• John Garcia - JOHN GARCIA

    Image: John Garcia, John Garcia, review, stoner metal, review, pitriff John Garcia
    JOHN GARCIA

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    For many of you, the name John Garcia doesn't mean a whole lot. I get that. For some of us - people that have long loved the world of Stoner Rock and Metal, John Garcia is every bit the musical God that people like Ronnie James Dio, Rob Halford and Bruce Dickinson are in the world of "classic metal". With

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  • Godsmack - 1000HP

    Image: Godsmack, 1000hp, review, pitriff, modern metal Godsmack
    1000HP

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    I must be getting old, because recently, I've noticed my attitude softening toward the dreaded "nu-metal" bands of fifteen years ago. Maybe it's just nostalgia for what I now perceive (incorrectly, I'm sure) as a simpler time, but the burnout and disinterest I felt circa 2002, the year I quit seriously listening to mainstream rock radio has mellowed of late. Don't

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  • Wovenwar - WOVENWAR

    Image: Wovenwar, Pitriff, CD Review, Modern Metal Wovenwar
    WOVENWAR

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    More singers should try to have their wives killed if the resulting project to come from that nightmare sounds like Wovenwar. Holy shit is this project great! Being perfectly honest, I wasn't much of an As I Lay Dying fan, so hearing that the surviving members were forming a new project and carrying on with a new singer and new name

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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

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  • Fozzy - DO YOU WANNA START A WAR

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    DO YOU WANNA START A WAR

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    All the stars are aligned for me to be an absolute worshipper of Fozzy. And yet, I'm just not. It's not that I don't want to be. I'm a huge fan of the WWE, which is where Chris Jericho calls home professionally at least part of the time. To that fact, I'm a fan of Chris

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  • Goatwhore - Constricting Rage Of The Merciless

    Image: Goatwhore, pitriff, review, death metal Goatwhore
    CONSTRICTING RAGE OF THE MERCILESS

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    Here's one for the stout of heart and strong of neck: New Orleans's Goatwhore have just barfed up their sixth album, and if you liked the last few releases, Constricting Rage of the Merciless is sure to appease your charred heart. If you haven't been following along, Goatwhore is sort of a supergroup, if having members of

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  • Blues Pills - BLUES PILLS

    Image: Blues Pills, Blues Pills, Stoner Rock, Pitriff Blues Pills
    BLUES PILLS

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    It's not a secret that this whole retro movement in the worlds of Hard Rock and Heavy Metal has been an absolutely God sent for my musical palette. For so many years now, probably 20 or more, the ONLY band I've had to hold onto when I wanted new music from a band who's influences were steeped into the

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  • Unbreakable - KNOCKOUT

    Image: unbreakable, knockout, review, classic metal, pitriff Unbreakable
    KNOCKOUT

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    Retro has become in these days, and there are more and more bands creeping up that have harkened their sound back to a time that left well over 30 years ago. The last 2 years have seen an influx of bands reaching back to the '70s. Bands like Blues Pills, Vista Chino, Scorpion Child and Rival Sons have all emerged with

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  • The Treatment - RUNNING WITH THE DOGS

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    RUNNING WITH THE DOGS

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    Admit it: you've just about given up on England when it comes to producing quality rock 'n' roll. The land that brought us the Beatles, the Stones, Zeppelin, and of course the revered NWOBHM--in the past twenty-five years, what have they given us? The Wildhearts? Come on. The Darkness? Come the fuck on!

