• Megadeth - DYSTOPIA

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


    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


    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


    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


    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


    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


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


    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: 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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The shockingly honest and emotional first book from radio personality and rock critic Chris Akin.

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

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