• Megadeth - DYSTOPIA

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

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    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
    FOR ALL KINGS

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    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
    KILL THE FLAW

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    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
    THE BOOK OF SOULS

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    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
    REPENTLESS

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    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
    THE KEY

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    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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  • W.A.S.P. - GOLGOTHA

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

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    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: Device, heavy metal, review, pitriffDevice 
DEVICE

I know a great many people that hated Disturbed. They considered them to be a poser metal band. They hated vocalist David Draiman and his pompous attitude. They didn't like their hits. They called them formulaic. To be sure, Disturbed has taken every bit of the hatred that most metalheads throw at a band like Nickelback these days. Yet, whatever the case was, they still sold a lot of music. Maybe it was truly "teenagers and girls" that bought their music, but whatever it was, they moved product. Being a Disturbed fan myself, I was excited about the thoughts of this new project from Draiman. He claimed it to be very "Nine Inch Nails". It was claimed to be very heavy. It had all kinds of hype behind it. The result? Well, maybe it's just me, but it's pretty damn close to what you would expect from the next Disturbed release. There are subtle differences to the sound, but overall, there won't be a single Disturbed fan out there that will be put off by this release. In fact, I'd bet most of those that are just casual radio fans won't even know it's a new band.

Image: Norselaw, Moonhunters, cd review, pitriff, heavy metalNorseLaw
MOON HUNTERS

I can't speak for everyone, but I like a little bit of weirdness in my music every once in awhile. Not all the time, but there are definitely times when I need something that just goes far beyond the scope of "traditional" sounding music. My collection is littered with bands like Mr. Bungle, Pygmy Love Circus, Dog Fashion Disco, Mindless Self Indulgence and the like. These bands definitely find their way to my player a lot, specifically when I'm in a bad mood and need something strange to listen to and give me a "what the fuck" moment. Certainly, these kinds of bands are not for everyone. If they are your speed though, you might want to add NorseLaw to your collection. Listening to their release MOON HUNTERS is kind of like if you took a room full of iPods, blew them up, and could listen to the individual pieces all mixed up into some sort of cohesive, strange collection of songs. To my ear, it's a lot of Mr. Bungle, a touch of Borknagar, and a lot of straight up experimentation that doesn't really define definition easily.

Image: Skid Row, United World Rebellion, review, pitriff, heavy metalSkid Row
UNITED WORLD REBELLION: CHAPTER 1

Let's just be honest here.  Skid Row has done themselves no favors since Johnny Solinger took over as the lead vocalist.  They have put out two really subpar albums; subpar at least to those of us that were fans of their great past.  I'm more giving than most, and even with that, I found both REVOLUTIONS PER MINUTE and THICKSKIN to be pretty much unlistenable (even though both did have a couple of tolerable moments).  It's a shame too, because the band clearly can do some good things with Solinger, who doesn't sound like their old singer Sebastian Bach, but has enough of a "real rock" sound to fit well with their music (both the past stuff, and what they can do moving forward).  If nothing else, listening to UNITED WORLD REBELLION: CHAPTER 1 seems to tell a story that the band finally understands what they need to be doing.  By far, this is the best thing Skid Row has done since SUBHUMAN RACE.

Image: Great White, 30 Years, Live From The Sunset Strip, Heavy Metal, Hard Rock, News, Reviews, InterviewsGreat White
30 YEARS: LIVE FROM THE SUNSET STRIP

There's a very awkward moment on 30 YEARS: LIVE FROM THE SUNSET STRIP wherein current vocalist Terry Ilous claims the night as a special night as the band has been together for 30 years.  Sorry guys, I know the band has been around for all this time, but it REALLY is hard to accept Great White without Jack Russell at the helm.  I really want to.  Mark Kendall has been a friend for years, as has new vocalist Terry Ilous.  But, being honest, their studio album without vocalist Jack Russell was very much outside the feeling one expects from a Great White album.  That's not to say it was terrible, but there was a flair missing that just can't be replaced in the framework of what I consider to be Great White.  Being honest, coming into this live release, I kind of had my doubts.  Thankfully, the band captured a good performance.  While it still doesn't have the bluesy flair that Jack Russell brought to the band, 30 YEARS: LIVE FROM THE SUNSET STRIP is a solid representation of what the band is today.

