• Megadeth - DYSTOPIA

    Image: Megadeth, Dystopia, Dave Mustaine, David Ellefson, Kiko Loureiro, Chris Adler Megadeth


    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


    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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  • Sevendust - KILL THE FLAW

    Image: Sevendust, Kill The Flaw Sevendust


    When I first saw Sevendust’s new release was titled KILL THE FLAW, my initial thought was “what exactly is the flaw?” It leads you to wonder just what it is that caused this band to not break big, while bands with lesser quality catalogs like Disturbed or Korn had such crazy amounts of success at the same time. This

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  • Iron Maiden - THE BOOK OF SOULS

    Image: Iron Maiden, The Book of Souls, Review, Classic Metal, Pitriff, Chris Akin Iron Maiden


    They don’t do it that often anymore, but there’s always excitement when Iron Maiden comes out with new music. Knowing that they are closing in on the end of their career, you really do end up hoping that when they go out for good, it will be with a bang. I think it’s universally agreed upon that

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  • Slayer - REPENTLESS

    Image: Slayer, Repentless, Pitriff, Review, Thrash Metal, Chris Akin Slayer


    Probably more than any release in their history, Slayer came into releasing this album at a crossroads. This WAS the album that, in many ways, dictated if the band could continue on or if it was indeed time to drift off quietly to Hell. The loss of guitarist Jeff Hanneman and the removal of drummer Dave Lombardo had almost every Slayer

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  • Operation: Mindcrime - THE KEY

    Image: Operation Mindcrime, Geoff Tate, Reviews, Music, heavy metal Operation: Mindcrime


    Geoff Tate’s falling out and subsequent two years of lawsuits, multiple versions of the same band and overall craziness in the press definitely tarnished a legacy that once seemed untouchable. Think about it. Even with over a decade of arguably bad releases (Q2K, TRIBE, AMERICAN SOLDIER, DEDICATED TO CHAOS), it wasn’t until the now infamous spitting incident and the

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    Image: WASP, Golgotha, Blackie Lawless, Pitriff, Review, Heavy Metal W.A.S.P.


    W.A.S.P. is one of those bands that has a ridiculously loyal fanbase...and good for them, actually. Doing THE CLASSIC METAL SHOW, we get shit on repeatedly anytime we say anything that is less than glowing about W.A.S.P., Blackie Lawless or any of the band’s former or present members. Oh well...comes with the territory, I guess. After what seems like quite a

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Black Sabbath, 13, Pitriff, CD Reviews, Interviews, ReviewsBlack Sabbath

Concert Tickets


I've really given this album a lot of time and listens to sink in before writing anything about it. I did so because I wanted to be fair about it, and not judge it with the anger I, as a fan, have at the band for passing this off as a "reunion" without Bill Ward playing drums. I've read all the arguments online for this. I've had a hundred friends all tell me that they played this album UNTIL they liked it, and had it "grow on them." I've tried that myself, to be honest. A lot of people are all claiming that "as long as it has Iommi's riffs, then they will like it." That is obviously a lie, unless you are like me and love albums like HEADLESS CROSS, FORBIDDEN and TYR. In the end, 13 is a release that needs to be judged like all releases do - on it's own merits and what you hear when listening to it. To me, it's a fairly average offering.

The thing that really stands out about 13 to me is how lacking of freshness this actually feels. For all the love that people (including me) have for guitarist Tony Iommi and his brilliant playing over the years, most of the riffs on 13 just sound like rehashed or slightly reworked versions of things he's done in the past. Be it the stolen "Planet Caravan" vibe of "Zeitgeist" or the direct knockoff riff on "Loner", it's clear that there were less new ideas and more of a concerned effort to simply sound like the old days by Iommi. That's fine, I guess. Keeping in mind that they are trying to reinvent the old vibe, I guess it makes sense. That said though, it's a major letdown when you consider the fresher vibe Iommi brought to THE DEVIL YOU KNOW by the Dio-led HEAVEN & HELL.

The real weakness on 13 to me though is vocalist Ozzy Osbourne. There's a reason his career as a solo artist has been done with triple tracking his voice to fill it out. It's because when it's raw, it's not very good. He's not cracking or going out of key or anything, but he's just very flat throughout the disc. In the old days, the lack of vocal excellence from Ozzy was masked by the crazy, frenetic energy that he brought. On 13, he's going through the motions to sound like the original singer from Black Sabbath. It's particularly noticeable and bad on "Age Of Reason", where he literally provides a performance that makes you sleepy...even though the song itself is probably the best the band have created for this release.

As far as the rhythm section, it's not surprisingly solid, even with some flaws in it. Geezer Butler's bass is it's usual thunderous. He does a great job of pushing the songs forward with his big, deep, stoner groove throughout. As for drummer Brad Wilk, he's a little sterile and doesn't quite bring the swing that Ward may have to the sound, but he's competent enough. The problem here is that as a unit, they just don't gel. Wilk's drums seem like they might have been recorded on a 1970s rig of some kind, as they are very sterile and lack a lot of oomph. Many times throughout songs like "God Is Dead", Butler's bass all but drowns them out.

PITRIFF RATING - 61/100 - I don't hate it. It's listenable. Honestly though, I can pretty much guarantee I'll hardly ever revisit this one. They sound like a really good cover band doing the first 4 albums of Black Sabbath. They don't feel like Black Sabbath though. Maybe it's age, or maybe it's too much intention without enough motivation, but whatever the case, 13 falls pretty flat on me.

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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