• Wretch - WARRIORS

    Image: Wretch, Warriors, Review, Power Metal, Chris Akin, Pitriff Wretch


    There's an unwritten rule that I rarely follow here in Cleveland. That rule is that if a band is from Cleveland, I'm supposed to write all glowing things or else be called a hater by the local community. It's sad that it's like that, but the truth is what it is. For years I've lived with that stigma, to the point

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  • Machine Head - BLOODSTONE & DIAMONDS

    Image: Machine Head, Bloodstone & Diamonds, Pitriff, Review, Thrash Metal Machine Head


    What happened to Machine Head really is a crime. Unfortunately for them, it's a crime they perpetrated upon themselves. With a mistake so many made in their youth, this band singlehandedly torpedoed themselves from ascending to the heights in metal held by only the select few like Metallica and Megadeth before them. After THE MORE THINGS CHANGE came

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  • Nashville Outlaws - TRIBUTE TO MOTLEY CRUE

    Image: Nashville Outlaws, Motley Crue Tribute Nashville Outlaws


    With the music industry pretty much dead anymore, nothing really comes off as shocking. After all, you have very desperate companies trying to hang on and make money from an industry that has about as much relevance today as the typewriter ribbon makers of the world still do. The current trend for the last half decade

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  • Texas Hippie Coalition - RIDE ON

    Image: Texas Hippie Coalition, Ride On, Heavy Metal, Hard Rock, Review, Classic Metal Texas Hippie Coalition


    I tell this story often, but it's one of my favorites of the past year. I had the chance to interview the Texas Hippie Coalition earlier this year at Rock On The Range in Columbus, Ohio. I was in a small tent with a bunch of photographers. The tent was fairly quiet really, as the much bigger adjacent

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  • Sammy Hagar - LITE ROAST

    Image: Sammy Hagar, Lite Roast, NonMetal, Review Sammy Hagar


    I get it. You are Sammy Hagar. You've seen huge success in virtually every world you've entered. In music, he was the main focus of Montrose. He parlayed that into a very successful solo career. That wasn't enough, so he joined the world's largest band at the time (Van Halen), and took them to commercial heights that even they

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  • Cavalera Conspiracy - PANDEMONIUM

    Image: Cavalera Conspiracy, Pandemonium, Pitriff, Death Metal, Review Cavalera Conspiracy


    There's always good news and bad news whenever Max Cavalera gets busy with new music. The good is that you get a whole lot of new music, seemingly all in a very short time. The bad news is it's generally spotty at best, because he simply writes and releases too much music at the same time. His band Soulfly released

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  • Slipknot - .5 THE GRAY MATTER

    Image: Slipknot, .5 The Gray Matter, Pitriff, CD Review, Modern Metal Slipknot


    With a ton of speculation and even more wonderment on this band's ability to continue on without founding members Paul Gray and Joey Jordison, Slipknot has returned after far too long of a layoff with .5 THE GRAY MATTER. I've listened to this release multiple times a day for the last week or so that I've had it,

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Image: Dokken, Broken Bones, Pitriff, Don Dokken, Sean McNabb, Mick Brown, Jon LevinDokken

It's been a long road for Dokken. They have had more than their share of turmoil throughout the years. The feud between Don Dokken and George Lynch is one of the most famous feuds in the history of rock music. They've had great albums, and let's be honest, they've had a couple of true duds as well. The band "Dokken" now only contains namesake Don Dokken (and sometimes Wild Mick Brown) from the original band. Don has toured relentlessly for over 30 years now, and that once crystal clear voice has lost it's top end now. So, clearly, the deck is stacked against Dokken now to produce a solid collection of musical hits.

And yet, with all the changes to the band, the turmoil, the changes in Don's voice and anything else you can think of, the ability to write songs that cut to the point of relationships has never, ever left Don Dokken. While BROKEN BONES is not the best Dokken album by any stretch, it does showcase that innate ability Don Dokken has to capture an emotion that all of us have felt at one time or another. To me, the title track is by far the easiest song to relate to. The song deals with a broken relationship and how it's left Dokken a broken man much like a broken skeletal piece.

People continually bitch about Don Dokken's voice, so let's address that for a second. Yes, it's changed. Certainly, it's not the same as it was when songs like "Just Got Lucky", "It's Not Love" or "Alone Again" were recorded. That top end is gone. Somehow Brian Johnson gets a pass but Dokken is continually slapped for trying to give his fans new music. Whatever. He sounds decent throughout most of the album, with the exception of the god awful song "Blind", which someone should have stepped up and suggested leaving on the cutting room floor. My hunch is that Levin wanted this song in, as his guitar solo is blazing on this song. That said though, Dokken's vocal on this song is very choppy and disjointed here.

Without question, the star of BROKEN BONES is guitarist Jon Levin. Levin is such a masterful guitarist, and yet so few people even know of him. He's every bit the player that George Lynch ever was, and yet has diversity in his playing that was never featured on 'heyday' Dokken albums. His riffs and solos on songs like "Waterfall" and the almost Led Zeppelin-esque "Victim Of The Crime" is staggeringly good. He's backed ably by veteran bassist Sean McNabb and the always thunderous Mick Brown on Drums. As a unit, they explore a lot of styles here. There are definitely burners like "Empire" and "Tonight", as well as a lot of cool, mid-tempo stuff to round out the album.

PITRIFF RATING - 72/100 - Not the greatest Dokken album, but a decent album from the band that once again features the blazing guitar skills of Jon Levin. If you are a Dokken fan, you will dig this. If not, then go get UNDER LOCK AND KEY, TOOTH AND NAIL or even LIGHTNING STRIKES AGAIN and discover the band there instead of here.

Chris Akin

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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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.

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

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