• 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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  • Kix - ROCK YOUR FACE OFF

    Image: Kix, Rock Your Face Off, Classic Metal, Pitriff, Review Kix
    ROCK YOUR FACE OFF

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    Kix might just be the last of the '80's bands to release new material. By now, it seems like everybody else you could name from the glory days of yesteryear has made a stab at making music in the new millennium. Of course, a lot of them, we wish they hadn't, and just left us to our misty-eyed

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  • Evergrey - HYMNS FOR THE BROKEN

    Image: Evergrey, Hymns For The Broken, Review, Progressive Metal Evergrey
    HYMNS FOR THE BROKEN

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    In the world of progressive metal, there are exactly 2 bands which I worship. Those bands are Symphony X and Evergrey. Both bands are immensely talented, feature incredible musicianship, and come full of great lyrical and musical representations that tell amazing stories to the listeners. Following their last release GLORIOUS COLLISION, it really seemed like Evergrey may have

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  • Ace Frehley - SPACE INVADER

    Image: Ace Frehley, Space Invader, Pitriff, Classic Metal, Reviews Ace Frehley
    SPACE INVADER

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    Am I the only one that is tired of not only Ace Frehley, but all members of Kiss past and present? Since they were nominated for the ROCK AND ROLL HALL OF CORPORATE, it has been a steady stream of nonsense, bickering, anger, hurt feelings and now emotional trauma. It's over already. Get over it. It's 2014. Kiss is

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  • Blackberry Smoke - LEAVE A SCAR

    Image: Blackberry Smoke, Leave A Scar, Pitriff, Review, Rock Blackberry Smoke
    LEAVE A SCAR - LIVE IN NORTH CAROLINA

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    Right up front, Blackberry Smoke is not a metal band. They are a southern-rock band, in the classic, original sense. These days, the term "southern rock" has been applied to everybody from Black Stone Cherry to Nashville Pussy to Crowbar, all sounds that would be alien and extreme in the days of Skynyrd and

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  • Skid Row - UNITED WORLD REBELLION, CHAPTER 2

    Image: Skid Row, United World Rebellion Chapter 2, Pitriff, Classic Metal, Review Skid Row
    UNITED WORLD REBELLION, CHAPTER 2

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    Part two of the three part Skid Row series known as UNITED WORLD REBELLION has been unleashed. Dubbed as RISE OF THE DAMNATION ARMY, UWR2 picks up where the first EP left off. There's simple math here. Over the course of these two EPs you have 14 songs. If you put the two together, you've got

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  • Downset - ONE BLOOD

    Image: Downset, One Blood, Pitriff, Review Downset
    ONE BLOOD

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    As a fan of Downset, I wasn't really surprised when the band split up in 2009. They claimed that "the band has run it's course". As a fan, I believe that. They definitely had a huge influence on a lot of the bigger nu-metal bands of the 2000s. Certainly, anyone that heard releases like DO WE SPEAK A DEAD LANGUAGE

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Overkill - WHITE DEVIL ARMORY

Image: Overkill, White Devil Armory, Pitriff, Review, Thrash Metal

Overkill
WHITE DEVIL ARMORY

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Holy shit! Who saw this coming? In an astonishing detour off the band's well-trampled musical path. Their latest album ventures into heretofore uncharted territories, embracing such unexpected sonic offshoots as Eastern-tinged black metal, polka-dotted folk-metal, and, in what is sure to be a harbinger of trends to come, Tuvan throat-singing.

Nah, just fuckin' with you to see if you were paying attention. This kind of journalistic red herring is second only to starting off an Overkill review by talking about the band's remarkable consistency.

So, getting to the point, WHITE DEVIL ARMORY sounds exactly like every Overkill album since at least NECROSHINE fifteen years ago, and not too different from the four or five that came before that. The differences are so minute that only Blitz Ellsworth himself can truly say for sure. So when he claimed that 2012's The Electric Age was a "two-dimensional" album in hindsight, it made me snap my fingers and say, "So THAT'S why I had trouble remembering any songs after the first three or four!" No worries, as Blitz has declared WHITE DEVIL ARMORY to be a more well-rounded release. We mere mortals will just have to take his word for it.

Seriously, I love Overkill. I love their tunes, I love their attitude, and I love their steadfast refusal to tinker with a prize recipe. And when I say you could take any song from WHITE DEVIL ARMORY, insert it anywhere on the previous half-dozen albums, and never know the difference, I'm being honest, but it's also meant in the best possible way.
The Overkill sound is well-entrenched: you got D.D. Verni laying down the loudest bass in thrash, and you got Blitz's signature half-strangled, goiter-rattling shriek. Then you got the twin guitars of Dave Linsk and Derek Tailer, whose approach is so workmanlike you almost don't notice how talented they truly are, plus the likewise-overlooked drum frenzy of Ron Lipnicki. Top it off with a healthy dose of East Coast smartassery, and you have Overkill, friend. "Give 'em what they're lookin' for!" Blitz hollers on "Armorist," the album's first true song (after a short and completely unnecessary intro). And that's what they do.

That doesn't mean there aren't highlights. Hel no, they're everywhere. If there is a difference, it's that WHITE DEVIL ARMORY offers more consistently catchy songs than its predecessor, while still remaining utterly Overkill. "Armorist," "Pig," "Freedom Rings," "It's All Yours" and the somewhat slower "Bitter Pill," all stand out as some of the disc's best moments. As always, the band is more than ready to skid into a grinding breakdown halfway through a song, or drop a beat here and there to keep you guessing. There's just no tighter band in thrash than Overkill.

Lyrically, Blitz is his usual snide, cynical self. You can ascertain from some of his interviews what his political leanings are, but when dealing with such issues in "Pig" and "King Of The Rat Bastards," he still manages to keep everything fairly vague. His point of view could have been applicable twenty years ago, and probably will still be just as relevant twenty years from now.

PITRIFF RATING - 84/100 – Really, what's left to say about Overkill? They practice consistency almost to a fault, always playing up their strengths. They might make it hard for reviewers to come up with new things to say about them, but their music, even as bruising as it unfailingly is, has such a refreshing and reassuring, favorite-old-sweatshirt feeling of comfort, it's damn near impossible to find fault. If you don't like Overkill on at least SOME level, you just aren't much of a fan of thrash metal.

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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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