    The Treatment are a

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  • Arch Enemy - WAR ETERNAL

    Image: Arch Enemy, War Eternal, review, death metal, kip massey, pitriff Arch Enemy
    WAR ETERNAL

    The big story surrounding Arch Enemy's ninth studio album is that the band has done the impossible. They replaced their lead singer calmly, quietly, and without anybody knowing about it until it was already done—and somehow didn't miss a beat in the process. It's hard enough to replace a singer just once, but Arch Enemy has done it twice, and while

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  • California Breed - CALIFORNIA BREED

    Image: California Breed, Pitriff, Non Metal, Review California Breed
    CALIFORNIA BREED

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    It definitely sucks when you watch a band that you are REALLY a fan of implode. For me, that's just what I had to do with Black Country Communion. As the band that I think a lot of people compared head to head with Sammy Hagar's supergroup Chickenfoot, BCC stormed out quickly and recorded three tremendous releases. Still, as

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  • MuckRaker - KARMAGEDDON

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    KARMAGEDDON

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    One of the hardest things I'm tasked to do when reviewing bands is to look past the individual history of the members when a new project pops up. Many times, you really can't help but to think about a guy's past work in another band. That's especially true when the guy is the singer. MuckRaker is one of those bands for

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  • Judas Priest - REDEEMER OF SOULS

    judas priest, redeemer of souls, power metal Judas Priest
    REDEEMER OF SOULS

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    Judas Priest has a lot to atone for in the eyes of all fans except for Jim "Nostradamus" Bartek. Given the fact that Bartek's 524 day listening streak to NOSTRADAMUS probably doubled the count of the rest of the Priest fanbase combined, it's clear that the once Mighty Priest needed to do something very, very metal this time

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  • Quiet Riot - 10

    Image: Quiet Riot, Jizzy Pearl, 10, Pitriff, reviews Quiet Riot
    10

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    I'm generally excited when Jizzy Pearl fronts any band. He's one of my favorite singers out there from the classic metal era; a distinct sounding guy who has proven to be a chameleon while maintaining a sound there is no mistaking. Jizzy joining Quiet Riot was a welcome thought to me, personally. While I've never been a huge Quiet Riot

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  • Black Stone Cherry - MAGIC MOUNTAIN

    Image: Black Stone Cherry, Magic Mountain, Classic Metal, Review, Pitriff Black Stone Cherry
    MAGIC MOUNTAIN

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    Well, they finally did it. After nearly a decade of being hailed as the new kings of southern rock, and receiving favorable comparisons to Zeppelin and Skynyrd, western Kentucky's Black Stone Cherry have released an album that's worthy of all the praise.

    I've always liked the IDEA of Black Stone Cherry. I mean, what's not to like about

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  • American Dog - NEANDERTHAL

    Image: Neanderthal, American Dog, Classic Metal, Pitriff, Review American Dog
    NEANDERTHAL

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    God bless American Dog! For fifteen years, a bunch of blue-collar working stiffs from Columbus, Ohio have been churning out their brand of greasy, grimy redneck metal, and doing it all themselves. You gotta respect a band with American Dog's tenacity, toiling away in obscurity while other, much lesser bands soak up the major-label success. Oh yeah, and the tunes

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  • Hurtsmile - RETROGRENADE

    Image: Hurtsmile, Gary Cherone, classic metal, review, pitriff, chris akin Hurtsmile
    RETROGRENADE

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    For so many people, they hear Gary Cherone's name and immediately think about the failed Van Halen album III that he fronted. I get it. How can you not? It was such an unbelievably bad effort, and really should never have had the Van Halen name on it at all. Unfortunately though, Cherone has always been the blamesake of that release,

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  • U.D.O. - STEELHAMMER: LIVE FROM MOSCOW

    Image: Steelhammer, U.D.O., classic metal, review, pitriff U.D.O.
    STEELHAMMER - LIVE FROM MOSCOW

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    I really have no idea why U.D.O. is not a much, much bigger band than they are. Without question, everyone is all too quick to celebrate Accept, both with and without vocalist Udo Dirkschneider in the band. And yet, for all the love fans have for Dirkschneider's era of Accept, U.D.O. has really remained an afterthought instead of

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  • Ronny Munroe - ELECTRIC WAKE

