• 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

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  • 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.

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  • 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

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  • 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,

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  • 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

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Image: Dio, Pitriff, CD Review, The Very Beast Of Dio 2Dio
THE VERY BEAST OF DIO 2

We all recognize the greatness of Dio. There is no denying the fact that he is, arguably, the best metal vocalist in the genre's history. I'm pretty sure that almost any metalhead, be they fans of hair metal or death metal, would ever have a problem hearing a Dio tune cranked up and rockin' their surrounding area. Clearly, he's one of the most missed singers to have passed on.

That said, this new collection is total crap. THE VERY BEST OF DIO 2 is a total cash grab. Featuring mostly songs from albums that most of the diehards only bought out of respect for the man and his legacy, BEAST 2 is nothing more than a shorter collection of average songs from most of the lesser albums of Ronnie's great career. This said, the songs are not horrendous or anything. It's just that when you listen to so many of the original Dio albums like THE LAST IN LINE, HOLY DIVER or SACRED HEART and then follow it with this material, you are left vastly disappointed. From a strictly fan perspective, most of this material on THE VERY BEAST OF DIO 2 is songs that drove Dio from the arena stages to the club stages. It's material that wasn't good enough to keep him relevant, which drove him back to Black Sabbath and then Heaven And Hell. So much of this material came at times when Dio had kind of lost his audience. Songs like "Shivers" are a prime example. If you lined up 10000 Dio fans and asked them to name their favorite 25 Dio songs, this song would get less than 1% response. The reason - it's not a good song. This song came from one of Dio's very worst albums, MAGICA; an album that even the most fervent Dio fans hated. And yet, THE VERY BEAST OF DIO 2 has no less than four songs from this abysmal album. "Fever Dreams", "Lord Of The Last Day" and "Feed My Head" all clog up this already subpar release with far too much material from this awful album. The reality is that I have owned this album since the day it was released, and have never been able to listen to four songs in a row because it's so below the rest of Dio's majestic catalog. As if that wasn't bad enough, you then get the horrendous "Black" from ANGRY MACHINES; a song where Dio not only sounds out of key, but so do the guitars throughout. Terrible.

PITRIFF RATING - 33/100 - Most of the points I give here are solely out of respect to Dio; the greatest vocalist and the nicest of all the rock stars I've met in my life. There's no hiding it though - THE VERY BEAST OF DIO 2 blows goats. I'm going to assume that this release is about $10-$15 to purchase. If it's $15, I'd bet you can go to any store still selling used CDs and get the catalog of discs that make up the material here for less in the cutout bins. No one bought these albums then, and no one is going to want a collection of songs from them now. Terrible.

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.

CLICK HERE to learn more about CAUSE/EFFECT: METALLICA.

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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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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.

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