• 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: Goatwhore, pitriff, review, death metalGoatwhore


Here's one for the stout of heart and strong of neck: New Orleans's Goatwhore have just barfed up their sixth album, and if you liked the last few releases, Constricting Rage of the Merciless is sure to appease your charred heart. If you haven't been following along, Goatwhore is sort of a supergroup, if having members of Soilent Green and Acid Bath in the ranks qualifies for that designation—and maybe it doesn't, given the incestuous nature of that city's metal scene. They started out playing pure black metal in the Norwegian style, complete with cumbersome, English-as-a-second-language song titles, but over the ensuing fifteen years, their sound has evolved to include healthy doses of thrash and death metal, and even an almost rock 'n' roll swagger here and there. As a result, when you see news items about them on websites like Blabbermouth, they tend to have laughably long descriptors. Stuff like, "New Orleans hardcore blackened-thrash death 'n' roll sludgemeisters."

So anyway, they have a new album. Like its predecessors, 2009's Carving Out The Eyes Of God and 2012's Blood For The Master, the new release combines elements of many different extreme-metal subgenres into a (WARNING—gratuitous Looziana reference coming) gumbo that is all their own. Songs are short and to the point, often jumping right in with furious blastbeats as if the band had been playing for a couple minutes before somebody thought to hit "record." There isn't always a discernible verse-chorus pattern, but somewhere along the way, the songs usually downshift (somewhat) into a more headbangable groove that allows a riff or vocal pattern to stand out. On that note, Zack Simmons's drumming is really impressive. Ben Falgoust's vocals generally stay in a medium-pitch shout, occasionally dipping an octave for a deep, death-metal curveball (sinker?). If you're a certain kind of twisted, it's fun music while it's playing, but for the most part, damn hard to remember when it's over.

There are exceptions on every Goatwhore album, though. On Constricting Rage Of The Merciless, they come in the form of the catchy, thrashy first single "Baring Teeth Of Revolt," and the similar but even more clumsily-titled "Nocturnal Conjuration Of The Accursed." These songs, sandwiched amid all the blastbeating frenzy of other tracks, jump out with a gust of fresh air, real hooks and something for your ears to grab onto. The real surprise, however, is a happy little ditty called "Cold Earth Consumed In Dying Flesh." The title sounds sorta Crowbar-esque, and sure enough, it's a plodding, sludgy monolith that seems to move at an impossibly slow pace compared to the other nine songs. Odd how that tune-low-play-slow aesthetic is so common in the downers-crazed New Orleans metal swamp, yet Goatwhore only rarely explore it, and never to this degree.

Perhaps not surprisingly, given the band's black-metal origins, the lyrics of Falgoust and guitar Sammy Duet are steeped in over-the-top, Venomous blasphemy (capital V on purpose). "FBS," on this album, even stands for "Fucked By Satan," with lyrics that might have been shocking in decades past, or if easily shockable people would ever hear them. But, it's 2014 and this has all been said before, and Goatwhore are an underground band anyway, and will likely stay below the radar of all but the most avid metalheads.

Pitriff Rating: 77/100 – Don't get me wrong, I enjoy Goatwhore's music, particularly the last few releases. Constricting Rage Of The Merciless delivers everything a fan of the band would want. But I'm not going to lie to you and try to sell it to you as the soundtrack to your backyard barbecues or beach volleyball games. And, except for the three named above, the songs tend to run together without leaving a lasting impression, unless you eat and breathe this stuff 24/7.

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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