• 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: Daughtry, Break The Spell, Pitriff, CD ReviewsDaughtry

I'm sure I'll get crucified for even reviewing this new release by Daughtry, but fuck it! I like this guy's tunes. In short, Daughtry is the only American Idol rocker to make it without the show's help after he was cast off the show. He's also the only one that's had success outside of the pop world that American Idol caters to. Musically, Daughtry has been solid, and has been good enough that a good number of bands have been willing to record with him without worrying that the AI stigma would infect them. Finally, let's face it. In today's world where there's almost no good hard rock being released, Daughtry is kind of like Nickelback without all the suck tunes.

Being in my mid-40s, seeing and hearing the way Daughtry's career has gone reminds me in large part of Bon Jovi in the mid '80s. Bon Jovi had two albums of really strong songs before putting it all together with SLIPPERY WHEN WET. Daughtry has followed that path. His previous efforts have been solid, but lacked that bit of swagger needed to break out. BREAK THE SPELL has definitely captured that. The songs on this release have a bit more edge to them, which is good for this radio-hit producing act. Listening to songs like "Outta My Head", it's clear that the band went for a bit more attitude-ladened rock this time out. Chris Daughtry seems to be putting a bit more emotion into his singing, which takes him outside of that Aaron Lewis wannabe sound he's cultivated and brings new identity to him as a vocalist.

Being fair though, BREAK THE SPELL is the first effort Daughtry has done that truly feels like a band and not "Chris Daughtry and some guys backing him up". Guitarist Josh Steely is a very underrated rock guitarist who plays some very tasteful riffs here. The rhythm section of Josh Paul and Robin Diaz are solid stabilizers of the songs, and Daughtry himself is a solid frontman and rhythm guitar player.

Ultimately though, what has separated Daughtry from the rest of the American Idol washouts and, for the most part, the rest of the hard rock community has been their ability to write strong, yet radio-friendly songs. There's no shortage of that here. "Start Of Something Good" is as good as anything that's been a hit at rock radio in the past five years, which is pretty much proven by it's immediate sales numbers once it was released as the single. "We're Not Gonna Fall" is an emotional mid-tempo rocker that seems destined for radio success as well..

PITRIFF RATING - 91/100 - All you hardcore metalheads have your middle finger pointed at me I'm sure, but so be it. Daughtry is a solid band, and BREAK THE SPELL is by far the best effort they've released to date. Full of radio rockers without sacrificing their musical integrity to get popular, Daughtry are the lone rock band in the '10s that get it. BREAK THE SPELL proves that out.

Chris Akin

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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