• Sweet & Lynch - ONLY TO RISE

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

    CD
    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

    CD
    MP3

    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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    MP3

    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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    MP3

    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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    MP3

    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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Review - A Sound Of Thunder

Image: A Sound Of Thunder, Out Of The Darkness, Pitriff, CD ReviewA Sound Of Thunder
OUT OF THE DARKNESS

With each and every press release that comes down the pike with the term “female fronted metal band”, I find that title generally slides to the back of my “reviews” playlist. I won’t lie. What they are calling “female fronted metal” these days bores me. I hate Nightwish, and I hate the 2nd and 3rd tier bands spawned from Nightwish that much more. There’s a small handful of female fronted metal bands/acts that I truly like. Benedictum is probably the best. Doro is up there. I loved the first Otep album SEVAS TRA a lot. And yes, there’s the occasional tune from Arch Enemy that’s cool. That’s pretty much it. I’m sure there’s others that I have enjoyed from time to time, but not too many.

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Review - DONNIE VIE

Image: Donnie Vie, Pitriff, CD Review, Wrapped Around My Middle FingerDonnie Vie
WRAPPED AROUND MY MIDDLE FINGER

I'm one of those guys that just worshipped the work Donnie Vie did with Enuff Z'nuff. Even now, where I've actually hosted shows where Vie was a drug addled embarrassment to the point where I regretted having the name of my radio show tied to his performance, I never stopped appreciating the enormous musical talent that Vie has. I have all those Enuff Z'nuff albums on my IPod and they get regular play in my ears.

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Review - Cannibal Corpse TORTURE

Image: Cannibal Corpse, Torture, Pitriff, CD ReviewCannibal Corpse
TORTURE

Ahhh...another lullaby for my sickened soul! The masters of horrific death metal are back once again. Here's a surprise - this is heavy and fast! Stunning, right? Honestly, this is one I could probably have written without ever hearing a note of the album. It's heavy. It's fast. It kicks all kinds of ass if you are into this type of thing.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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

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