• 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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  • AC/DC - ROCK OR BUST

    Image: Rock Or Bust, AC/DC, Chris Akin, Pitriff, Classic Metal, Review AC/DC
    ROCK OR BUST

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    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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    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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    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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Image: Hopes Die Last, Trust No One, Pitriff, CD Review, News, Heavy MetalHopes Die Last
TRUST NO ONE

I won't lie here - I was a fan of the early versions of nu-metal, or metalcore or whatever you want to call it.  More than anything, if there's a shift in sound and it's still heavy sounding, I generally will like it for awhile.  When people start mimmicking it, but don't do it as well is when I lose interest in trend hopping bands.  I would say that I jumped off this bandwagon about the same time that Howard Jones joined Killswitch Engage.  While that band is OK at times (definitely not a big favorite of mine), the new breed that followed for the last five or six years has been, to put it bluntly, pathetic.  I'm screaming because I'm angry.  Now I'm singing clean but slightly out of key to exhibit my emo pain of my existence.  Now I'm screaming again while our downtuned riff churns in circles.  Yeah...we all get it.  Further, most fans of metal checked out on it.

That said however, a band cranking out some metalcore has caught my attention recently, and I can't stop playing it.  Hopes Die Last return with a much improved sound, more diversity and just better songwriting with their latest release, TRUST NO ONE.  While their last release SIX YEARS HOME was fair, it fell right in line with that same collection of bands like Asking Alexandria, Aiden and the like that comes off as whiny and boring.  Not here.  This band has improved dramatically musically.  They also have done a much better job capturing themselves in the studio.  Songs like "Unleash Hell" punch you in the face with the force of Mike Tyson on a PCP high, and yet that only scratches the surface of what's going on here.  Musically, TRUST NO ONE is so diverse that almost anyone into modern metal will be aptly satisfied.  The ballad "The Same Old Fears" is especially unique here.  Lead by some well placed techo beats and soft piano, this song could easily be mistaken as a ballad by Linkin Park instead of an upstart metalcore band.  That has a lot to do with vocalist Daniele Tofan.  In short, this guy is the force behind this band.  His crooning voice is solid, and his aggro-screams are as strong as anyone's out there today.  Unlike most bands of this ilk, Hopes Die Last act as a cohesive unit instead of a layered, non-organic packing of whining.  Songs like "Icarus" are well structured; showcasing the perfect mixture of guitars, thick rhythms and one of the most fluid timing changes from fast to slow I've heard in a very long time.

While this release is great, it does occasionally showcase a few flaws here and there.  While these guys are clearly finding their sound, the experimentation on it with studio tricks is a bit over the top on occasion.  They tend to get a little bit Trent Reznor-like with the knob turning on "Never Trust The Hazel Eyed" and the aforementioned "Unleash Hell".  It's more like overkill on xxxxx It's a minor thing though, and one they will probably grow out of.

PITRIFF RATING - 92/100 - Hopes Die Last kick off the new year with a surprisingly solid dose of metalcore that's weak on whiny and strong on diversity.  With the right tours and promotions, you could see a lot more of this band because they clearly have the chops to be a force with today's youth.  TRUST NO ONE is about as good as this genre gets.

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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