• Wretch - WARRIORS

    Image: Wretch, Warriors, Review, Power Metal, Chris Akin, Pitriff Wretch
    WARRIORS

    CD
    MP3

    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

    Read More
  • Machine Head - BLOODSTONE & DIAMONDS

    Image: Machine Head, Bloodstone & Diamonds, Pitriff, Review, Thrash Metal Machine Head
    BLOODSTONE & DIAMONDS

    CD
    MP3

    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

    Read More
  • Nashville Outlaws - TRIBUTE TO MOTLEY CRUE

    Image: Nashville Outlaws, Motley Crue Tribute Nashville Outlaws
    A TRIBUTE TO MOTLEY CRUE

    CD
    MP3

    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

    Read More
  • Texas Hippie Coalition - RIDE ON

    Image: Texas Hippie Coalition, Ride On, Heavy Metal, Hard Rock, Review, Classic Metal Texas Hippie Coalition
    RIDE ON

    CD
    MP3

    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

    Read More
  • Sammy Hagar - LITE ROAST

    Image: Sammy Hagar, Lite Roast, NonMetal, Review Sammy Hagar
    LITE ROAST

    CD
    MP3

    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

    Read More
  • Cavalera Conspiracy - PANDEMONIUM

    Image: Cavalera Conspiracy, Pandemonium, Pitriff, Death Metal, Review Cavalera Conspiracy
    PANDEMONIUM

    CD
    MP3

    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

    Read More
  • Slipknot - .5 THE GRAY MATTER

    Image: Slipknot, .5 The Gray Matter, Pitriff, CD Review, Modern Metal Slipknot
    .5 THE GRAY MATTER

    CD
    MP3

    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,

    Read More
  • Opeth - PALE COMMUNION

    Image: Opeth, Pale Communion, Pitriff, Review, Progressive Metal Opeth
    PALE COMMUNION

    CD
    MP3

    Opeth simply fails as a band, at least to me. While I'll admit to never fully understanding the amazement and awe so many have for this band, I've appreciated them from afar. I've listened, and I've at least wrapped my head around what they were trying to do. Their fusing of death metal with progressive elements always made for an

    Read More
  • Cannibal Corpse - A SKELETAL DOMAIN

    Cannibal Corpse, A Skeletal Domain, Review, Death Metal Cannibal Corpse
    A SKELETAL DOMAIN

    CD
    MP3

    So really, what does anyone expect when you get a Cannibal Corpse release handed to you? Ballads, love songs and fun? Not hardly. There's an expectation of severe brutality which the band delivers time and time again. Certainly, it comes with different levels of acceptance to one's ears, but ultimately the only thing that matters if it says

    Read More
  • Exodus - BLOOD IN, BLOOD OUT

    Image: Exodus, Blood In Blood Out, Pitriff, Review, Thrash Metal Exodus
    BLOOD IN, BLOOD OUT

    CD
    MP3

    Unless you call Testament a "thrash band" (which I don't personally), Exodus would rank as my favorite true Thrash band of all time. They have had good times and bad. Occasionally, like on FABULOUS DISASTER, they have misstepped along the way. But overall, they are one of the true powerhouses in the history of thrash metal. Since 2004

    Read More
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 6
  • 7
  • 8
  • 9
  • 10

Review - BLACK STAR RIDERS

Image: Black Star Riders, All Hell Breaks Loose, pitriff, heavy metal, reviews, news, interviewsBlack Star Riders
ALL HELL BREAKS LOOSE

For so many people, it's a constant complaint when bands with one or two original members continue on with a band name instead of forming a brand new project. The topic of "how many original members makes a band a band" has been debated on literally every rock music show that's existed over the last 20 years, and there's never been a definitive answer to any of it. For some people, if there's one original guy then it's OK to use the established name. For others, nothing short of all original members qualifies. For others, it's a question of which original member is there. Across the board, there's a lot of indecision regarding just how many members of a band make that band still exist. A couple of years ago, guitarist Scott Gorham reformed and toured a "new" Thin Lizzy comprised of himself and, pretty much, all new players. Having seen them, I will give them a lot of credit for carrying on not only the sound of Thin Lizzy, but the spirit of the band with full respect paid to the heart and soul of the original band, Phil Lynott. When they decided to record a new studio album, they could easily have chosen the easy, better selling idea to call it Thin Lizzy. Instead, they chose a new band name and chose to leave the integrity of the original band intact. So, first and foremost, bravo to them for that tough move that was PROBABLY not well received by their record company.

Alas, they didn't call the band Thin Lizzy though. They called it Black Star Riders. Their debut ALL HELL BREAKS LOOSE could easily be argued for though to be called Thin Lizzy. The album is a very respectful, strong effort that would probably please most fans of the original band without many complaining that it was defaming the original legacy. In short, it just sounds like Thin Lizzy. That comes, for the most part, from the vocals of the former lead vocalist of The Almighty, Ricky Warwick. In short, Warwick is very much a clone of Lynott in both vocal sound and in all of his vocal inflections. He's truly great. Songs like "Valley Of The Stones" and "Bound For Glory" find Warwick in full on Lynott impression mode, and it works here. The biggest issue these guys could ever have would be if Warwick sounded like a karaoke singer. He does not. He sounds like the lead vocalist of Thin Lizzy (or in this case Black Star Riders), and it just works. Because of this, the whole band works around him.

That said though, it's the heritage member of the band that make things work so well. Scott Gorham may be the elder statesman of the band, but he still brings that classic flair that made the old band such a standout. His solos on "All Hell Breaks Loose" are solid, as is the bouncy rhythm he brings to songs like "Someday Salvation". Gorham has surrounded himself with an all star lineup comprised of Damon Johnson, Jimmy DeGrasso and Marco Mendoza; all who are well respected players over the last 30 years. As a band, they are strong, classic sounding and definitely worthy of the name they have chosen not to use.

PITRIFF RATING - 82/100 - While there are a few songs that kind of drag a little ("Before The War"), ALL HELL BREAKS LOOSE is a great collection of songs that will almost certainly please any Thin Lizzy fan, and maybe some that know nothing about that band as well. Strong songwriting, solid performances and a nod to the old school, Black Star Riders have produced a very solid disc.

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.

CLICK HERE to learn more about CAUSE/EFFECT: METALLICA.

Buy Now:  Paperback    Digital

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.

Buy Now:  Paperback     Digital

Read Reviews and Excerpts from LITTLE VICTORIES: A TALE OF DIVORCE, DEBAUCHERY AND FINDING HAPPINESS HERE!

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

 Image: Keel, pitriff, heavy metal, news, reviews, interviews

Want Streets Of Rock N' Roll Radio On Your Phone - CLICK HERE To Download The New App