• Black Stone Cherry - KENTUCKY

    Image: Black Stone Cherry, Kentucky Black Stone Cherry
    KENTUCKY

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    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

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    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

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    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

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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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L.A. Guns - HOLLYWOOD FOREVER

Image: LA Guns, Hollywood Forever, pitriff, heavy metal, reviews, news, interviewsL.A. Guns
HOLLYWOOD FOREVER

The thing with L.A. Guns, at least in my eyes, is that you pretty much know what you are going to get just as long as vocalist Phil Lewis is fronting the band.  They have definitely been a mixed bag without Lewis (AMERICAN HARDCORE - pretty bad, WASTED - pretty good, SHRINKING VIOLET pretty solid, BLACKLIST - awful).   But when Lewis fronts an entity known as L.A. Guns, you are pretty much guaranteed a solid listening experience from these 80s sleaze rockers.  True to form, HOLLYWOOD FOREVER is a solid effort once again from LA Guns.

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American Dog - POISON SMILE

Image: Poison Smile, American Dog, Pitriff, heavy metal, news, reviews, interviewsAmerican Dog
POISON SMILE

I don't know what to call the development of a band like American Dog.  For most bands, you would say that they have matured as a band.  But I think if bassist/vocalist Michael Hannon or guitarist Steve Theado heard me say they had matured, they would knock me to the ground, give me a wedgey and piss in my face to prove that nothing had changed in the always crazy world of Canine Country!  Clearly, a band like American Dog does not "mature",  Just their playing does.

Reviewing POISON SMILE is pretty easy to do in all honesty.  If you have liked them in the past, you will love this.  If you hated them before, well...wait until tomorrow and a new review will be posted.  As a fan, I'm always excited to receive a new American Dog release because they always deliver for me.  Their own special brand of made in America, barroom rock n' roll is some of the best in a genre that is very crowded with great bands.

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Sledge Leather - IMAGINE ME ALIVE

Image: Sledge Leather, Imagine Me Alive, pitriff, heavy metal, news, reviews, interviewsSledge Leather
IMAGINE ME ALIVE

Sometimes things happen for a reason.  Cult favorites Rude Girl were all set to become a dominant force on the metal scene back in the 80s, and that didn't happen for whatever reason.  It certainly wasn't because they didn't have the talent.  Vocalist Leather Leone was widely regarding as one of the very best heavy metal vocalists of that era - having the rare distinction of being compared favorably to guys like Halford and Dio at the time.  Still, it didn't happen for Rude Girl, and following was some solo work, and then a solid and equally brilliant but unappreciated run as the vocalist of the long underground heroes Chastain.  For whatever reasons, she just up and disappeared and was never heard from again...until recently.

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Slash - APOCALYPTIC LOVE

Slash, Apocalyptic Love, heavy metal news, pitriff, interviews, reviews, heavy metalSlash
APOCALYPTIC LOVE

I've long said it, and I'll continue to say it.  Slash is the single most overrated guitar player on the planet.  While I definitely acknowledge him as not only a solid player and someone that has a very distinct sound, I really laugh when I see him listed in the same sentences with Malmsteen, Van Halen, Dimebag, Zakk Wylde, Randy Rhoads, etc.  If he was that unbelievable, he wouldn't have been able to have been replaced by whatever goof Axl Rose trots out from tour to tour.

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Jorn Lande - BRING HEAVY ROCK TO THE LAND

Image: Jorn Lande, Bring heavy rock to the land, heavy metal, pitriff, news, interviews, reviewsJorn Lande
BRING HEAVY ROCK TO THE LAND

Jorn Lande is one of the greatest living metal vocalists out there today, and yet there's surprisingly few people that truly appreciate his music.  To think that he was chosen by the surviving members of Black Sabbath to stand in for the greatest metal vocalist ever to take a stage (Ronnie James Dio), one would think that alone would have seen his ascent to the elite position in metal reserved for such greats as Dickinson or Halford.  For whatever reason, it hasn't happened though.  Instead, Jorn Lande finds himself mixed into that collection of vocalists that everyone knows are brilliant but no one actually buys.  That list includes guys like Russell Allen, Tim "Ripper" Owens and Primal Fear's Ralf Sheepers among others.

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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.

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

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