• Black Stone Cherry - KENTUCKY

    Image: Black Stone Cherry, Kentucky Black Stone Cherry
    KENTUCKY

    CD
    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

    Read More
  • 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.

    Read More
  • 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

    Read More
  • Megadeth - DYSTOPIA

    Image: Megadeth, Dystopia, Dave Mustaine, David Ellefson, Kiko Loureiro, Chris Adler Megadeth
    DYSTOPIA

    CD
    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,

    Read More
  • Anthrax - FOR ALL KINGS

    Image: Anthrax, For All Kings, Pitriff, Chris Akin Anthrax
    FOR ALL KINGS

    CD
    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

    Read More
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5

judas priest, redeemer of souls, power metalJudas Priest
REDEEMER OF SOULS

CD
MP3

Judas Priest has a lot to atone for in the eyes of all fans except for Jim "Nostradamus" Bartek. Given the fact that Bartek's 524 day listening streak to NOSTRADAMUS probably doubled the count of the rest of the Priest fanbase combined, it's clear that the once Mighty Priest needed to do something very, very metal this time around or it might just be time to call it a day. Not only was NOSTRADAMUS a bomb, but it also marked the moment that the dynamic duo of Tipton and Downing split in half, as KK decided to take his skills to the golf course and leave the band behind. With that said, and given that Priest fans have gone 9 long years without a good Judas Priest release to listen to, there's a ton of expectation on REDEEMER OF SOULS.

Well, I will give them this. They did record a metal Judas Priest album. There's no question that many of these songs will sound great in the live setting. Sadly though, they are going to have to, because the production on REDEEMER OF SOULS is abysmal. Songs like "Halls Of Valhalla" could easily have become favorites from the band, but the production is just bad. The sound is just terribly thin, in parts sounding like demos. The guitar volume is all over the place in spots, and in others the sound just sounds very raw and far too unpolished for a typical Judas Priest release. Other songs, like "Sword Of Damocles" quite literally sound like a mess of noise in parts. On all levels - guitars, drums, bass (where is it) and even vocals, the production is shoddy at best, demo like at worst and throughout. Even compared to their releases from the 70s, this is worse. Simply, this is unacceptably bad for a band of Judas Priest's stature in 2014.

That's too bad too, because there are some truly solid songs here. The previously mentioned "Halls Of Valhalla" is probably the best of the bunch, but other songs like "March Of The Damned" rock as well. While it's somewhat strange to get an entire Priest release with almost no Halford screams and full of the singer in the lower register, he's still passable and still more than fulfills the "Metal God" persona. "Down In Flames" is a good song with a really terrible guitar mix on it. In fact, this is probably the worst sounding guitar ever on a Priest release. To be honest, this is a big problem throughout the release. When they tag team solo, guitarists Glenn Tipton and Richie Faulkner just sound off. I'm assuming that Faulkner is the 2nd guitarist in on the solos (at least on this song), and his guitar just sounds terribly raw. It's far too contrasting for the Tipton's parts, and it doesn't work. "Hell & Back" is another really good song that is plagued with crap production. It's the lone time on the disc where Ian Hill's bass really shows up, but it's so loud and mushy that it's distracting. As for drummer Scott Travis, he seems to have gotten screwed over the most on REDEEMER OF SOULS. Normally, Travis brings a huge, arena-like drum sound to the studio. Here, he's so muffled in the mix on most songs that you'd almost never know it's the same guy from previous releases.

PITRIFF RATING - 52/100 - To say the least, REDEEMER OF SOULS is a disappointment. While it has some good songs on it, the production is an absolute killer. Sounding more like demos than a studio ready Priest album, this one goes up on the shelf next to NOSTRADAMUS; filed under "rarely if ever listen to". What a bummer.

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.

Buy Now:  Paperback     Digital

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

Want Streets Of Rock N' Roll Radio On Your Phone - CLICK HERE To Download The New App