• 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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SpiralArms - FREEDOM

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There are great recordings, and then there are releases that just get better each and every time you listen to them.  SpiralArms new release FREEDOM is one of those releases.  I loved it the first time I heard it, and it's done nothing but get stronger with each and every listen for me.  Maybe it's the mood I'm in these days, or maybe it's just that great music is coming out fast and furiously, but it seems like for the past two months, each release has been better than the last.  In the last 3 months alone, I've proclaimed "album of the year" twice before...Vista Chino's PEACE and Scorpion Child's self-titled debut.  Now, I'm proclaiming it once again.  Full of diversity and influences from all the right bands in the history of rock and metal, FREEDOM stands as the lone perfect listening experience of 2013 for me.  This one is a stunner.

Describing exactly what is going on here with SpiralArms' FREEDOM is not an easy task.  It's appealing to a lot of different audiences, to say the least.  Without question, the music will work very well for the stoner rock/metal crowd, although much like Scorpion Child's release it's not a full on, fuzzed out hempfest of a release.  Guitarist Craig Locicero's (ex-Forbidden / ex-Manmade God) has a much bigger and fuller guitar tone than the standard stoner rock guitarist.  As a former thrash veteran, he also knows how to bring it a lot heavier.  Songs like "Dropping Like Flies" prove that there's a lot of metal in this band when they want to showcase it.  Other songs, like the driving "Drugs & Alcohol" find Locicero just rockin through some of the chunkier, more galloping riffs of his professional career.

Locicero is only a small part of the story here though.  SpiralArms is led vocally by former Systematic vocalist Tim Narducci.  Unlike the generic sounds that band had, his vocals on FREEDOM are far more gritty, powerful and emotional.  In fact, there are four or five songs on the disc that are mid-tempo that seem built to showcase Narducci's emotional delivery time and time again.  Listening to "Exit 63", you feel his passion exploding from his soul as he calmly roars through the chorus.  This song is arguably the best song on the disc, with the giant crescendo building in the middle of the song instrumentally before Narducci repeats the simple, yet effective chorus.  The song also features a sweet piano line which also closes the song that is very much reminiscent of the Derek & The Dominos classic "Layla (Piano Exit)".  ' If that song isn't enough, it's quickly followed by another masterpiece called "Blackmoon Morning", which adds an almost Stone Temple Pilots vibe at the beginning as Narducci starts low before taking his vocal to his higher, more powerful place with Locicero laying in a fat, Soundgarden-esque riff underneath.  It just rocks...period.

PITRIFF RATING - 100/100 - I'm not one for giving perfect scores, as there's almost always flaws in everything.  I can't find one here.  While I know for some their score might be lower because they don't have as wide a musical diversity as I do, there's literally nothing in the hard rock/heavy metal template that isn't touched on here for me.  This has been the sole release in my iPod for a couple of weeks now, because the songs are just so strong and impressive.  This needs to be experienced.


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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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