• Black Label Society - CATACOMBS OF THE BLACK VATICAN

    Image: Black Label Society, Catacombs Of The Black Vatican, Pitriff, Review, Classic Metal Black Label Society
    CATACOMBS OF THE BLACK VATICAN

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    When Zakk Wylde decides to release new music, the metal world definitely stops for a moment and listens. They may not like it all, but they do listen. It's a testament to how unbelievable the man is on guitar; a true legend who stands shoulder to shoulder with the Eddie Van Halen's and Dimebag Darrell's

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  • Lacuna Coil - BROKEN CROWN HALO

    Image: Lacuna Coil, Broken Crown Halo, Review, Modern Metal, Pitriff Lacuna Coil
    BROKEN CROWN HALO

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    It's not really much of a secret that two of my favorite bands out there today are fronted by ladies. Those two bands are Halestorm and Lacuna Coil. While it took me awhile to latch onto Halestorm, Lacuna Coil was a band that I latched on the very first time I heard them. I remember getting a sampler

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  • Sevendust - TIME TRAVELERS & BONFIRES

    Image: Sevendust, Time Travelers & Bonfires, Review, Modern Metal, Pitriff Sevendust
    TIME TRAVELERS & BONFIRES

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    Sevendust are really a band for the fans, and the fans are definitely always there for the band. Case in point - their latest release TIME TRAVELERS & BONFIRES. This release is one paid for by the latest trend hitting the music business, pre-funding by the fans to pay for a project. The band asked for a lot for

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  • Various Artists: Ronnie James Dio - THIS IS YOUR LIFE

    Image: Dio, This Is Your Life, Pitriff, Review, Classic metal Various Artists
    RONNIE JAMES DIO: THIS IS YOUR LIFE

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    As much as I want to take this at face value, it's hard to not at least wonder just how many times Wendy Dio is going to visit the Dio well and mine more material culled from his past work. There's already been multiple live releases, deluxe reissues, an officially sanctioned band playing the

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  • Red Reign - CHASING SHADOWS

    Image: Red Reign, Chasing Shadows, Pitriff, Review, Classic Metal Red Reign
    CHASING SHADOWS

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    It's not very often that a band that has zero backing behind it sweeps in and just monopolizes my listening time. Generally, bands like Red Reign get 30 seconds as I quickly scan through their music and I'm on to something else that I'm getting pressured to review by a publicist. For Red Reign, I was asked to review

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  • Steel Panther - ALL YOU CAN EAT

    Image: Steel Panther, All You Can Eat, The Classic Metal Show Steel Panther
    ALL YOU CAN EAT

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    They certainly are the joke that just keeps on being retold and being funny, now aren't they? I'm sure there's a lot less people that remember them as Metal Shop, Metal Skool or even way back to the Danger Kitty days, but a whole lot more people have discovered this band since they adopted the name Steel

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  • Sebastian Bach - GIVE 'EM HELL

    Sebastian Bach, Give 'Em Hell, Pitriff, CD Review Sebastian Bach
    GIVE 'EM HELL

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    It seems like every time Sebastian Bach releases new music, the first thought that comes to my mind is "this dude comes off like a douchebag ALOT in interviews, but he just kicks ass musically." Amazing how that comes back around. Baz is back, and he's been saying some interesting things in recent interviews. Yet, just ignoring that

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  • Gamma Ray - EMPIRE OF THE UNDEAD

    Image: Gamma Ray, Empire Of The Undead, Pitriff, CD Review, Power Metal Gamma Ray
    EMPIRE OF THE UNDEAD

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    My affinity for Gamma Ray really predates the band itself, as it's much more of an appreciation for the vocal work of singer Kai Hansen. Be it with Gamma Ray or his legendary work with his previous band Helloween, Hansen has always been not only one of the most elite vocalists in power metal in my eyes,

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  • Vandenberg's MoonKings - VANDENBERG'S MOONKINGS

    Image: Vandenberg's Moonkings, Pitriff, Classic Rock, Classic Metal Vandenberg's MoonKings
    VANDENBERG'S MOONKINGS

