• Black Stone Cherry - KENTUCKY

    Image: Black Stone Cherry, Kentucky Black Stone Cherry
    KENTUCKY

    CD
    MP3

    This collection of southern boys are not the most original band in the world. They’ll never be accused of being the most musically gifted fellas in the world. Certainly, no one will ever listen to them and think, “wow, that’s really cutting edge music”. To the contrary though, release in and release out, the same thought comes to mind

    Read More
  • Zakk Wylde - BOOK OF SHADOWS II

    Image: Zakk Wylde, Book Of Shadows II Zakk Wylde
    BOOK OF SHADOWS II

    CD
    MP3

    Sequels to albums, at least in my listening experience, are generally poor. The two that immediately jump to mind for me are Rob Zombie’s HELLBELLY DELUXE 2 and Meat Loaf’s BAT OUT OF HELL 2. Both releases were pretty lame, and garnered attention solely because they were named after much more historic releases in their creator’s career.

    Read More
  • Dream Theater - THE ASTONISHING

    Image: Dream Theater, The Astonishing, Pitriff, Chris Akin Dream Theater
    THE ASTONISHING

    CD
    MP3

    So, Dream Theater is back with a release that many are calling their most in-depth, and yet polarizing release. Fair enough. With 34 tracks and clocking in at over two hours in length, it’s certainly the most challenging on a listener to fully grasp and comprehend. Along with THE ASTONISHING, you are expected to read the book of lyrics

    Read More
  • Megadeth - DYSTOPIA

    Image: Megadeth, Dystopia, Dave Mustaine, David Ellefson, Kiko Loureiro, Chris Adler Megadeth
    DYSTOPIA

    CD
    MP3

    More than any other metal band in history, being a hardcore Megadeth fan is truly a rollercoaster ride. This is a band with multiple duds in their catalog, and yet they always seem to rebound. Think about it, they’ve truly had some bad releases in their catalog. RISK was terrible. THE WORLD NEEDS A HERO wasn’t a lot better. And yet,

    Read More
  • Anthrax - FOR ALL KINGS

    Image: Anthrax, For All Kings, Pitriff, Chris Akin Anthrax
    FOR ALL KINGS

    CD
    MP3

    Depending on your perspective, Anthrax is either having a career resurgence or floundering at the end of their career. I’m stunned how many people actually didn’t like their last effort, FOR ALL KINGS. In these ears, that was the best effort of their career. What made it great, to me, was the mixture of crushing heaviness combined with some

    Read More
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5

Image: Hatecore Inc, No Hope, No Escape Vol 1, Pitriff, ReviewHatecore, Inc.
NO HOPE, NO ESCAPE VOL. 1: WELCOME TO MY WAR

CD
MP3

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 were Akron bands and there were Cleveland bands. Even though it's only about a 30 mile drive, they have long been separated. That may not seem like a big deal, but when you factor in the difficulty to get the more quality gigs and exposure from Cleveland vs. Akron, you ended up seeing a lot of bands from Akron that just didn't get the appropriate amount of love on the national level. Looking back a decade or so when both scenes were both thriving, bands like Spawn, Funny, Funnel and NDE all failed to find record deals when they were superior to a good amount of those that did find success at that level. Hatecore Inc. is another that falls into that category.

To be honest about Hatecore Inc, this wasn't their only problem. This local band had more members come through their doors than Whitesnake or Megadeth, which never helps a local band that's trying to build a fanbase that starts with friends who take sides when a member leaves the fold. Still, under the neverending passion of guitarist Kris Dann, Hatecore Inc. has soldiered on. With a new lineup in tow (big surprise there!), they have returned with NO HOPE, NO ESCAPE VOL. 1: WELCOME TO MY WAR. In what is always their way, NO HOPE is an intense listen as you would expect. From start to finish, it's a riff driven, punishing extreme metal hammer to the skull that avoids any and all trappings of metalcore and the more recent emocore nonsense that has severely diluted this genre for the 20-something Hot Topic pussies calling themselves "metal" today. While I think the band does a horrible job classifying what it is they do (they reference bands like Pantera and Megadeth as influences, which I'm simply not hearing at all here), there's a level of viciousness here that needs to be heard to be appreciated. If you are looking for a better comparison, think more of a Napalm Death if they somehow found some melody to go with their brutal assault.

Having heard Hatecore Inc. and it's earlier predecessor N-Factor, it's interesting to see how much the band has grown musically. Guitarist Kris Dann is a fiery guitarist who provides some stark, yet crushing riffs that don't rely on speed as much as tone and tempo. Listening to a song like "Seven", your head gets bobbing as you follow along with the nasty riffs that drive the song. He's countered well by Chef on bass and Troy Hays on drums to create a nasty bottom end for the band. "Isolation" returns reworked a bit from their last release, but is greatly enhanced by better production and somewhat cooler fills provided by Hays. This song could very well be ripped from an early Chimaira recording session, as it has that same feel as some of the more raw stuff they did early on in their career.

Vocally, Daniel Allen steps in and adds his own flavor to the material. He really gives a new vibe to a lot of this music. He's got more range than anyone in Hatecore Inc. has shown in the past, and mixes in the occasional singing part here and there to add diversity to the sound. He works well with a female lead on "My Slave"; an interesting track that definitely features a good amount of Cleveland flavored vibe to it, as well as sowing the most growth this band has shown since their inception.

PITRIFF RATING - 88/100 - Solid effort. They lose some points because a couple of the songs fade a bit hard and almost feel like they were incomplete, but other than that, you've got a seriously enjoyable EP here on your hands to carry you through a half hour of metallic aggression. Definitely worth checking out.

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