Image: Six Feet Under, Unborn, Pitriff, Heavy Metal, Death Metal, ReviewSix Feet Under
UNBORN

It's not at all hard to continue on the death metal journey that's known as Six Feet Under. Regardless of the band being fronted by the most significant growler this genre has ever seen, the band always delivers solid doses of high end heavy metal that, unlike most death metal, doesn't rely on hyperspeed to mask shoddy playing. To the contrary, I might call Six Feet Under the very original, true metalcore band in the sense that they brought a touch of melody to the sound and then mixed vocal brutality to that from day one. These days, damn near every single one of the new age metal bands does that, but back when Six Feet Under debuted, they were fairly unique upon themselves for doing just that. Certainly, the members of the band have changed along the way, but UNBORN simply continues the heritage Chris Barnes started with this band. In short, UNBORN is pretty much what we've all come to expect from Six Feet Under.

Image: Soilwork, The Living Infinite, Pitriff, cd review, interviews, news, hard rock, heavy metalSoilwork
THE LIVING INFINITE

To be perfectly honest, I REALLY thought that Soilwork was dead and buried.  Sure, I knew they were still a band and were still making music, but their last couple of releases were some of the biggest disappointments of a band that I truly love that I can think of.  I couldn't have hated STABBING THE DRAMA or SWORN TO A GREAT DIVIDE more if they were hand delivered to me by a pedophile that had just finished raping my children.  When you consider what masterpieces A PREDATOR'S PORTRAIT and NATURAL BORN CHAOS were from this band, and then hearing them reach aimlessly for commercial success by changing their sound, it was very disheartening in very much the same way that a band like In Flames let so many down with their transition to a soft modern metal act.  Thankfully though, Soilwork has come storming back.  While it's not quite a full return, THE LIVING INFINITE is by far the best release from this band in a decade.

Image: Sevendust, Black Out The Sun, Pitirff, CD Review, Interview, heavy metal, rock, newsSevendust
BLACK OUT THE SUN

In 2013, there are not many bands where I actually get excited to hear they have a new release coming out.  For a lot of reasons, the whole specter of a new release just doesn't get me anticipating things like it used to.  In large part, it's because I get everything sent to me months in advance that takes away from the real excitement of a release.  For a few bands though, I literally can't wait each and every time for new music.  Sevendust is one such band.  Without question, they are my favorite band of the modern era; a band criminally underappreciated when you consider that lesser bands like Disturbed and Korn surpassed them greatly in popularity throughout their respective runs.  I'm so much of a fan that I'm traveling twice in a month to see them - once in Fort Wayne, Indiana and then a few weeks later in Columbus, Ohio.  So, when BLACK OUT THE SUN was provided, you can bet your ass that it hit my iPod and stayed there for weeks.

Image: Coverta, Adrenaline Mob, Pitriff, CD ReviewAdrenaline Mob
COVERTA

I'm not sure how a band with as much talent and as many reasons to like them has turned out to be so incredibly uninteresting, but that's exactly what Adrenaline Mob has become to me. I am one of the biggest fans there is of vocalist Russell Allen. Love his work in Symphony X. Love what he's done with Jorn Lande. Hell, I was probably the biggest fan going of his ATOMIC SOUL solo album. While I'm not a fan of drummer Mike Portnoy's previous band Dream Theater, I have nothing but respect of this guy's undeniable talent as one of the most elite drummers on the planet. Yet, try as I might, I cannot get into Adrenaline Mob at all. Their debut release was pretty average and unmemorable. They quickly followed that up with a covers album - bleh. Covers releases are as useless as tits on a chick I can't have or see because she's dating a close friend.

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