• Wretch - WARRIORS

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

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    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
    BLOODSTONE & DIAMONDS

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    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
    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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Retire The Name Queensryche

Image: Queensryche, Rage For Order, Pitriff, heavy metalLast week saw the debut of Rising West - a "new band" that was formed to make a statement or two about the current state of affairs in Queensryche.  It says, pretty loudly, that the band behind vocalist Geoff Tate pretty much hate him  and don't want to work with him anymore.  It also loudly proclaims that the guys in the band do not believe in the direction that Tate and his wife have taken the band into.  Finally, it definitely screams out that they are going to take their legacy with them into something new, and Geoff Tate can do nothing about it.  In short, what's truly rising in the west is a mutiny from within the ranks of one of the most respected bands to come out of the 80s scene.

As a fan of Queensryche since their very beginnings, I can only ask...plead really...Geoff, please retire the name Queensryche and move forward with your solo career.  Please do not drag it through the mud the way so many bands have done over the past decade.

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Unisonic - UNISONIC

Image: Unisonic, heavy metal, pitriff, heavy metal news, reviews, interviewsUnisonic
UNISONIC

If you aren't a fan of Helloween, you might consider Michael Kiske returning to metal after over a decade of saying that he hated everything about it to be hypocritical.  If you are a fan of Helloween, you probably will look at it as a simple change of mind.

So Michael Kiske has changed his mind and returned to metal...:P

Seriously though, the great Helloween vocalist has joined forces with many of the best names in the current European metal market to form what has to be considered a supergroup of sorts; the new group Unisonic.  The band, which also features former Helloween and current Gamma Ray guitarist Kai Hansen, Krokus/Gotthard axeslinger Mandy Meyer and the former bottom end of Pink Cream 69 (bassist Dennis Ward and drummer Kosta Zafiriou), have just released their first effort - the self-titled release UNISONIC.  As a Helloween enthusiast, as well as a fan of every single band these guys are or have been with, this seems like a home run waiting to be hit.

Read more: Unisonic - UNISONIC

Ugly Kid Joe - STAIRWAY TO HELL

Image: Ugly Kid Joe, Stairway To Hell, pitriff, interview, cd review, news, heavy metalUgly Kid Joe
STAIRWAY TO HELL

Ugly Kid Joe was one of my very favorite bands of the later hair band era.  They got massively popular off a song that, to me anyway, wasn't very good ("Everything About You"), but they backed it up with three albums that really kicked ass (AMERICA'S LEAST WANTED, MENACE TO SOBRIETY and the hugely overlooked MOTEL CALIFORNIA).  With much better than average musicianship, and attitude filled lyrics that were literally spit at the listener, Ugly Kid Joe were the original "anti-hair band" hair band of the era.  It didn't last too long though, and before we knew it, they were gone.  Vocalist Whit Crane bounce around in bands like Life Of Agony and Medication, before joining up with former UKJ bandmate and drummer Shannon Larkin in Another Animal.  Larkin also found a career in a little band called Godsmack.  Dave Fortman put down his guitar and put on his producer's cap, working with tons of bands from Superjoint Ritual to Otep, among others.  In short, their youthful success led several guys to other careers in music.

Read more: Ugly Kid Joe - STAIRWAY TO HELL

Free MP3 Alert!

Image: Star City Meltdown, Standby Records, pitriff, heavy metal news, interviews, reviewsHey there Pitriff friends!

In cooperation with our friends at Standby Records, we are offering everyone a free MP3 of Star City Meltdown's first single, "Here With You". 

Star City Meltdown is a pretty kick ass modern hard rock band, and I'm personally digging this tune "Here With You".  Check it out and see if you dig it!

It's FREE - you've got nothing to lose. 

CLICK HERE and check it out yourself! 

Review - Lita Ford

Image: Lita Ford, Living Like A Runaway, Pitriff, news, reviews, interviewsLita Ford
LIVING LIKE A RUNAWAY

There's several thoughts that I have about Lita Ford, but two really jumped out at me making me think that LIVING LIKE A RUNAWAY would be a turd.  First and foremost, her last album WICKED WONDERLAND is, arguably, one of the single worst albums I've ever heard from an artist that's had success in the past.  Seriously, in her genre, WICKED WONDERLAND sits on the same mantle as such great albums as Dokken's SHADOWLIFE, Lynch Mob's SMOKE THIS, Scorpions' EYE II EYE and Gene Simmons' ASSHOLE...the mantle of shame, that is.  Secondly, Lita's never exactly been known for recording great albums in the first place.  She's OK and she's had her share of hits over the years.  To my ear though, Lita was never even in the same ballpark as Doro and was only slightly better than Vixen back in the day.  Needless to say, none of that bodes well for expectations for LIVING LIKE A RUNAWAY.

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L.A. Guns - HOLLYWOOD FOREVER

Image: LA Guns, Hollywood Forever, pitriff, heavy metal, reviews, news, interviewsL.A. Guns
HOLLYWOOD FOREVER

The thing with L.A. Guns, at least in my eyes, is that you pretty much know what you are going to get just as long as vocalist Phil Lewis is fronting the band.  They have definitely been a mixed bag without Lewis (AMERICAN HARDCORE - pretty bad, WASTED - pretty good, SHRINKING VIOLET pretty solid, BLACKLIST - awful).   But when Lewis fronts an entity known as L.A. Guns, you are pretty much guaranteed a solid listening experience from these 80s sleaze rockers.  True to form, HOLLYWOOD FOREVER is a solid effort once again from LA Guns.

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American Dog - POISON SMILE

Image: Poison Smile, American Dog, Pitriff, heavy metal, news, reviews, interviewsAmerican Dog
POISON SMILE

I don't know what to call the development of a band like American Dog.  For most bands, you would say that they have matured as a band.  But I think if bassist/vocalist Michael Hannon or guitarist Steve Theado heard me say they had matured, they would knock me to the ground, give me a wedgey and piss in my face to prove that nothing had changed in the always crazy world of Canine Country!  Clearly, a band like American Dog does not "mature",  Just their playing does.

Reviewing POISON SMILE is pretty easy to do in all honesty.  If you have liked them in the past, you will love this.  If you hated them before, well...wait until tomorrow and a new review will be posted.  As a fan, I'm always excited to receive a new American Dog release because they always deliver for me.  Their own special brand of made in America, barroom rock n' roll is some of the best in a genre that is very crowded with great bands.

Read more: American Dog - POISON SMILE

Review - Voodoo Brother

Image: Voodoo Brother, Pitriff, news, reviews, interviews, heavy metalVoodoo Brother
VOODOO BROTHER

While I'm sure most of you are going "who?", this is one release that I've been anticipating for well over a year.  From the ashes of the band, and this site's namesake, PiT, guitarist Jim Lavender and bassist Curt Briscar have found new members, a new musical vision, and have finally resurfaced as Voodoo Brother.

To say the least, Voodoo Brother is a far cry from what these guys have done previously.  So much so in fact, that Lavender no longer uses his former stage name of Joe Campo.  He fooled me!  Voodoo Brother is like a collaboration of the known and the unknown; like if Down shared a tour bus with the late, great Agatha Crawl.  

Read more: Review - Voodoo Brother

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

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