• 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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Image: Son Of Perdition, Wretched, Pitriff, CD ReviewWretched
SON OF PERDITION

There’s a reason that, for the most part, Death Metal stays seeded in the bowels of the underground and can never make a launch outward. There’s a reason that there’s never been a breakout Death Metal band outside of Cannibal Corpse (and, let’s be honest, of those that know their name, maybe 1 of every 1000 could name a song). The reason is, and always will be, the lacking creativity in the vocals. While hardcores will argue the point, it’s pretty much true that death metal vocals are universally the same. They are so much the same that many times when a death metal vocalist can’t make a gig due to illness, another guy in the band just fills in without any loss in quality or sound.

 Unfortunately for Wretched, they are the definition of a band that could be so much more if they weren’t saddled with these vocals. Musically, SON OF PERDITION is one of the most interesting, intricate Death Metal releases I’ve heard in a really long time. They combine the typical blasts of death metal with a lot of cool elements ranging from stuff you might here on a Chimaira record all the way through more involved arrangements like Meshuggah brings forth from time to time. “At The First Sign Of Rust” is one of the best songs I’ve heard in this genre in years…with the exception of the vocals. Vocalist Adam Cody brings forth two distinct styles of vocals (at least, I think he does both parts). One part is an upper register shriek that reminds of old School Borknagar, while the other is a more tonal, gurgly tone most prominent with bands like Immolation. Intertwining these two vocal styles over heavy thrash meets death metal music on songs like “Repeat? The End Is Near” is just trying on ears. The saddest part of the whole release is that you start to get into the tunes during the musical parts, but are quickly taken out of it by the vocals here.

PITRIFF RATING – 45/100 - My hunch is that if you are one of those hardcore Death Metal fans that can’t listen to bands like Exodus or Testament because they are too weak musically for you, you are the person that these guys target. You will probably give this a score closer to 75-80/100. For me, as much as I listen to this, the vocals take me right out of what is otherwise a solid, solid musical effort. If they did this “Karma To Burn” style with no vocals, I’d give it a 90/100. But they didn’t, and I can’t.

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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