• 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: Blaze Bayley, The King Of Metal, Pitriff, CD ReviewBlaze Bayley
THE KING OF METAL

It’s amazing how many people out there only know Blaze Bayley from the two Iron Maiden albums where Steve Harris went through writer’s block. Because of how lame THE X FACTOR and VIRTUAL XI were, Bayley always got blamed. Since most people weren’t familiar with the rest of his catalog, they seemingly went along with it. That’s a shame though, because those of us that know albums like BLOOD AND BELIEF and SILICON MESSIAH know there is some KILLER metal out there that Bayley has put his name on over the years.

 

With THE KING OF METAL, Bayley does what he does best and he does it pretty well here. Considering that Bayley has been through just a ton of bad things over the last decade or so (wife dying, completely losing/firing his entire band, being unceremoniously tossed out of one of the biggest metal bands ever), it’s surprising that Bayley continues to create such quality material as he’s done here with THE KING OF METAL. Still, THE KING OF METAL showcases sides of Bayley that he’s rarely, if ever, shown before. Songs like the surprising piano ballad “One More Step” show that this guy is not invincible at all, but sometimes is pushed to the brink by all the things that have happened in his life. It’s a surprisingly moving song, and may just be the most real song of his entire catalog.

As for the rest of the material, it’s pretty much classic Blaze Bayley. Songs like “Fighter” and “The Rainbow Fades To Black” are galloping numbers that will have your head bobbing as you listen. For his part, Bayley is in pretty good voice although not the best he’s ever been. While his voice may be losing a touch of bite with age, he’s certainly not deteriorating like Brian Johnson with AC/DC or even anything close to that. Still, you hear a little bit of warble on songs like “Judge Me”. It’s insignificant though.

The only definitive negative to the album is the song “Dimebag”. I get it – its tributizing the Pantera guitar legend. Still, it’s so play by play to that fateful night in Columbus, Ohio. It’s far too informative about a bad situation instead of feeling like a true tribute. I’m sure the intention is good, but that day is one that’s better left unspoken of.

PITRIFF RATING – 82/100 –
I don’t think Blaze will ever top the brilliance of SILICON MESSIAH. That’s one of those desert island records for me. THE KING OF METAL is a solid slab of metal the way Blaze Bayley is best known for playing it. Quality metal from Mr. Bayley.

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.

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.

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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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