• 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 - Shadows Fall

Image: Shadows Fall, Pitriff, Reviews, News, Interviews, heavy metal, pitriffShadows Fall
FIRE FROM THE SKY

There's definitely some credit that has to be given to Shadows Fall.  Without question, they are one of the most recognizable band from a collection of extreme metal bands to have broken out in the early 2000s.  When you look at their contemporaries - God Forbid, Lamb Of God, Killswitch Engage - they fit perfectly in there with that small collection of bands that a lot of modern metalheads actually care about from release to release.  To me personally, they've done the most with the least amount of "it" factor.  To their credit (or discredit if you must), they have always featured a sound that's all their own while merging pieces parts from everything else around them.

Shadows Fall did put out a strong effort in 2009 with RETRIBUTION, and with FIRE FROM THE SKY they seem to have picked up where they left off.  Full of song with chunky riffs, the combination of modern guitar mixed with old school riffs and fills, and the somewhat generic scream - sing - scream vocals, FIRE FROM THE SKY continues what was started with their last release.  To be perfectly honest, this is a damn solid effort that showcases almost nothing new, unexpected or overly interesting...if that makes any sense at all.  To explain that, the songs are all good, but you really don't even need to know the names of them as they all sound the same on this album and with virtually everything else these guys have done on the last 3 or 4 albums.  There's some very mild differences, but they don't really lead you to think that something new and great has occurred.  Songs like "Save Your Soul" could easily be mistaken for a Trivium outtake by any average fan of this musical genre.  Vocalist Brian Fair mixing his screaming, singing and death metal barking around nicely to fit all the right spots on each song.  Songs like "Weight Of The World" are standard issue for Fair, who is one of the more versatile vocalists making this style of music.

As always though, Fair is only one piece of the Shadows Fall puzzle.  Jonathan Donais and Matt Bancand are, to me anyway, the sole reason to listen to Shadows Fall.  They are about as good as any guitar duo today at mixing the downtuned modern riffage with a clear and undeniable showcase of respect to the old school metal riffing of the 80s metal thrashers.  They put it all together on "Blind Faith"; a thrashing headbanger with an intricate intro that leads into an all out speed metal riff attack.  As always, the band is rounded out solidly on every song by the much respected Jason Bittner on drums and Paul Romanko on bass.  Bittner is a terrific drummer, and his excellent skills show through as they always do on every song he plays on.

PITRIFF RATING - 80/100 - Let's be honest here.  Shadows Fall is never going to be the most creative or the "best" band in anyone's collection.  That said, they are one of the most consistent, serviceable and entertaining acts in modern metal today.  FIRE FROM THE SKY really doesn't do a lot as far as breaking any kind of new ground.  I doubt it's meant to.  Workmanlike effort from Fair and company.

Chris Akin



Shadows Fall

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