• 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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  • Slash - WORLD ON FIRE

    Image: Slash, Myles Kennedy, Conspirators, World On Fire, Pitriff, review, classic metal Slash
    WORLD ON FIRE

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    Hey Gene Simmons. The corpse of rock n' roll just had a baby. That baby is not an average baby at all. That baby was not stillborn, but came out kicking and screaming with an intensity rarely seen. This baby is destined for greatness. This infant is out to prove you wrong. While your days of spitting fire and

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  • Davey Suicide - WORLDWIDE SUICIDE

    Image: Davey Suicide, Worldwide Suicide, Pitriff, Reviews, Modern Metal Davey Suicide
    WORLDWIDE SUICIDE

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    I had the pleasure of working directly with Davey Suicide as he prepped his debut release a few years ago for release. I got to work with him on some promotional stuff, some publicity stuff, his website and a lot more of that kind of stuff. In that work, I quickly found him to be far more than the

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  • Ministry - LAST TANGLE IN PARIS

    Image: Ministry, Last Tangle In Paris, Pitriff, Review, Industrial Metal Ministry
    LAST TANGLE IN PARIS

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    Al Jourgensen of Ministry has been threatening to take his ball and go home for a long time now. Quite frankly, I'm not sure I believe that he'll ever retire. Every time he says he's retiring, he seems to come right back with more music that's stronger, meaner and just better than anything in his past. Being quite

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Interview - Havok's David Sanchez

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.

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

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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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