• Goatwhore - Constricting Rage Of The Merciless

    Image: Goatwhore, pitriff, review, death metal Goatwhore


    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


    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


    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

    Image: The Treatment, Running With The Dogs, Pitriff, Classic Metal, Review The Treatment


    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

    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


    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

    Image: Karmagaddon, Muckraker, Pitriff, Stoner Metal, Review MuckRaker


    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


    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


    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


    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


    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


    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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    Image: Steelhammer, U.D.O., classic metal, review, pitriff U.D.O.


    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

    Image: Ronnie Munroe, Electric Wake, review, thrash metal, metal church Ronny Munroe


    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

    Image: Vader, Tivi Et Igni, Pitriff, review, death metal Vader


    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


    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.

    Image: Tankard, R.I.B., thrash metal, review, chris akin, pitriff Tankard


    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 - I See Stars

Image: I See Stars, Pitriff, InterviewI See Stars

It’s been a whirlwind ride for Devin Oliver and his Post-Hardcore/Electronic/Metalcore (pick a modern genre, really) band I See Stars. The band has three releases since they formed in 2006, and each release has done better and better. Their latest, DIGITAL RENEGADE, debuted in Billboard’s Top 40, marking the first time the band has debuted so highly. PITRIFF reached out to Oliver to talk about the new album, and we found him to be remarkably candid when talking about the road, illegal downloading and just why hardcore fans from a decade ago have not grown with the genre.

PITRIFF - For people that don’t know, can you give us a brief history of I See Stars and how the band came to be?

DEVIN OLIVER (DO) – Our band started when I was 12 years old. We are all original members and best friends that shared similar interests in music! Which is what brings us here today!

PITRIFF - Clearly, I See Stars is a band on the rise. DIGITAL RENEGADE debuted very strongly on Billboard, and you have gained ground with each release. What has been different from release to release which has seen you grow each time?

DO - 3D was our stepping stone into the music industry. I think it turned a lot of heads and was a great start. But our latest record Digital Renegade has done so much damage already and it has only been out 3 weeks. I think this album will really pave an amazing year for I See Stars.

PITRIFF - Post Hardcore is one of those genres that really seems to hit with younger audiences, but also seems to be completely shunned by older folks that as recently as a decade ago were all on the Hatebreed bandwagon. Why do you think that is?

DO - I would say a lot of it has to do with how many bands there are today. Most bands get lost in the shuffle and I can see how it could get a little annoying to the listeners to have so many bands repeating a sound. The goal is to be the band that brings the wave not rides it. Those are the bands that can attract any audience young or old. Those are the bands that live on.

PITRIFF - We mentioned previously that DIGITAL RENEGADE debuted very well on Billboard. It was actually top 40, which is very good. That said, do you think that is a bit misleading considering the current state of the business today?

DO - Definitely. It’s a shame people don’t buy albums like they use to. It’s bitter sweet. I’m just happy that the people that don’t have much money can still have access to music. I was always the broke kid at shows so I can relate.

PITRIFF - Tell your fans to do one thing, and don’t tap dance around picking one answer or the other. They can either a. illegally download DIGITAL RENEGADE but go to ITunes and purchase 2 songs legally from it, or b. not download it illegally and never hear the album. Please explain why you made this choice.

DO - I would pick A. I don’t think the availability of music a person has should be determined on the amount of money they have. I think if someone likes our band and has the money they should buy it because in the end they are really helping us out. But if someone only has a couple bucks then they still should check out a few singles from ITunes. And if they are broke then get to a computer, listen to every song, and support the hell out of our band in any other way they can that doesn’t involve money spending.

PITRIFF - I See Stars are definitely road warriors. I know you know the road well at this point. What did you think the road would be like prior to having any success at all, and how is it completely different from your expectations?

DO - I as well as a lot of people thought/think the road is all glamour and fun. What I didn’t realize is when the fun is done it can get lonely. I start missing my family and friends. Back when we were touring in a van the sleeping arrangements were very rough. A lot of times I was sleeping sitting up which just sucks. But for the most part I was pretty accurate it’s a great time. I have been lucky to meet tons of new friends and get to play our music in front of thousands of awesome kids every night.

PITRIFF - Your fans are very much locked into not only your music, but the niche that is Post Hardcore. Yet, I See Stars has a definitive electronic element to it unlike almost any other band. Do you see a time when you might experiment more in that arena, and do you think that fans will get it, or shun it?

DO - I think we will always stay true to our rock elements and breakdowns. But we do love electronics. We only plan to make them more fun and enjoyable to the ear. I cannot Imagine our true fans will shun anything we write.

PITRIFF - You guys obviously have an electronic element. What do you think of bands that don’t, but try to jump on the bandwagon of the present and release dubstep versions of their songs?

DO - I think it’s awesome when bands experiment in sounds they don’t necessarily do often. I mean sure, in my opinion, if a band completely changes just to “jump on the bandwagon” it shows insecurity and I end up losing interest personally.

PITRIFF - You have one sentence to review DIGITAL RENEGADE, as well as the ability to give it a score from 1 to 100 (1 being the worst, 100 being the best). Please review it.

DO - Digital Renegade is a fun, yet powerful record that can relate to any audience. 90!

PITRIFF - How has Lemmy from Motorhead influenced your career?

DO - He hasn’t. Unless indirectly. For example he has most likely influenced a lot of bands that influence me. But other than that not at all.

PITRIFF - How can people find out more about I See Stars?

DO - Our social websites (facebook, twitter, etc) are the most personal way to stay updated on what’s going on with our band! We all are always posting stuff. The people that are first to hear any new are the people that follow/friend us on there.

PITRIFF - Any final comments or anything we missed that you want people to know?

DO - New album Digital Renegade is out! Go grab is up! Also join us this summer on the All Stars Tour with Suicide Silence, The World Alive, and more! Thanks!!

I See Stars DIGITAL RENEGADE is out now. Follow them on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/ISeeStarsMusic.


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.


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The shockingly honest and emotional first book from radio personality and rock critic Chris Akin.

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Available January 13th in Paperback and Digital Formats on Amazon and iTunes.

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