• Black Stone Cherry - KENTUCKY

    Image: Black Stone Cherry, Kentucky Black Stone Cherry
    KENTUCKY

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    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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    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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    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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Review - Shadows Fall

Image: Shadows Fall, Pitriff, Reviews, News, Interviews, heavy metal, pitriffShadows Fall
FIRE FROM THE SKY

There's definitely some credit that has to be given to Shadows Fall.  Without question, they are one of the most recognizable band from a collection of extreme metal bands to have broken out in the early 2000s.  When you look at their contemporaries - God Forbid, Lamb Of God, Killswitch Engage - they fit perfectly in there with that small collection of bands that a lot of modern metalheads actually care about from release to release.  To me personally, they've done the most with the least amount of "it" factor.  To their credit (or discredit if you must), they have always featured a sound that's all their own while merging pieces parts from everything else around them.

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Review - Halestorm

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.

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Review - Marilyn Manson - BORN VILLAIN

Image: Marilyn Manson, Pitriff, news, reviews, interviews, heavy metalMarilyn Manson
BORN VILLAIN

It's ironic that shock rocker Marilyn Manson's career didn't crash and burn due to waning interest and a lack of ability to shock people anymore. Sure, both of those things have happened to Manson, but how quickly we all forget that those first several albums had some real musical meat on their bones as well. No, it wasn't anything outside that killed off Manson. It's was Manson himself, as he decided that he was his character and the world would be interested in his relationship struggles as converted and perverted into the soundscape he records with. To say the least, it was a monumental flop. Both of his last two droning tales of relationship woes, EAT ME, DRINK ME and THE HIGH END OF THE LOW. Sure, both had their moments of patented Manson Violence, but both were ruined by morbid tales of relationship failures and the deviant thoughts he was having as relationships ended. Simply put, those albums were not very good at all.

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Review - Dirge Within

Image: Dirge Within, Pitriff, news, reviews, interviews, heavy metalDirge Within
THERE WILL BE BLOOD

Chicago metallers Dirge Within have returned with a brand new release called THERE WILL BE BLOOD.  Does anyone care?  While this band gained some attention because it features former Soil member Shaun Glass, their debut FORCE FED LIES didn't make much of an impression with the masses.  Still, you can't give up that easily, can you?  THERE WILL BE BLOOD seems to have benefitted from the band learning to be a band following the last effort.  Their ProPain meets God Forbid meets Slipknot/Stone Sour sound has really grown a great deal since their debut.  THERE WILL BE BLOOD is pretty solid.

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Review - Jeff Loomis

Image: Jeff Loomis, Plains Of Oblivion, Pitriff, heavy metal reviews, newsJeff Loomis
PLAINS OF OBLIVION

It didn't seem like a coincidence that after the critical praise Jeff Loomis received from his last release, ZERO ORDER PHASE, that he left his main project Nevermore shortly afterward.  Admittedly, I have no idea how the story goes.  I don't know if Loomis was unhappy in Nevermore and was feeling out his options outside of the project, or if he just did a solo album and saw he could have success outside of the band.  To be fair, it might just have all fallen into place without either of those two scenarios playing out.  Whatever the case, Loomis left Nevermore a while ago, and now that puts all the pressure on his latest album, PLAINS OF OBLIVION, to launch his new career past the great band he was once a member of.

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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.

Buy Now:  Paperback    Digital

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.

 Image: Keel, pitriff, heavy metal, news, reviews, interviews

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