• 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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  • Texas Hippie Coalition - RIDE ON

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

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    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
    LITE ROAST

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    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
    PANDEMONIUM

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    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
    .5 THE GRAY MATTER

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    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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  • Opeth - PALE COMMUNION

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

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    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

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  • Cannibal Corpse - A SKELETAL DOMAIN

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

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    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

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  • Exodus - BLOOD IN, BLOOD OUT

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

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    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

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  • Mr. Big - ...THE STORIES WE COULD TELL

    Mr. Big, The Stories We Could Tell, Reviews, Classic Metal, Chris Akin, Pitriff Mr. Big
    ...THE STORIES WE COULD TELL

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    As a fan of Mr. Big, I can't honestly say that many people thought that their reunion was much more than a cash grab opportunity for the guys in the band who, while immensely talented, failed to find solo success to match their collaborative efforts. It was never a question of if they could still play.

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  • Slash - WORLD ON FIRE

    Image: Slash, Myles Kennedy, Conspirators, World On Fire, Pitriff, review, classic metal Slash
    WORLD ON FIRE

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    Hey Gene Simmons. The corpse of rock n' roll just had a baby. That baby is not an average baby at all. That baby was not stillborn, but came out kicking and screaming with an intensity rarely seen. This baby is destined for greatness. This infant is out to prove you wrong. While your days of spitting fire and

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  • Davey Suicide - WORLDWIDE SUICIDE

    Image: Davey Suicide, Worldwide Suicide, Pitriff, Reviews, Modern Metal Davey Suicide
    WORLDWIDE SUICIDE

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    I had the pleasure of working directly with Davey Suicide as he prepped his debut release a few years ago for release. I got to work with him on some promotional stuff, some publicity stuff, his website and a lot more of that kind of stuff. In that work, I quickly found him to be far more than the

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  • Ministry - LAST TANGLE IN PARIS

    Image: Ministry, Last Tangle In Paris, Pitriff, Review, Industrial Metal Ministry
    LAST TANGLE IN PARIS

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    Al Jourgensen of Ministry has been threatening to take his ball and go home for a long time now. Quite frankly, I'm not sure I believe that he'll ever retire. Every time he says he's retiring, he seems to come right back with more music that's stronger, meaner and just better than anything in his past. Being quite

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Fear Factory - THE INDUSTRIALIST

Image: Fear Factory, The Industrialist, pitriff, reviews, news, interviews, heavy metalFear Factory
THE INDUSTRIALIST

For the purists out there, this version of Fear Factory that only features original members Burton C. Bell and Dino Cazares just doesn't measure up as the "real deal".  To those people, I hope you enjoy missing out on one of the greatest resurgences in all of heavy metal.  Without question, Fear Factory was at a point where it was time to give it up and do other things.  Albums like ARCHETYPE and TRANSGRESSION were just shells of the former intensity that the band had possessed, and most thought these guys were done.  Still, Bell rekindled his relationship with Cazares, pushed aside other original members, and forged ahead.  If it did nothing else, the extremely solid MECHANIZE proved that the fire in the band was always spawned from the riffs of Cazares and the voice of Bell.  With THE INDUSTRIALIST, they have seemingly taken it all the way back to their best era of the band.

THE INDUSTRIALIST is the second best album in the Fear Factory catalog.  Only DEMANUFACTURE stands above it in the catalog.  I know, that's extremely high praise when you consider that albums like OBSOLETE and SOUL OF A NEW MACHINE are being passed for those words.  Still, it is what it is.  THE INDUSTRIALIST, a concept album from Bell loosely based on one of his always present themes (machinery evolving to take over mankind), feels so much like the DEMANUFACTURE/OBSOLETE era of the band that it wouldn't be at all surprising if this album was written and shelved for whatever reason back in that era.  While Bell and Cazares basically performed this album themselves (drummer John Sankey performed on it and did the programming, but all vocals, guitars and bass were performed by Bell and Cazares), the results are astonishingly full and vibrant.  Fear Factory has found its way back to its core sound.  Tracks like the blistering "New Messiah" showcase both the multi-inflectioned voice of Bell and the brilliant, tight industrial meets metal riffs that have defined Cazares' long career.  Bell is particularly good on THE INDUSTRIALIST, as some of his vocals on later records almost came off as a parody of older releases.  Still, leading the way is Cazares.  Always having his own extremely identifiable sound, Cazares has added little things here and there to really expand what he's done previously.  Songs like "God Eater" are prime examples of the expanded playbook of Cazares.  On this track, he not only features his heavy riffing that's instantly recognizable, but he also incorporates a lower, droning type line (a la a band like Meshuggah) to the underside of the song to just fatten it up that much more.

PITRIFF RATING - 96/100 - Without question, I love this album.  As a Fear Factory fan that has been disappointed with most of their output since OBSOLETE, I was glad to see them start the process of a full on resurgence with MECHANIZE.  I'm even more happy to see them claw all the way back with THE INDUSTRIALIST.  Without question, this is the best release they've put out in 20 years.

Chris Akin



Fear Factory

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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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