• Wretch - WARRIORS

    Image: Wretch, Warriors, Review, Power Metal, Chris Akin, Pitriff Wretch


    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


    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


    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


    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


    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


    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


    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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Image: Newsted, Heavy Metal Music, cd review, pitriff, heavy metalNewsted

Concert Tickets

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.


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

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