• 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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  • Marilyn Manson - THE PALE EMPEROR

    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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  • Black Star Riders - THE KILLER INSTINCT

    Image: Black Star Riders, The Killer Instinct, Review, Classic Rock, Pitriff Black Star Riders
    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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  • Lynch Mob - SUN RED SUN

    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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  • Karma To Burn - ARCH STANTON

    Image: Arch Stanton, Karma To Burn, Pitriff, Stoner Metal, Reviews Karma To Burn
    ARCH STANTON

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    There are those of us who know. We will forever be known as the "fortunate ones". There are those of you that have no idea. You will be known as the "unfortunate ones". What is it we know that you don't? We know the sheer greatness of Karma To Burn. For those that are unfortunate ones, let me

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  • U.D.O. - DECADENT

    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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  • Sweet & Lynch - ONLY TO RISE

    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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  • AC/DC - ROCK OR BUST

    Image: Rock Or Bust, AC/DC, Chris Akin, Pitriff, Classic Metal, Review AC/DC
    ROCK OR BUST

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    In a year that has see a foundational piece of AC/DC succumb to a debilitating illness and another to his own personal insanity, AC/DC emerges after seemingly forever away with ROCK OR BUST. To be fair and truthfully honest, expectations on this release were pretty low. I know that AC/DC is a band that's been in business almost 50

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  • Whitesnake - BACK TO THE BONE

    Image: Whitesnake, Back To The Bone, Pitriff, Chris Akin Whitesnake
    LIVE IN '84 - BACK TO THE BONE

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    David Coverdale and company have had a very long and successful history that started even before he formed Whitesnake. There's no denying the legacy here. Coverdale has had a fantastic career with Whitesnake, and his time in Deep Purple was every bit as strong to that band as a Sammy Hagar was to Van Halen

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Image: Walking With Kings, Modern Metal, Christian Metal, Rich Ward, Pitriff, CD ReviewWalking With Kings
WALKING WITH KINGS

I’m a big Rich Ward fan - huge, actually.  I think he is the one guitarist out there that’s never been given his just due.  Stuck Mojo was a tremendous band that never got the credit they deserved while lesser bands like Limp Bizkit and Korn rose to dominance for a decade.  Ward has a large body of work with Stuck Mojo, as well as other bands like Sick Speed, The Duke and Adrenaline Mob.  While he’s teetered in and out of Christian-like themes for years, Ward has now put together and recorded a full Christian Rock album with Walking With Kings.  Past Stuck Mojo, this may be his best project to date.  

Let’s look at the positives here.  First, at least for now it’s free!  That’s right, if you want to sample this but the “C” word (Christian) is scaring you into thinking this will be some uncool, Stryper wannabe album, you can at least find out for yourself without spending more than 5 seconds to click the download link over at www.walkingwithkings.com.  

Second, singer and primary lyricist Terry Chism.  Chism is indeed devout in his worship of the Lord, but more importantly to me as a music fan is that he’s a damn good singer.  In a lot of ways, Chism reminds of Alter Bridge’s Miles Kennedy.   Listening to him sing on songs like “Change The World”, you hear a real sense of vocal excellence coming from him.  Further, Chism’s phrasing of lyrics is that of a 20 year professional.  It’s not sing songy, six syllable garbage where the last word rhymes from line to line.  To the contrary, Chism shares his spiritual feelings like a masterful storyteller on songs like “Home”.  Finally, guitarist Rich Ward is on the record, which automatically makes it a lot better.  As I stated, he’s never gotten his due as a player.  While his playing is not as over the top metal as he’s shown in Stuck Mojo as recently as on SOUTHERN BORN KILLERS, his modern rock riffs that he lays down on songs like “Friends” are juicy and fun; easily leading the listener through a fun experience of the songs.  

Now, the negative.  While I get that Sick Speed and the Stuck Mojo album THE GREAT REVIVAL were not successful, massively received projects, they do exist and were heard by hardcore Stuck Mojo fans like...well...like me.  Further, it’s hard to complain about anything that’s given to you free, as again THE GREAT REVIVAL and now WALKING WITH KINGS has been, but free or not, it’s a bit lazy to use the same songs from multiple releases here with virtually no rearrangement other than different vocals.  “Friends” was by far my favorite song on THE GREAT REVIVAL, so hearing what seems like the same musical tracks with different vocals thrown in just doesn’t feel right to me.  The same with Autumn Brings, which also was better when it was a Sick Speed track than here.  These criticisms are not a huge deal mind you, but these tracks just don’t feel good compared to other songs like “Leap Of Faith” or “Here I Stand”.  

PITRIFF RATING - 88/100 - There’s some great riffs on this album; some great songs, great performances and honestly a great message.  It’s definitely a harder Christian rock than I might otherwise look to listen to, but the music itself and the fact that it’s more telling a story than beating the listener up for not walking His path makes it OK with me.  Walking With Kings is a seriously solid band, and this effort is a fun listen to say the least.  It’s got it’s flaws, but it’s far from easily dismissed.  If more Christian Rock bands did this, the message would be easier to get out there to the modern aged kids.

Chris Akin

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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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The shockingly honest and emotional first book from radio personality and rock critic Chris Akin.

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