• 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,

    Read More
  • 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

    Read More
  • Sevendust - KILL THE FLAW

    Image: Sevendust, Kill The Flaw Sevendust
    KILL THE FLAW

    CD
    MP3

    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

    Read More
  • Iron Maiden - THE BOOK OF SOULS

    Image: Iron Maiden, The Book of Souls, Review, Classic Metal, Pitriff, Chris Akin Iron Maiden
    THE BOOK OF SOULS

    CD
    MP3

    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

    Read More
  • Slayer - REPENTLESS

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

    CD
    MP3

    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

    Read More
  • Operation: Mindcrime - THE KEY

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

    CD
    MP3

    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

    Read More
  • W.A.S.P. - GOLGOTHA

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

    CD
    MP3


    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

    Read More
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 6
  • 7

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

CD
MP3

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 an equal to the current band that features Mark Tornillo on vocals. For the life of me, I don't understand it. U.D.O. has put out nothing but great to awesome releases The last decade has seen this band release six discs that have been absolutely awesome, without a bad one in the bunch. Still, U.D.O. stays more as the answer to the trivia question of "whatever happened to Udo Dirkschneider" than it does to a band being considered one of the elite in old school, traditional heavy metal. Maybe it's just me, but that's just criminal.

With STEELHAMMER - LIVE FROM MOSCOW, Dirkschneider and company once again reaffirm what I've seemingly known all along; that U.D.O. is a great band - in my opinion, a touch better than Accept today. If you can listen to this blazing double live release and not find your head banging, then I'd argue that you never liked classic metal in the first place. The stuff that you would want from U.D.O. is there of course. Songs like "Holy", "Metal Machine", "Timebomb" and the obligatory Accept cover (this time being "Metal Heart") round out the end of the set, which works well. That said though, the guts of this release are in the middle. It's so cool to hear one of their best, yet largely unheralded songs like "Cry Of A Nation" and "Devil's Bite" from his hugely overlooked 2013 release STEELHAMMER featured.

For their part, the band sounds great. Guitarists Kasperi Heikkinen and Andre Smirnov are new to the band for STEELHAMMER, and they add a new dynamic to the sound. On past releases, especially the studio releases, U.D.O. had an almost electronic, mechanical sound to their guitars. With Heikkinen and Smirnov, they really stretch out and have more of a dirty arena rock groove in their sound. Songs like "Trip To Nowhere" reaches back to the early roots of U.D.O., and yet has a very powerful and fresh vibe to it here. The rhythm section of bassist Fitty Weinhold and drummer Francesco Jovino have a big, arena sound as well. While the band is tight, there's a bit of an old school, majestic sound that dominates songs like "They Want War". As for Udo himself. Well, he's Udo. He's sounded like he had a throat fully of sticky blood from gargling razor blades since he started. He still sounds exactly the same now. As tough as his voice is to imitate, he's flawless and strong here.

PITRIFF RATING - 91/100 - While the world sits back and waits impatiently for the next Accept release (and I won't lie...I'm one of those impatient souls), we are treated to the other band coming from their split so many years ago. For me as a classic metal fan, Udo Dirkschneider leaving Accept and the new Accept emerging so strongly is the best of both worlds. Now I get two bands, and literally new music every single year from one or the other. STEELHAMMER - LIVE FROM MOSCOW is a great collection that showcases just how strong the retooled lineup of U.D.O. is. They are as good or better than ever. That's very clear. Good stuff.

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.

Buy Now:  Paperback    Digital

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.

Buy Now:  Paperback     Digital

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.

 Image: Keel, pitriff, heavy metal, news, reviews, interviews

Want Streets Of Rock N' Roll Radio On Your Phone - CLICK HERE To Download The New App