• Black Stone Cherry - KENTUCKY

    Image: Black Stone Cherry, Kentucky Black Stone Cherry
    KENTUCKY

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    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

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    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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  • Dream Theater - THE ASTONISHING

    Image: Dream Theater, The Astonishing, Pitriff, Chris Akin Dream Theater
    THE ASTONISHING

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    MP3

    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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    MP3

    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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    MP3

    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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Image: Halestorm, The Strange Case Of, Heavy Metal News, Pitriff, reviews, news, interviewsHalestorm
THE STRANGE CASE OF...

Sometimes I judge things without ever giving them a chance. This happens primarily because I get 30-40 releases to review. That said, if there's zero in the 1/10 of a second when I see the initial press release that interests me, a release goes low in the review pile. Most times, enough new stuff comes in where I don't end up getting to it. Halestorm is one of those bands that I just missed for what i guess has been 3 years. I remember when their debut came out I thought, based solely on the name of the band, that they were one of those horrible Celtic Folk Metal bands that Nuclear Blast seems to try to force me to like every quarter. I'll admit it, I judged this book by its cover (in this case, their name). Sorry about that.

Apparently it's three years of loss on my part though, as Halestorm is excellent. THE STRANGE CASE OF... is nothing less than adrenaline filled, aggressive hard rock with a female singer that just oozes attitude. I love it, love it, love it! From listening to THE STRANGE CASE OF..., I think I would hate dating someone like vocalist Lzzy Hale, but that in no means says I don't like hearing her tell her tales. Hale is the perfect frontwoman. Her voice is clean when it needs to be, features some attitude fueled snarling when emphasis is needed, and is clearly real with her message from song to song. Tracks like "Here's To Us" and "You Call Me A Bitch Like It's A Bad Thing" are compelling to listen to, yet would scare anyone off from ever trying to date this attitude filled lady. Her singing is the ultimate dichotomy of vocal perfection and overtly pushy feminism that would scare most guys away from even trying to find a bond with her. I'm the first one to realize that doesn't exactly sound appealing, but I assure you it is. Without sounding at all like her, the overall vibe of THE STRANGE CASE OF... that Hale creates reminds me a lot of the jilted lover looking for revenge thing that Alanis Morissette created with JAGGED LITTLE PILL.

That said though, Halestorm is a completely different vibe than Morissette because they are a far superior musical outfit. Putting a description to them musically, they are much closer in sound to bands like Buckcherry than to traditional, female fronted active rock bands.

PITRIFF RATING - 89/100 - THE STRANGE CASE OF... is a very solid effort that will almost certainly entertain any fan of active rock out there today. It's full of attitude, and features the musical chops to match it. Halestorm is one of those bands people should look for in 2012. From the sound of THE STRANGE CASE OF..., they might not be that hard to find.

Chris Akin



The Strange Case of... - Halestorm

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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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