• 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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Image: Donnie Vie, Pitriff, CD Review, Wrapped Around My Middle FingerDonnie Vie

I'm one of those guys that just worshipped the work Donnie Vie did with Enuff Z'nuff. Even now, where I've actually hosted shows where Vie was a drug addled embarrassment to the point where I regretted having the name of my radio show tied to his performance, I never stopped appreciating the enormous musical talent that Vie has. I have all those Enuff Z'nuff albums on my IPod and they get regular play in my ears.

 As a solo artist, Vie has been spotty though. His songwriting and his choices to prostitute the old Enuff Z'nuff songs as a solo artist really lead me to believe that he wasn't capable of writing quality music without his musical partner Chip Z'nuff. It's safe to say that all changes with WRAPPED AROUND MY MIDDLE FINGER. While a lot darker than the happier, party vibe that dominates the back catalog, WRAPPED AROUND MY MIDDLE FINGER proves that Vie can still write tunes with incredible melody and strong hooks. He can still sing to; fusing his own sound with that John Lennon influence that has been the signature of his sound since his moment in the sun in 1989.

There are so many great songs on WRAPPED AROUND MY MIDDLE FINGER. "Rattle On" is a great song that showcases the new Donnie Vie. Gone are the days of "Joni Woni Rides The Pony" silliness; replaced with more real world messages of life like this song. This song reaches for a place we've all been - that spot where you want to just settle for the fact that life sucks before someone tells you to snap out of it. While Vie seems to be singing this to a girl, one has to wonder if this isn't a metaphor to a lesson that's been thrown at him over the last decade. Whatever the case, this song is a simple singer songwriter dirge that just works on a lot of levels.

As I stated previously, WRAPPED AROUND MY MIDDLE FINGER is a bit darker and emotional than previous Vie efforts. Songs like "No Escape" are as emotionally scarred as Vie has ever decided to go, while other songs like "I Won't Let You Down" feel almost like desperate cries to a woman; begging her to stay in the wake of previously emotional misfortune in a relationship. Still, while this album has it's share of dark moments, there's still some of that patented Enuff Z'nuff songwriting sound that so many fell in love with back in the day. Songs like "Wrapped Around My Middle Finger" are straight forward, fun rockers, while "Lollipop" is punchy and fun.

PITRIFF RATING - 88/100 - Being honest, this is a really pleasant surprise. While Donnie Vie is one of those "sing the phonebook" guys to me, he hasn't been very good without the framework of Enuff Z'nuff. WRAPPED AROUND MY MIDDLE FINGER is the strongest thing Vie has been involved with in awhile - even more so than the last two Enuff Z'nuff albums he did. I'm glad to see there's still some gas in his tank!

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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