• 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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Deicide - IN THE MINDS OF EVIL

Image: Deicide, In The Minds Of Evil, Death Metal, Review, PitriffDeicide
IN THE MINDS OF EVIL

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Am I the only one that remembers when Florida was THE place for brilliant death metal?  That is definitely a ghost from the past, as the major players from that era have seemingly all faded away (or, at a minimum are putting out subpar material).  One of those bands that was considered a leader of that pack was Deicide, and much like your Morbid Angels and Obituarys of the Florida world, their music has become little more than tired, regurgitated crud that will draw people to the clubs based solely on their past instead of anything they are doing now.  IN THE MINDS OF EVIL feels like a glass of drinking water that you know was recycled from your neighbor's toilet.  It may have the feeling that it's refreshing, but you just sense that it's not truly fresh.

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Kataklysm - WAITING FOR THE END TO COME

Image: Kataklysm, Waiting For The End To Come, Heavy Metal, Review, Death Metal, PitriffKataklysm
WAITING FOR THE END TO COME

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For a lot of people, the second they hear that a band is "death metal", they will exit the conversation.  Their loss, I guess.  Kataklysm are definitely a death metal-like band I guess, but in many ways the continue to remind me of their slightly less heavy former enemies Devildriver.  To be certain, there's nothing here at all resembling anything but the most heavy of music that has ever been created, but there's always that slight bit of melody in the music that has long separated Kataklysm from the myriads of Cookie Monster sounding gurglers that clog the "death metal" world today with what is, basically, average music that plays more to it's genre's stereotype than it does to anything creative.  While not the best release Kataklysm has ever done, WAITING FOR THE END TO COME continues the tradition the band has established and ran with for two decades.

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CD Review - Sepultura

Image: Sepultura, The Mediator Between Head and Hands Must Be The Heart, Pitriff, ReviewSepultura
THE MEDIATOR BETWEEN HEAD AND HANDS MUST BE THE HEART

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It's been years and years at this point, and it's astounding to me that there's so many people that still talk about the former vocalist of this band each and every time they put out a new release. It's so silly at this point. I'm the first one to agree that releases like ARISE and CHAOS AD are some of the best that have ever been recorded. For so many though that have just written off Sepultura as "dead without Max", you've missed out on a lot of truly great metal. Two of the very best albums released under the Sepultura name (A-LEX and DANTE XXI) have come fairly recently and were fronted by vocalist Derrick Green. Going back to Ross Robinson to produce it and with more fire than they have had in 15 years, THE MEDIATOR BETWEEN HEAD AND HANDS MUST BE THE HEART is the most blistering release Sepultura has put forth since SCHIZOPHRENIA, MORBID VISIONS or the aforementioned ARISE. This is some seriously punishing metal, folks.

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Soulfly - SAVAGES

Image: Soulfly, Savages, Pitriff, heavy metal, cd reviewSoulfly
SAVAGES

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There's just something about Soulfly that works for me from release to release. Not only do the releases come fast and furious, but they always have enough in them to keep me interested until the next effort comes out. They have changes from release to release. Sometimes they are subtle, and sometimes they are far more pronounced. With SAVAGES, it's no exception. Almost completely non-existent are the tribal blasts that generally are prominent in their music. Additionally, the songs are longer; a LOT longer. Without question, SAVAGES is one of the most direct and yet epic release of the band's 9 total releases. It might also be the best. SAVAGES is super heavy, very powerful, and pure Cavalera. It really doesn't get better than this from Max and company.

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Devildriver - WINTER KILLS

Image: Devildriver, Winter Kills, Pitriff, CD ReviewDevildriver
WINTER KILLS

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So, what were you really expecting? Did you think that just because vocalist Dez Fafara spent the Winter and Spring touring around with Coal Chamber that the next Devildriver release would be softer and more full of nu-metal elements? It's amazing to me how many times prior to this release making it's rounds that I read just that online. Fans really can be stupid sometimes. For those that need a revisionary lesson in history, Fafara formed Devildriver to be as brutal as possible and as "anti-Coal Chamber" as anything he could make. The odds are that Devildriver will never even resemble Coals Chamber, nu-metal, or anything with the word "soft" in it for as long as they are a band. WINTER KILLS is a seriously intense effort from the band I feel is the best extreme metal band of the last decade. Start to finish, WINTER KILLS does just that - kills.

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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.

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