voice is going to realize its full potential. Thank you, Chris and Pitriff.com for supporting us!!

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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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