• 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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Eclipse - BLEED & SCREAM

Image: Eclipse, Blood And Scream, Pitriff, CD Review, Interviews, NewsEclipse

While most bands mellow like wine with age Sweden's Eclipse have followed a different trajectory becoming heavier over the course of their thirteen year career. Bleed & Scream, the band's fourth release, showcases these stellar musicians at the apex of their creativity and aggression. Having slowly shed the melodic hard pop of their early days, this album is pure unadulterated metallic rock of the classiest variety.

Each song glimmers strongly with its own unique identity proving the Swedes have worked hard at evolving their craft rather than finding a "formula" and riding it out. Stand out tracks like "Bleed & Scream" "SOS" "Wake Me Up" & "A Bitter Taste" are as different from one another as they are from any other bands in the melodic metal scene. After a decade of writing, this skill deserves more applause than it gets.

The trademark high pitched vocals of Erik Mårtensson are powerful and harmonious without ever grating or sounding cliche. Mårtensson's penchant for hooks, harmonies and multi-instrumental writing are largely why the man has become the go-to producer and backing vocalist for the melodic metal elite such as Jeff Scott Soto (Journey, Yngwie Malmsteen, W.E.T.) and Mat Sinner (Primal Fear, Sinner). This collection of songs features Erik handling four string duties quite convincingly as well as penning his darkest most epic lyrics to date.

As expected the guitar mastery of Magnus Henriksson is on full display. Magnus is one of the most underrated six string virtuosos in the business. His impeccable right hand keeps the rhythms chugging at light speed while the chord choices and phrasing are constantly pushing the boundaries without treading the same tepid waters as many shred-by-numbers metal guitarists. When it comes to guitar solos Magnus has a knack for the tasteful, tearing off subtle neoclassical flourishes and soulful melodic bends with equal aplomb.

Perhaps the most notable advance between 2008's Are You Ready To Rock and this new platter is the prominence of drummer Robban Bäck and his increased role in the mix and tempo of the music. With a crisp, modern metal production that pushes Bäck's percussion to the front of the mix, the songs become more dangerous and immediate. Increased amounts of double kick overdrive and outstanding ride cymbal technique showcase the drums more than previous releases giving the album a power metal pulse that was only hinted at in years past.

Rounding out the production are the layers of lush synth provided by keyboardist Johan Berlin which add both a timeless vintage quality as well as a progressive edge not felt on earlier recordings. As the title implies, Bleed & Scream is not an album for the laid back AOR set to relax to while they read the Sunday paper. This beastly Mach IV version of Eclipse is unapologetically pissed off metal to blast loudly, pedal to floor as you race your car to the edge of a cliff.

PITRIFF RATING - 100/100 - The only thing preventing their past two LPs from perfection was alum art that didn't match the quality and style of their music. This time they got it right and the high quality digipak is worth the "add to cart" wait. While Eclipse have cultivated a fresh sound that is 100% unique and identifiable, the nods to the past include: the ferocity of Bark-era Ozzy, the musicality of Odyssey-era Malmsteen and the songcraft of 1987-era Whitesnake wrapped up in an exciting cutting edge package all three bands wish they still possessed. Yeah...it's that good.

Jason Myers

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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