• Halestorm - INTO THE WILD LIFE

    Image: Halestorm, Into The Wild Life, Pitriff, heavy metal, reviews, interviews Halestorm
    INTO THE WILD LIFE

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    With the release of THE STRANGE CASE OF…, I fell in love with Lzzy Hale. So much so, in fact, that I jokingly got down on one knee and asked her to marry me at Rock On The Range two years ago (a proposal that she didn’t flat out turn down, so maybe there’s still hope!!). Let’s be

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    Image: Marilyn Manson, The Pale Emperor, Pitriff, Modern Metal, Reviews Marilyn Manson
    THE PALE EMPEROR

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    Let’s just call it the way it is. It’s been a very, very long time since Marilyn Manson recorded a really good, memorable release that any of us still listen to on a regular basis. To many, the would probably says that it’s been since MECHANICAL ANIMALS back in 1998. For me personally, I’ll be a bit more

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    THE KILLER INSTINCT

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    When Black Star Riders made their decision to record under a new name instead of as Thin Lizzy, it was met with a lot of opinions. For most, I would assume they were happy that they decided to move away from the name they had been touring under. For many, I'm sure there was a lot of

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    Image: Lynch Mob, Sun Red Sun, George Lynch, Classic Rock, Reviews Lynch Mob
    SUN RED SUN

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    On THE CLASSIC METAL SHOW, George Lynch is regularly a topic of conversation. Maybe that has to do with the fact that Neeley is a personal friend of Don Dokken and I work for Don on his website, but I like to believe that he becomes a topic because, first and foremost, we are big fans of the

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    Image: U.D.O. - DECADENT, Classic Metal, Reviews, Pitriff U.D.O.
    DECADENT

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    I'm sure I'm not in the minority here, but I'm glad that we now have a killer version of Accept with Mark Tornillo as well as the continuation of U.D.O. with Udo Dirkschneider. In short, it's led to both bands stepping up their game and creating great music. While neither side will admit competition with the other band, the fans certainly

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    Image: Sweet & Lynch, Only To Rise, CD Review, Classic Metal, Pitriff Sweet & Lynch
    ONLY TO RISE

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    Being completely honest here, I really didn't expect a whole lot out of this. I'm not the biggest Stryper fan in the world by a long shot, and the truth is that I just never could fully get into Michael Sweet's vocals. There's just always been something about him. I'm not sure what it is. I guess

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Image: Sevendust, Black Out The Sun, Pitirff, CD Review, Interview, heavy metal, rock, newsSevendust
BLACK OUT THE SUN

In 2013, there are not many bands where I actually get excited to hear they have a new release coming out.  For a lot of reasons, the whole specter of a new release just doesn't get me anticipating things like it used to.  In large part, it's because I get everything sent to me months in advance that takes away from the real excitement of a release.  For a few bands though, I literally can't wait each and every time for new music.  Sevendust is one such band.  Without question, they are my favorite band of the modern era; a band criminally underappreciated when you consider that lesser bands like Disturbed and Korn surpassed them greatly in popularity throughout their respective runs.  I'm so much of a fan that I'm traveling twice in a month to see them - once in Fort Wayne, Indiana and then a few weeks later in Columbus, Ohio.  So, when BLACK OUT THE SUN was provided, you can bet your ass that it hit my iPod and stayed there for weeks.

Not much to say that really doesn't get said on every one of their releases.  BLACK OUT THE SUN is standard Sevendust faire.  If you loved them before, you will love them now.  If not, move along.  There are some subtle differences on this album from previous efforts, but ultimately this is Sevendust sounding, very much in the ANIMOSITY/SEASONS era of the band.  Certainly, there are songs like the extremely heavy "Til Death" which may surprise people, but in the grand scheme, BLACK OUT THE SUN is just another fun, rhythmic metal album from a great band.  The lead single "Decay" is every bit the first single they always do; a direct counterpart to songs like "Denial", "Praise" or "Enemy" from past efforts.  It's a song that's certainly made for radio and features more of vocalist Lajon Witherspoon singing than screaming, but like all the others, it works for active rock radio.

As for the rest of it, there's a few differences, but not too much that would lead you thinking they are trying anything to different or crazy.  Songs like "Mountain" feature a slightly thicker guitar tone from Clint Lowery and John Connolly than some of the previous efforts, and the tempo is a little more mid-tempo than Sevendust generally goes for.  It works well though.  As always, the band is anchored by the incredible, always unique style of drummer Morgan Rose and bassist Vince Hornsby.  While Rose's playing has long defined the overall vibe of Sevendust's sound, he still continues to find creative ways to mix up the sound with his form and approach.  He's simply compelling on his fills on this release's best song, "Cold As War".  As for Witherspoon, he's the most underrated vocalist in all of rock music today.  His ability to sing cleanly and mix it up with death metal screams has always been a reason to love the band.  That continues here.  In short, Sevendust are as strong as ever, and BLACK OUT THE SUN proves it.

PITRIFF RATING - 88/100 - BLACK OUT THE SUN rocks as Sevendust generally does.  Sure, they have better releases in their catalog, but this one will not disappoint anyone who's been following along.  Their lack of big time success is one of the true failings of modern music fans of the last two decades.  Maybe though, that's the reason they've stayed so hungry and true to their own sound.  BLACK OUT THE SUN is as true as it gets.

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.

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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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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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