• 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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Review - Halloween TERRORTORY

Image: Halloween, Terrortory, PitriffHalloween
TERRORTORY

We all have bands that never made it big but we really liked.  If you are really honest about it, those bands generally have a very distinct reason they didn’t make it big.  In short, some bands just don’t have that “it” factor.  For me, Halloween are one of those bands.  I always loved their tunes and thought they were great.  Yet, I think I always fully understood why they didn’t make it.  When you listen to the bands of their ilk that did break big and compare them to the bands that had pretty much the same impact, it’s very clear.  Halloween was much more “Helstar” than they were “King Diamond”.  For me, the lesser known certainly had more impact  to me.

Read more: Review - Halloween TERRORTORY

Review - Wykked Wytch

Image: Wykked Wytch, Ultimate Deception, Pitriff, ReviewWykked Wytch
THE ULTIMATE DECEPTION

Not being the biggest fan of death metal hybrid bands of any kind, let alone bands that try to fuse black metal and goth together, I didn't have a whole lot of great expectations for THE ULTIMATE DECEPTION by long time Florida metallers Wykked Wytch.  To be honest, I wasn't really looking forward to listening to it.  To be even more honest, the only reason I decided to listen to this was because of the lineage of the past members of the band.  This band has seen some great musicians come through it - especially on drums where both Kevin Talley and Richard Christy have chaired the kit at some point.  Imagine my surprise when this release turned out to be pretty much an unstoppable brutality train.

Read more: Review - Wykked Wytch

Review - Wolfsbane SAVE THE WORLD

Image: Wolfsbane, Saves The World, Pitriff, CD ReviewWolfsbane
WOLFSBANE SAVE THE WORLD

I've been disappointed with many releases over the years...and this is one of them.  Clearly one of my favorites, I expect better from Blaze Bayley.  To be clear, I've thoroughly enjoyed almost all of his solo material.  SILICON MESSIAH is one of those albums that I ensure never leaves my IPod, my phone and whatever other listening device I might use when I leave the house.  While I didn't care for his Iron Maiden stuff (like, well, everyone else), I have always thought it was just a bad fit for his style.

Read more: Review - Wolfsbane SAVE THE WORLD

Review - Chimaira THE AGE OF REMIX HELL

Image: Chimaira, The Age Of Remix Hell, Review, PitriffChimaira
THE AGE OF REMIX HELL

I like Mark Hunter.  I consider him a friend, and I'm pretty sure he considers me as a friend as well.  That said, "what the fuck, bro?"

Maybe I'm just getting old and am no longer in tune with what the kids want to hear today.  I get that.  I understand that this whole Dubstep crazy is in right now.  I get that today's kids are just as content to listen to the work of a DJ that never touches an instrument as they might be to an actual band that plays their instruments and creates their music organically.  I get all that.  I just don't get why.

Read more: Review - Chimaira THE AGE OF REMIX HELL

Review - Lillian Axe

Image: Lillian Axe, The Days Before Tomorrow, Pitriff, CD ReviewLillian Axe
XI: THE DAYS BEFORE TOMORROW

To say the least, Lillian Axe continuing on must just be the mission of guitarist Steve Blaze.  Certainly, even he would have to admit that the band has suffered it's share of setbacks over the last few years.  With five years of seemingly a new vocalist fronting the band for each release, it's just been tough to get continuity as a band for Blaze and company.  For THE DAYS BEFORE TOMORROW, they even had to switch albums mid-cycle when former Metal Church vocalist Ronnie Munroe left the band.  Still, they have carried on.

Read more: Review - Lillian Axe

Review - Mystic Prophecy

Image: Mystic prophecy, ravenlordMystic Prophecy
RAVENLORD

When it comes to power metal bands out there that a lot of people don't know but should, Mystic Prophecy jumps right to the top of the list.  Their albums are consistently excellent, with their SATANIC CURSES being a tremendous effort that's still in steady rotation in my IPod almost 5 years after it was released.  With every band though, when you set the bar extremely high, you have that moment where you fall back a little bit.  Being fair here, I do really like RAVENLORD, but it's simply not as good as their past releases.  It's solid, but probably the worst of their catalog.

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Review - Orange Goblin

Image: Orange Goblin, Pitriff, Eulogy Of The Damned, ReviewOrange Goblin
A EULOGY FOR THE DAMNED

It took five long years, but seemingly those years were well spent away by Orange Goblin.  Since HEALING THROUGH FIRE came out in 2007, the band has seemingly rediscovered themselves, which is a very good thing.  That last album was almost the death of the band, as they nearly completely abandoned their stoner metal heritage and dumbed down their sound to become a typical metal band.  Thankfully, those five years since then have seemingly reminded these guys of their roots.  They are back with what might be the strongest album of their career.

Read more: Review - Orange Goblin

Review - Venom

Image: Venom, Fallen Angels, PitriffVenom
FALLEN ANGELS

Unlike most metalheads, I think I'm somewhat sacrilegious when it comes to my non-appreciation of Venom.  They are one of two acts that I know are just worshipped in the metal community, but I simply do not get the appeal at all (the other being King Diamond).  That being said, I had very little expectation for a new Venom release, and yet, they came though with what is a fairly solid effort.

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