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    ELECTRIC WAKE

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    One of the most disrespected singers in all of heavy metal, Ronny Munroe has more than ably fronted Metal Church for a decade now. Fronting Metal Church since 2004, the band has been a touch inconsistent (A LIGHT IN THE DARK and GENERATION NOTHING being great, WEIGHT OF THE WORLD and THIS PRESENT WASTELAND being a bit forgettable), but

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  • Vader - TIBI ET IGNI

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    I could write all kinds of stuff about how Vader are the icons of Polish Death Metal. I could put all kinds of praise on them, and talk about how they and Behemoth are the trendsetters that allowed people to understand that Poland had some death metal brilliance coming out of their country. I could talk for a long

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  • Tesla - SIMPLICITY

    Image: Tesla, Simplicity, classic metal, review, pitriff Tesla
    SIMPLICITY

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    Even as a fan of Tesla, it's not hard to look at the band and find them to be somewhat less than energetic when it comes to putting out new music. They've now come forth with just their 7th studio album of new material since 1986. Let's be honest here, folks...that's not a lot of material over a VERY LONG period

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  • Tankard - R.I.B.

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    R.I.B.

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    I really don't think that, of all the bands out there, Tankard could ever do anything I don't appreciate in some way or another. Let's face it, if ever there was a "Chris Akin" band, Tankard would be it. They make the kind of metal that is closest to my heart - Thrash with just a touch of melody to make it

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Interview - Mnemic

Images: Mnemic, Mnemesis, Mircea Gabriel EftemieThe road to success, or even survival, for any band is a difficult one.  For a band like Mnemic, that's never found a way to break through in the United States for a wide assortment of reasons, it can be even that much harder.  For every band, from the smallest local band to Metallica or Aerosmith, there always seems to come a point where the band is tested to decide if they should move forward or pack it in. 

That time seemingly came for Mnemic following the release of their SONS OF THE SYSTEM release.  It was at this point that 3/5 of the band turned over.  This left the band's lone original member Mircea Gabriel Eftemie with a decision - continue Mnemic which has always shown the potential but has never broken through on the biggest stage, or call it a day and try something else.  According to Eftemie, there really was no decision like this to be made.  Mnemic found new members and went about the business of recording their latest release, MNEMESIS.  As he explained to PITRIFF recently, the turnover of members did present it's own set of challenges, but never so much so that he ever considered putting an end to Mnemic.  Here's the conversation:

PITRIFF - Having a new second guitarist, drummer and bassist for the new album, there had to be a lot that just felt different from previous efforts.  How was the recording of MNEMESIS different for you and the band from past efforts?

MIRCEA GABRIEL EFTEMIE (MGE) - This time around we spent pretty much 80-90% of the composition process in my living room. We kind of re-arranged my entire apartment into a studio and brought in Victor's home studio, plus with my  studio we sat there for a couple of months and wrote intensively. We have never done that before.  Usually on the old efforts, we used to pretty much compose everything in the rehearsal room.  This time around, we were a bit under pressure due to a strict deadline we've set up for ourselves. All in all, it was a creative process, and it evolved, and blossomed into the Mnemesis album which we've just released.

PITRIFF - From listening to MNEMESIS, the new line-up does have the traditional sound of the band, but features some new alterations here and there, specifically in the bottom end in my opinion.  Was the material different, or is it just the new vibe that Simone and Brian bring to the table for each song?

MGE - The material was, of course, different and the low end which was on the last album was removed this time. It is a combination of things, basically. The new line-up has also contributed with their inputs to how they would interpret the sound of MNEMIC. I mean, both Victor and Brian have been fans of the band's first 2 albums, which made it easy for us in the end to exchange ideas and converge the compositions. Simone wrote an entire song for the album which we all loved. Victor and I wrote the majority of the songs. Guillaume worked with Victor as well, and Brian came with inputs to drum patterns, so you could say it was a very collaborative and democratic process. Compared to the old albums, the core of the music was composted always by Brian, Rune, and myself.

