• Halestorm - INTO THE WILD LIFE

    Image: Halestorm, Into The Wild Life, Pitriff, heavy metal, reviews, interviews Halestorm
    INTO THE WILD LIFE

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    With the release of THE STRANGE CASE OF…, I fell in love with Lzzy Hale. So much so, in fact, that I jokingly got down on one knee and asked her to marry me at Rock On The Range two years ago (a proposal that she didn’t flat out turn down, so maybe there’s still hope!!). Let’s be

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  • Marilyn Manson - THE PALE EMPEROR

    Image: Marilyn Manson, The Pale Emperor, Pitriff, Modern Metal, Reviews Marilyn Manson
    THE PALE EMPEROR

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    Let’s just call it the way it is. It’s been a very, very long time since Marilyn Manson recorded a really good, memorable release that any of us still listen to on a regular basis. To many, the would probably says that it’s been since MECHANICAL ANIMALS back in 1998. For me personally, I’ll be a bit more

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  • Black Star Riders - THE KILLER INSTINCT

    Image: Black Star Riders, The Killer Instinct, Review, Classic Rock, Pitriff Black Star Riders
    THE KILLER INSTINCT

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    When Black Star Riders made their decision to record under a new name instead of as Thin Lizzy, it was met with a lot of opinions. For most, I would assume they were happy that they decided to move away from the name they had been touring under. For many, I'm sure there was a lot of

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  • Lynch Mob - SUN RED SUN

    Image: Lynch Mob, Sun Red Sun, George Lynch, Classic Rock, Reviews Lynch Mob
    SUN RED SUN

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    On THE CLASSIC METAL SHOW, George Lynch is regularly a topic of conversation. Maybe that has to do with the fact that Neeley is a personal friend of Don Dokken and I work for Don on his website, but I like to believe that he becomes a topic because, first and foremost, we are big fans of the

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  • Karma To Burn - ARCH STANTON

    Image: Arch Stanton, Karma To Burn, Pitriff, Stoner Metal, Reviews Karma To Burn
    ARCH STANTON

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    There are those of us who know. We will forever be known as the "fortunate ones". There are those of you that have no idea. You will be known as the "unfortunate ones". What is it we know that you don't? We know the sheer greatness of Karma To Burn. For those that are unfortunate ones, let me

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  • U.D.O. - DECADENT

    Image: U.D.O. - DECADENT, Classic Metal, Reviews, Pitriff U.D.O.
    DECADENT

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    I'm sure I'm not in the minority here, but I'm glad that we now have a killer version of Accept with Mark Tornillo as well as the continuation of U.D.O. with Udo Dirkschneider. In short, it's led to both bands stepping up their game and creating great music. While neither side will admit competition with the other band, the fans certainly

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  • 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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    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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Image: Newsted, Heavy Metal Music, cd review, pitriff, heavy metalNewsted
HEAVY METAL MUSIC

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This review is being written at the request of a longtime Pitriff reader, who hit me up this week and reminded me that I had not yet reviewed this release from former Metallica bassist Jason Newsted. Being honest, I'm not sure how that happened exactly. Since he came out with his 4 song EP METAL, and right through to today, the new solo music from the project called Newsted has not been away from my iPod for more than a day or two. It doesn't feature anything overly special or anything. Jason Newsted is not the best vocalist in the world. The music isn't the best or more cutting edge heavy metal ever created. In essence, it's a fairly average offering with one mighty exception - attitude. That undying, undeniable metal attitude literally forces HEAVY METAL MUSIC to be loved in the ears of most metalheads. A release full of piss and vinegar without a shred of apology for any of it, HEAVY METAL MUSIC is one of the most enjoyable metal albums of 2013.

That attitude starts with Newsted himself. Already an established legend himself, the Rock N' Roll Hall Of Famer seemed determined to put out the most metal album he or any of his friends and former bandmates in Metallica have done in 20 years. Mission accomplished. HEAVY METAL MUSIC is a seething release full of songs that just sound like "metal". There's a lot of cool stuff to please just about anyone that likes hard, driving old school metal ranging from early thrash like Metallica through bands like Metal Church or Newsted's other ex-band Flotsam & Jetsam. There's some cheesiness to this release, with song names such as "Ampossible" and "Futureality", or even the under-creative disc title HEAVY METAL MUSIC. That said though, the music really speaks for itself. The aforementioned "Ampossible" is a driving, midtempo asskicker where Newsted's bass thumps violently while guitarists Jesse Farnsworth and Mike Mushok hammer it home around Newsted. The band features a rock solid foundation on each and every song with Newsted teaming with drummer Jesus Mendez Jr. to create a thick bottom end. Songs like "King Of The Underground", "Long Time Dead" and "Nocturnus" all are driven from below the vocals and guitar, which is about as old school as it gets. It's also about as appealing as it can be.

As for Newsted, I think even he would admit he's not the best vocalist in the world. He's fairly monotonous throughout; a single tone that offers literally nothing in range. That said though, the music he's creating doesn't call for much more than that, so it works. He spits and snarls lyrics on songs like "Soldierhead", and you never really feel like you are missing anything with his vocal inadequacies. In a lot of ways, Newsted has taken a queue from another legendary bassist, Lemmy from Motorhead. Much like Lemmy rarely changes it up vocally, Newsted follows suit. The band instead opt for the change-ups to come in song structure. The lone time where there's a slight change vocally comes on a song that's also diffenent in tempo and sound, "Above All". Whatever the criticisms though, HEAVY METAL MUSIC is the kind of album that just forces you to grip your face hard, bang your head, and remember when metal was good and not trendy metalcore garbage.

PITRIFF RATING - 92/100 - Jason Newsted is one of the coolest cats in all of metal. Just about anyone that's ever met him is generally surprised not only by how down to earth he is, but how truly entrenched his attitude is to the world of old school heavy metal. His attitude has spilled through the amplifiers to the 1s and 0s of a digital recording. HEAVY METAL MUSIC just flat out rocks. .

Image: Cause/Effect Metallica, Chris Akin

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.

CLICK HERE to learn more about CAUSE/EFFECT: METALLICA.

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Image: Little Victories, Book, Chris Akin

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

CLICK HERE to learn more about LITTLE VICTORIES.

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Read Reviews and Excerpts from LITTLE VICTORIES: A TALE OF DIVORCE, DEBAUCHERY AND FINDING HAPPINESS HERE!

Available January 13th in Paperback and Digital Formats on Amazon and iTunes.

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