• 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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Godsmack - LIVE & INSPIRED

Image: Godsmack, Live & Inspired, heavy metal, pitriff, news, reviews, interviewsGodsmack
LIVE & INSPIRED

I'm sure I'll probably get killed here by my metal brethren, but I actually like Godsmack.  Certainly, I realize they are a more metal version of Nickelback; a band whose sole goal is to create three or four radio hits on each album, sell a good amount of music and concert tickets, and basically be a key cog in the radio rock syndicate.  I get it - it's less about the art of music than the business of music with them.  That said, they have been consistently solid with their albums...so much so that most say they are the modern day AC/DC where there's NO difference from record to record.  For Godsmack, all a new album means to most people is that they will be invading radio with the sames songs as always...but with different words attached to them.

Read more: Godsmack - LIVE & INSPIRED

Fear Factory - THE INDUSTRIALIST

Image: Fear Factory, The Industrialist, pitriff, reviews, news, interviews, heavy metalFear Factory
THE INDUSTRIALIST

For the purists out there, this version of Fear Factory that only features original members Burton C. Bell and Dino Cazares just doesn't measure up as the "real deal".  To those people, I hope you enjoy missing out on one of the greatest resurgences in all of heavy metal.  Without question, Fear Factory was at a point where it was time to give it up and do other things.  Albums like ARCHETYPE and TRANSGRESSION were just shells of the former intensity that the band had possessed, and most thought these guys were done.  Still, Bell rekindled his relationship with Cazares, pushed aside other original members, and forged ahead.  If it did nothing else, the extremely solid MECHANIZE proved that the fire in the band was always spawned from the riffs of Cazares and the voice of Bell.  With THE INDUSTRIALIST, they have seemingly taken it all the way back to their best era of the band.

Read more: Fear Factory - THE INDUSTRIALIST

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.

Read more: Interview - Havok's David Sanchez

Taproot - THE EPISODES

Image: Taproot, The Episodes, news, reviews, interviews, heavy metalTaproot
THE EPISODES

From listening to THE EPISODES from Taproot, I guess it really wasn't that far of a leap for them to go from talented alternative rock band to a more emo flavored version of said talented alternative rock band.  You have to give these Michigan rockers credit for keeping themelves somewhat relevant in the wake of a trendy landscape that has changed markedly since they debuted.

Read more: Taproot - THE EPISODES

Marauder - ELEGY OF BLOOD

Image: Marauder, Elegy Of Blood, Pitriff, news, reviews, interviews, heavy metalMarauder
ELEGY OF BLOOD

It's amazing how many of these second and third tier "classic metal" bands there are out there.  Specifically, it's truly amazing how many bands there are that around around 20 years old, never made much of an impact, but still crank out this kind of heavy metal that touches on thrash elements from time to time.  We all know the big names that have had success doing this kind of music - Metal Church, Helloween - you know...classic metal bands that are either grand in their sound, heavy in their riffs, or both from time to time.  For every great one though, there's always the more workmanlike bands that put out solid material but just can't find that extra whatever to take them over the top.  Bands like Meliah Rage, Tankard or Helstar immediately jump to my mind.

Read more: Marauder - ELEGY OF BLOOD

U.D.O. - CELEBRATOR

Image: Celebrator, U.D.O., pitriff, heavy metal, news, reviews, interviewsU.D.O.
CELEBRATOR

I know for many people, the fact that Accept is back with a vengeance is a bad thing since lead vocalist Udo Dirkschneider is not along for the ride.  I guess, on some level, I wish he was there as well.  That said though, I think I'm one of the few that enjoys his post Accept band U.D.O. just as much as I ever did Accept.  Let's be honest here - all U.D.O. amounts to is Accept with a slightly more electronic edge to them.  To my ears, they are virtually the same band.  The vocals are obviously the same, and even the guitar players have names that sound somewhat similar (Wolf Hoffman - Stefan Kaufmann).  It may just be due to pressure, but the last two U.D.O. albums DOMINATOR and REV-RAPTOR have smoked sonically.  Needless to say, when the latest CELEBRATOR came across my desktop, I was definitely excited.

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Interview - Wolfbrigade

Image: Wolfbrigade, pitriff, news, reviews, interviews, pitriffWolfbrigade are a band of some irony.  They are a punk meets metal band, and yet, they have landed on a stoner rock label like Southern Lord to release their latest album, DAMNED.  While heavily punk influenced, their latest release is far more brutal than you would expect from a band of this ilk.  Checking in from the road, Dadde from Wolfbrigade checked in to explain just what's going on with the band, with DAMNED, and with their decision to take a full year off before reconvening with DAMNED.

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Review - Shadows Fall

Image: Shadows Fall, Pitriff, Reviews, News, Interviews, heavy metal, pitriffShadows Fall
FIRE FROM THE SKY

There's definitely some credit that has to be given to Shadows Fall.  Without question, they are one of the most recognizable band from a collection of extreme metal bands to have broken out in the early 2000s.  When you look at their contemporaries - God Forbid, Lamb Of God, Killswitch Engage - they fit perfectly in there with that small collection of bands that a lot of modern metalheads actually care about from release to release.  To me personally, they've done the most with the least amount of "it" factor.  To their credit (or discredit if you must), they have always featured a sound that's all their own while merging pieces parts from everything else around them.

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