• Megadeth - DYSTOPIA

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

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    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

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    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
    KILL THE FLAW

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    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
    THE BOOK OF SOULS

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    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
    REPENTLESS

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    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
    THE KEY

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    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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  • W.A.S.P. - GOLGOTHA

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

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    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: Venom, Fallen Angels, PitriffVenom
FALLEN ANGELS

Unlike most metalheads, I think I'm somewhat sacrilegious when it comes to my non-appreciation of Venom.  They are one of two acts that I know are just worshipped in the metal community, but I simply do not get the appeal at all (the other being King Diamond).  That being said, I had very little expectation for a new Venom release, and yet, they came though with what is a fairly solid effort.

 

Is this great, no.  But it is Venom doing what they do and yet being a touch stronger than normal for them in my eyes.  First and foremost, kudos to them for finally figuring out how to capture their sound in the studio.  They have a career of bad recordings behind them, so it's good to hear them recorded well. Secondly, these songs on FALLEN ANGELS are not the typical Venom dirges of anger and hatred surrounded by lacking musicianship.  In short, these songs sound like songs played by professional musicians.  Sure, listening to a song like "Beggarman" are still raw and raucous, but they are much tighter than this band usually sounds.  The overall sound is a shade different than in the past too, as it sounds like there's just a touch of a modern flair to the songs found on FALLEN ANGELS.  It's a good quality for them.

Individually - well, it's Venom.  Cronos is still a bad singer/ranter, but his dirges are expected and meet expectations throughout.  He croaks it out with vengeance on songs like "Lap Of The Gods".  He also lays down a much more solid, less distorted bassline than ever before on this release.  He and drummer Dante create a thick, yet somewhat raw and flattened foundation on songs like "Hail Satanas".  On guitar, La Rage is full of that early punk meets Metal sound that has defined Venom's career.  To listen to him play on songs like "Hammerhead", it's clear that he's not the best player on the planet but knows how to craft his music to what is needed from song to song.  Overall, these guys come together and create a decent enough effort from start to finish.

PITRIFF RATING - 68/100 - I'm well aware that this is more of a Cronos solo album than a true Venom album featuring the original guys.  To be honest, I don't care, as I'm not really a fan nor do I have any intention of ever seeing these guys live.  That said, if you are into the spirit of Venom or just respect them for their contributions to the history of Metal, then you will probably appreciate this.  It's not great, but it doesn't suck either.  It's Venom - based on that sentence alone you should be able to judge if you want to purchase it or not.

Chris Akin

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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.

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