• 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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Muckraker - BIG BLACK BUS

Image: Pitriff, Muckraker, Will Price, pitriff, news, reviews, interviews, heavy metalMuckraker
BIG BLACK BUS

I'm one of those music snobs that doesn't like the "known" music nearly as much as the stuff that flew under most people's radar.  That said, there was a band that came and went in that I loved in the late 90s called Boiler.  While I'm sure most of you don't remember them, I do.  Two brilliant CDs and an EP...THE NEW PROFESSIONALS, COW TIPPIN' IN C SHARP and YEEHAW...three releases that have found permanent residence in my music collection, and three that still get played a lot.  Boiler was one of those bands that you could always put on to give you an energy boost as well as a shot of attitude along the way.  Songs like "Railroaded" or "Stegasaurus" are addictive as Hell.

When I found out that Boiler frontman and bassist Will Price had put together a new band that, I knew two things.  One, it was going to rock, and two...it was going to pack a lot of attitude.  Right and right.  BIG BLACK BUS has that old Boiler thump to it, but definitely leans a bit more toward the stoner side of metal (think Down, Eyehategod, heavier COC).  Price and his new band of rock enthusiasts have packed a highly charged, somewhat political and fully vicious assault of metal explosiveness into their BIG BLACK BUS.  Price has a bit more depth to his vocals than he previously exhibited.  Songs like "Haymarket Square" have a very Zakk Wylde meets Neil Fallon vocal sound, which is quite appealing.  Price rants and raves throughout, and yet he's just part of a successful formula here.  As a three piece, Muckraker has a big, fat sound.  That's due in large part to the work of guitarist Ray Mulligan.  While Mulligan's tuning is in line with most of the bands of this ilk, he's much more loud and clean than most that play this kind of music.  Instead of going for the fuzzed out guitar tone, the rich, full tones on songs like "V" and "Kingmaker" just works well on this effort.  The same can be said for drummer Batz Capo.  His drums are booming throughout, reminding me a lot of the work captured on the first couple Brand New Sin releases.  He's got an arena rock sound on songs like "The 4th Estate" that reminds of the huge sound Kiss captured on CREATURES OF THE NIGHT.  To say the least, these guys are a very cohesive unit.  They bring it all together on material like the politically charged aural assault called "We Are The Majority".

PITRIFF RATING - 91/100 - Muckraker may be an unsigned, independent band, but their sound is huge and as good or better than the bulk of Southern Lord bands that come across my desk.  While I'm not necessarily on board with all the political themes here, I like the definitive message and, more importantly, I'm a fan of the no bullshit punch in the face the music provides.  In short, I'm jumping on the BIG BLACK BUS.

Chris Akin

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