• Sweet & Lynch - ONLY TO RISE

    Image: Sweet & Lynch, Only To Rise, CD Review, Classic Metal, Pitriff Sweet & Lynch
    ONLY TO RISE

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    MP3

    Being completely honest here, I really didn't expect a whole lot out of this. I'm not the biggest Stryper fan in the world by a long shot, and the truth is that I just never could fully get into Michael Sweet's vocals. There's just always been something about him. I'm not sure what it is. I guess

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  • AC/DC - ROCK OR BUST

    Image: Rock Or Bust, AC/DC, Chris Akin, Pitriff, Classic Metal, Review AC/DC
    ROCK OR BUST

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    In a year that has see a foundational piece of AC/DC succumb to a debilitating illness and another to his own personal insanity, AC/DC emerges after seemingly forever away with ROCK OR BUST. To be fair and truthfully honest, expectations on this release were pretty low. I know that AC/DC is a band that's been in business almost 50

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  • Whitesnake - BACK TO THE BONE

    Image: Whitesnake, Back To The Bone, Pitriff, Chris Akin Whitesnake
    LIVE IN '84 - BACK TO THE BONE

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    David Coverdale and company have had a very long and successful history that started even before he formed Whitesnake. There's no denying the legacy here. Coverdale has had a fantastic career with Whitesnake, and his time in Deep Purple was every bit as strong to that band as a Sammy Hagar was to Van Halen

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  • 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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Molly Hatchet - REGRINDING THE AXES

Image: Molly Hatchet, Regrinding The Axes, heavy metal, pitriff, hard rock, news, interviews, reviewsMolly Hatchet
REGRINDING THE AXES

What could be more useless in 2012 than a new Molly Hatchet studio album?  Clearly the band knew.  The correct answer is: a Molly Hatchet covers album.  Look, I've got no real issues with Molly Hatchet.  Every tractor pull and ribfest has to have their live band entertainment, and Foghat always needs a co-headliner.  As far as recorded music though, I have to assume that Molly Hatchet recorded music stopped meaning anything to anyone around the time the replacement players started outnumbering the original members in the band.  Still, they want to continue on, so God bless 'em.

Read more: Molly Hatchet - REGRINDING THE AXES

Slash - APOCALYPTIC LOVE

Slash, Apocalyptic Love, heavy metal news, pitriff, interviews, reviews, heavy metalSlash
APOCALYPTIC LOVE

I've long said it, and I'll continue to say it.  Slash is the single most overrated guitar player on the planet.  While I definitely acknowledge him as not only a solid player and someone that has a very distinct sound, I really laugh when I see him listed in the same sentences with Malmsteen, Van Halen, Dimebag, Zakk Wylde, Randy Rhoads, etc.  If he was that unbelievable, he wouldn't have been able to have been replaced by whatever goof Axl Rose trots out from tour to tour.

Read more: Slash - APOCALYPTIC LOVE

Jorn Lande - BRING HEAVY ROCK TO THE LAND

Image: Jorn Lande, Bring heavy rock to the land, heavy metal, pitriff, news, interviews, reviewsJorn Lande
BRING HEAVY ROCK TO THE LAND

Jorn Lande is one of the greatest living metal vocalists out there today, and yet there's surprisingly few people that truly appreciate his music.  To think that he was chosen by the surviving members of Black Sabbath to stand in for the greatest metal vocalist ever to take a stage (Ronnie James Dio), one would think that alone would have seen his ascent to the elite position in metal reserved for such greats as Dickinson or Halford.  For whatever reason, it hasn't happened though.  Instead, Jorn Lande finds himself mixed into that collection of vocalists that everyone knows are brilliant but no one actually buys.  That list includes guys like Russell Allen, Tim "Ripper" Owens and Primal Fear's Ralf Sheepers among others.

Read more: Jorn Lande - BRING HEAVY ROCK TO THE LAND

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

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