• 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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Review - Venom

Image: Venom, Fallen Angels, PitriffVenom

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.


Is this great, no.  But it is Venom doing what they do and yet being a touch stronger than normal for them in my eyes.  First and foremost, kudos to them for finally figuring out how to capture their sound in the studio.  They have a career of bad recordings behind them, so it's good to hear them recorded well. Secondly, these songs on FALLEN ANGELS are not the typical Venom dirges of anger and hatred surrounded by lacking musicianship.  In short, these songs sound like songs played by professional musicians.  Sure, listening to a song like "Beggarman" are still raw and raucous, but they are much tighter than this band usually sounds.  The overall sound is a shade different than in the past too, as it sounds like there's just a touch of a modern flair to the songs found on FALLEN ANGELS.  It's a good quality for them.

Individually - well, it's Venom.  Cronos is still a bad singer/ranter, but his dirges are expected and meet expectations throughout.  He croaks it out with vengeance on songs like "Lap Of The Gods".  He also lays down a much more solid, less distorted bassline than ever before on this release.  He and drummer Dante create a thick, yet somewhat raw and flattened foundation on songs like "Hail Satanas".  On guitar, La Rage is full of that early punk meets Metal sound that has defined Venom's career.  To listen to him play on songs like "Hammerhead", it's clear that he's not the best player on the planet but knows how to craft his music to what is needed from song to song.  Overall, these guys come together and create a decent enough effort from start to finish.

PITRIFF RATING - 68/100 - I'm well aware that this is more of a Cronos solo album than a true Venom album featuring the original guys.  To be honest, I don't care, as I'm not really a fan nor do I have any intention of ever seeing these guys live.  That said, if you are into the spirit of Venom or just respect them for their contributions to the history of Metal, then you will probably appreciate this.  It's not great, but it doesn't suck either.  It's Venom - based on that sentence alone you should be able to judge if you want to purchase it or not.

Chris Akin

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

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

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