• Marilyn Manson - THE PALE EMPEROR

    Image: Marilyn Manson, The Pale Emperor, Pitriff, Modern Metal, Reviews Marilyn Manson


    Let’s just call it the way it is. It’s been a very, very long time since Marilyn Manson recorded a really good, memorable release that any of us still listen to on a regular basis. To many, the would probably says that it’s been since MECHANICAL ANIMALS back in 1998. For me personally, I’ll be a bit more

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  • Black Star Riders - THE KILLER INSTINCT

    Image: Black Star Riders, The Killer Instinct, Review, Classic Rock, Pitriff Black Star Riders


    When Black Star Riders made their decision to record under a new name instead of as Thin Lizzy, it was met with a lot of opinions. For most, I would assume they were happy that they decided to move away from the name they had been touring under. For many, I'm sure there was a lot of

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  • Lynch Mob - SUN RED SUN

    Image: Lynch Mob, Sun Red Sun, George Lynch, Classic Rock, Reviews Lynch Mob


    On THE CLASSIC METAL SHOW, George Lynch is regularly a topic of conversation. Maybe that has to do with the fact that Neeley is a personal friend of Don Dokken and I work for Don on his website, but I like to believe that he becomes a topic because, first and foremost, we are big fans of the

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  • Karma To Burn - ARCH STANTON

    Image: Arch Stanton, Karma To Burn, Pitriff, Stoner Metal, Reviews Karma To Burn


    There are those of us who know. We will forever be known as the "fortunate ones". There are those of you that have no idea. You will be known as the "unfortunate ones". What is it we know that you don't? We know the sheer greatness of Karma To Burn. For those that are unfortunate ones, let me

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    Image: U.D.O. - DECADENT, Classic Metal, Reviews, Pitriff U.D.O.


    I'm sure I'm not in the minority here, but I'm glad that we now have a killer version of Accept with Mark Tornillo as well as the continuation of U.D.O. with Udo Dirkschneider. In short, it's led to both bands stepping up their game and creating great music. While neither side will admit competition with the other band, the fans certainly

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  • Sweet & Lynch - ONLY TO RISE

    Image: Sweet & Lynch, Only To Rise, CD Review, Classic Metal, Pitriff Sweet & Lynch


    Being completely honest here, I really didn't expect a whole lot out of this. I'm not the biggest Stryper fan in the world by a long shot, and the truth is that I just never could fully get into Michael Sweet's vocals. There's just always been something about him. I'm not sure what it is. I guess

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    Image: Rock Or Bust, AC/DC, Chris Akin, Pitriff, Classic Metal, Review AC/DC


    In a year that has see a foundational piece of AC/DC succumb to a debilitating illness and another to his own personal insanity, AC/DC emerges after seemingly forever away with ROCK OR BUST. To be fair and truthfully honest, expectations on this release were pretty low. I know that AC/DC is a band that's been in business almost 50

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  • Whitesnake - BACK TO THE BONE

    Image: Whitesnake, Back To The Bone, Pitriff, Chris Akin Whitesnake


    David Coverdale and company have had a very long and successful history that started even before he formed Whitesnake. There's no denying the legacy here. Coverdale has had a fantastic career with Whitesnake, and his time in Deep Purple was every bit as strong to that band as a Sammy Hagar was to Van Halen

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  • Wretch - WARRIORS

    Image: Wretch, Warriors, Review, Power Metal, Chris Akin, Pitriff Wretch


    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


    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


    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


    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


    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


    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


    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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Image: Havok, thrash metal, heavy metal, news, reviews, interviews, pitriffOver the last few years, one of the most busy and biggest growing metal bands as far as reputation has been Havok.  These guys have proven, right from the start, to be one of the most motivated and hardworking bands on the planet.  They seem to be doing one of two things at every moment for the last 3 years...touring or recording.  These new band creates what has to be considered the freshest dose of Bay Area Thrash throwback music the metal scene has seen in quite some time.  There are other bands that have come along with them (Warbringer, Lazarus AD, Municipal Waste), but Havok is the only one that has seemingly stayed busy every step of the way and gained its share of attention.

At PITRIFF, we forwarded some questions to Havok lead man David Sanchez a few months ago to talk about their new album TIME IS UP as well as their touring with Sepultura and Death Angel.  Proving they are busier than us, Sanchez wasn't able to get them back to us until after they had moved on from that tour to their latest run of Europe with 3 Inches Of Blood.  No matter though, as Sanchez is one of the best and most forthcoming guys in all of heavy metal today.  Here's the transcript of our e-conversation:

PITRIFF - TIME IS UP seems like the next step for the band. It's the same style as you've been doing to date, but the production and the songwriting was much stronger. What changed with the production this time out?

DAVID SANCHEZ (DS) - A big focus was put on streamlining the songs and making sure that every track had special moments. The album was written during a transitional period for the band: during lineup changes, so most of the music was written without a drummer or lead guitarist.

PITRIFF - Most people consider thrash to be a bit simple lyrically, but you seem to write with a bit more focus than most of the new age thrash bands. Do you write based on ideas you have, things you read, or just about imaginary situations?

DS - All of the above! I write songs about anything that I think would be cool to write about. The lyrics on "Time Is Up" cover a lot of different territory.

PITRIFF - You guys have quickly raised up past a large collection of thrash bands that all emerged about 5 years ago. What is it about Havok that you think has elevated the band past a lot of your contemporaries?

Havok, thrash metal, news, interviews, reviews, pitiff, heavy metalDS - I think it all starts with writing good music. Without good songs, what do you have? We also tour our asses off, so that has something to do with it as well.

PITRIFF - Obviously, you are going out on tour with two legendary bands this time with Sepultura and Death Angel. Are you excited about touring with these bands, or is it a bit intimidating to play in front of bands that have such historic backgrounds?

DS - It's not intimidating, it's an honor!

PITRIFF - Death Angel seems like a more direct influence on your sound than Sepultura. Talk about the influence they have had on your sound, as well as all the other bands that made up the original Bay Area thrash scene.

DS - Bay area thrash totally influenced the original sound of the band, and still totally does. When I first started learning how to play guitar, I learned how to play a lot of riffs from Metallica, Exodus, Megadeth, Testament, etc.

PITRIFF - I understand there is an EP coming soon from the band. What can you tell us about that?

DS - The new EP is called "Point Of No Return" and it has 4 tracks. 2 new originals, a cover of Sepultura's "Arise", and a cover of "Postmortem/Raining Blood" from Slayer.

PITRIFF - While they are a great label, Candlelight seems a somewhat odd place for Havok to call home. How has the label done for you?

DS - They have treated us pretty well. They put out our records and advertise – that's their job.

PITRIFF - A kid can only afford one thing or the other. You can only choose one. The kid can download your album illegally, but buy a ticket and come to a show, or they can download the album legally, but not afford to come out to a show. Which do you prefer they do and why?

DS - I would prefer they just get our music for free and support the band in other ways. Coming to shows and buying merch helps us out a lot more than buying CDs.

PITRIFF - What's next for Havok following the Sepultura tour?

DS - We're currently in Europe touring with 3 Inches of Blood, Goatwhore, and Angelus Apatrida.

PITRIFF - In three words or less, describe the band Stryper.

DS - God botherers.

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.


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

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