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    Adrian Vandenberg and Jake E. Lee have seemingly the same career path. Both were great in super huge bands (Vandenberg in Whitesnake, Lee in Ozzy), recorded even better material when they broke away (Lee with Badlands, Vandenberg with Manic Eden), and then both walked away and just left music behind for awhile. Now, both are back. Lee's Red Dragon

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  • Pilgrim - II: VOID WORSHIP

    Image: Pilgrim, Void Worship, Pitriff, doom metal, review Pilgrim
    II: VOID WORSHIP

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    In the epic world of doom metal, there are a lot of pretenders. There are only a few that are truly authentic though. Pilgrim is one of the most authentic I think I've ever heard. Their grinding, slow moving sludge is such from which legends put on this Earth to slay anyone or anything in it's path. Made up

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  • Hatecore Inc. - NO HOPE, NO ESCAPE VOL. 1

    Image: Hatecore Inc, No Hope, No Escape Vol 1, Pitriff, Review Hatecore, Inc.
    NO HOPE, NO ESCAPE VOL. 1: WELCOME TO MY WAR

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    Being from the Cleveland area, I've seen a lot of bands get ignored for whatever reason. On the national side of things, most people look at bands north of Columbus as being from "Cleveland". Unfortunately though, that's not how it works. For as long as I've been in this scene, there

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  • KXM - KXM

    Image: KXM, George Lynch, Dug Pinnick, Ray Luzier, Pitriff KXM
    KXM

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    Some points of clarity before I write a single world about the new project KXM, in order that this review is understood and evaluated fairly by anyone reading it. This project features three guys - Dug Pinnick of King's X, George Lynch of Dokken and Lynch Mob fame, and Ray Luzier who is currently the drummer for Korn. Out of fairness, I'll

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Review - Solipsist EXTINCTION PROTOCOL

Image: Solipsist EXTINCTION PROTOCOL, Pitriff, CD Reviews, News, Interviews, Death MetalSolipsist
EXTINCTION PROTOCOL

I have two like bands sitting on my hard drive right now - the new Job For A Cowboy release, and this release from the unsigned Solipsist. After a dozen listens to each, I am having serious trouble figuring out why exactly the signed act of the two is Job For A Cowboy. Stacked side by side, EXTINCTION PROTOCOL destroys the new Job For A Cowboy record...literally blows it out of my hard drive and into the recycle bin. C'mon Metal Blade - catch up with these guys.

 Solipsist is a death metal outfit that just doesn't fit nicely into the standard definitions of the genre. I say that for a lot of reasons. Listening from song to song, there's clearly a strong death metal element here, but there's also a lot of American extreme metal mixed throughout the sound. Take a song like "Steal The Sun" as an example. It's as brutal as anything you will ever here, and yet it has a breakdown with a clean vocal that sounds closer to something heavy from a Machine Head song than anything I've ever experienced in typical death metal. Noah Buchanan is a fierce vocalist that barks it out with the best of them, and yet can mix in a clean sound as well.

Without question though, the best element of Solipsist is their musicality. Being completely honest, the days of fast drummer and average playing have ended, which causes most death metal to be rehash and fairly similar sounding. Not so here. These songs are fierce, with a level of musicianship seldom seen in this genre. While all death metal drummers are basically awesome, Dave Chojnacki mixes speed with style in a way not heard very often. The only guy I can think of that's on the same plain as what's exhibited here as far as style, intricate changes and power would be Tim Yeung of Hate Eternal and Divine Heresy (among others). The varied frenzy of beats, blasts, and tempo movements on "Extinction Protocol" is truly amazing. To a lesser degree, the guitar work showcased here by Mark Witherspoon and Steve Sinko is great as well. These guys have a huge metal sound, and not the think sound that plagues so many bands of this genre in an effort to just play fast. The thickness and speed of the riffs on songs like "Trenches" is absolutely compelling.

PITRIFF RATING - 96/100 - There's literally one reason this band isn't signed - they haven't tried to be. With so much absolute garbage being put out in this musical genre, it's amazing to me that these guys are still tucked away in Cleveland playing local gigs and hoping for that big break. Being a fan of bands like Job For A Cowboy or Whitechapel, I find it hard to believe these guys aren't standing far atop that collection of bands. EXTINCTION PROTOCOL proves they are a better band.

Chris Akin

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