Mnemic, Mnemesis, Mircea Gabriel Eftemie, Pitriff, Heavy Metal, InterviewPITRIFF - As the main guitarist, I'm sure you had a great deal of input on the hiring of the second guitarist.  What specifically were you looking for when you decided on Victor Ray Salamonsen?

MGE - Well, he could refresh my memory on how to play the old material, haha!  I would say he was a natural fit because he contributed always with positive energy on the personal side of things. On the other hand, as far as being a musician, he could easily adapt to any style of music. I mean, when we started composing songs for the album, he could come up with some riffs that reminded very much of the old material. That had to - of course - be refreshed somehow  and the result is what you can hear on the new album. We decided to go with him because he had the skills, the passion and brought in the good vibes in the band.

PITRIFF - When your former bandmates left the band, what did you and Guillaume think would be the future of the band?  Was there any thoughts of simply ending the band?

MGE - Well, the old members didn't just leave from one day to another. It was a transition process that actually almost took one year. The first one that left was the bass player, then the drummer, then the guitarist. So we kind of replaced them one after the other. Guillaume and I wanted to make a new album, but apparently there where complications and difficulties that made it impossible to continue with the old line-up; therefore we needed an infusion of brand new energy, and we were actually always in the process of fulfilling the vision, which was to make a new album.

PITRIFF - I'm always curious with bands that switch members...when you start playing with the new members, there's obviously subtle nuances to the way the new guys play that are different from what was previously done.  Is it difficult to allow the new guys to find their own way instead of pushing them to play things the way they were played previously?

MGE - This is the first and hopefully last time I will be playing with new musicians in MNEMIC. Therefore, from experience, I can only say it was an easy process actually. As mentioned before, they used to be fans of the band, so they knew most of the tracks. It was more of a personal thing to adapt to new people in the band, after playing with the same guys for almost 10 years. That whole period was very though and hard for me, because I underwent many personal things in my life. I had to adapt to a new beginning. It was hard, but I made it, and today I am happy about it.

PITRIFF - MNEMIC has always been a band that's received a lot of positive reviews from US press but has never been able to break into that bigger band level in the US.  What is it about the band that you think has held you guys back from going to the next level on the US Metal Scene?

MGE - Well, there are different aspects in this matter. First of all, we lost our singer at a time where we released two very successful albums and still where trying to make it. It was in a period where we had to release our most important album, the one that would either "make it or break it" for us, as some say. We got to a point where we got very arrogant with everything, we had U.S. management, and that album in particular, Passenger, to me, is just built on bad decision making. On the other hand, we don't play catchy accessible music that everyone likes, so you could say that we haven't created a niche and that's another reason for us not breaking through and selling many records. We did tour in the U.S. with prominent bands such as Meshuggah, Soilwork, Arch Enemy, etc., etc., but in order to make it, you need to either have funny looking hair, emo choruses, and be touring 12 months out of the year in a van if you want to make it in the U.S. Actually, maybe you'll make it...

PITRIFF - What is in store for Mnemic for the rest of the year and into next year?

MGE - For the rest of the year: European touring, going to Australia and making a new video with Patric Ullaeus from Revolver Films. We are looking forward to be getting back out on the road and play as much as possible and also to be going to places we haven't been. It's always fun!

PITRIFF - What would be worse for a band and why - to illegally download a band's album, or to steal one of their T-Shirts from the merch booth?

MGE - To steal one of their t-shirts at the merch booth. I don't see downloading as stealing, it's just a phrase that's been coined by the masses, in my opinion. People need to wake up and realize that technology is changing our way of living.  Therefore, we have to re-think the business model in the end.

PITRIFF - In three words or less, review MNEMESIS.

MGE - Melodic, Energetic, Great.

PITRIFF - What am I missing that you want people to know?

MGE - I think you've touched on everything!  Thanks a bunch!

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