• 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

    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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  • Dream Theater - THE ASTONISHING

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

    CD
    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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    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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Image: Device, heavy metal, review, pitriffDevice 
DEVICE

I know a great many people that hated Disturbed. They considered them to be a poser metal band. They hated vocalist David Draiman and his pompous attitude. They didn't like their hits. They called them formulaic. To be sure, Disturbed has taken every bit of the hatred that most metalheads throw at a band like Nickelback these days. Yet, whatever the case was, they still sold a lot of music. Maybe it was truly "teenagers and girls" that bought their music, but whatever it was, they moved product. Being a Disturbed fan myself, I was excited about the thoughts of this new project from Draiman. He claimed it to be very "Nine Inch Nails". It was claimed to be very heavy. It had all kinds of hype behind it. The result? Well, maybe it's just me, but it's pretty damn close to what you would expect from the next Disturbed release. There are subtle differences to the sound, but overall, there won't be a single Disturbed fan out there that will be put off by this release. In fact, I'd bet most of those that are just casual radio fans won't even know it's a new band.

I'm quite sure the purist fans will immediately jump out and say that I'm being ludicrous here. They will claim all the new "industrial" elements that have been incorporated. While that is true, the reality is that they are subtle. Songs like "Vilify" could easily be songs that simply didn't make TEN THOUSAND FISTS or ASYLUM, with a bit of industrial bleeps and bloops mixed in to give it some effect. It's similar to if Disturbed would have sat in the studio with Static X for a recording session.

In fairness to Device, it's probably not going to be easy to escape the Disturbed comparisons as long as Draiman is the vocalist. He has not only a distinct sound, but very recognizable elements to his vocal performances that define him as a vocalist. He doesn't expand a whole lot from what we've come to expect. He shows a bit more range than normal when he teams with Halestorm's Lzzy Hale on their cover of Lita Ford's "Close My Eyes Forever". This song seems destined to be a big hit at radio.

The place where Device does differentiate itself from Disturbed is by the inclusion of a lot of guest appearances. Serj Tankian from System Of A Down shares vocals on "Out Of Line", and does a solid job. "Haze" finds Avenged Sevenfold's M. Shadows taking on some vocals, while legendary vocalist Glenn Hughes chimes in on a cool song called "Through It All". Guitarist Tom Morello (Rage Against The Machine) lays in some signature guitar parts on "Opinion", and the great Geezer Butler adds some thump to the previously mentioned "Out Of Line". The guests are everywhere, which is fun. Overall though, the music is primarily what you would expect from Disturbed.

PITRIFF RATING - 75/100 - DEVICE is a cool release. It's got some industrial stuff mixed in, but ultimately it's got the same vibe as you would expect from the previously established sound of Draiman's last band. It's a cool release, although it's not likely to make you forget THE SICKNESS or BELIEVE any time soon. A solid listen.

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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