• 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

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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

    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,

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  • 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

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Image: A Sound Of Thunder, Out Of The Darkness, Pitriff, CD ReviewA Sound Of Thunder
OUT OF THE DARKNESS

With each and every press release that comes down the pike with the term “female fronted metal band”, I find that title generally slides to the back of my “reviews” playlist. I won’t lie. What they are calling “female fronted metal” these days bores me. I hate Nightwish, and I hate the 2nd and 3rd tier bands spawned from Nightwish that much more. There’s a small handful of female fronted metal bands/acts that I truly like. Benedictum is probably the best. Doro is up there. I loved the first Otep album SEVAS TRA a lot. And yes, there’s the occasional tune from Arch Enemy that’s cool. That’s pretty much it. I’m sure there’s others that I have enjoyed from time to time, but not too many.

 

That said, A Sound Of Thunder could creep into that list. This is a band that is playing solid, old school metal. The singer, Nina Osegueda, has a real Doro thing going on with her voice in a lot of spots, although she does find spots to mix in that Nightwish thing. We’ll call those “fast forward” points. Still, she combines with a ripping old school metal band cut from the cloth of bands like Doro, Dio and the like musically. Let’s be honest – this band is all about Osegueda, and she has potential to be a solid metal frontwoman. She rips on songs like “Out Of The Darkness” and “The Day I Die”. Just when you think she’s got it together though, she throws in a purposeful and someone lame influence song with the very appropriately titled track, “The Nightwish”. Horrible. The same can be said when she stalls the album completely with another Nightwish tribute to open “Calat Alhambra”. Still, for the most part she sounds like a rocker more than a chick singing and spinning around in her big, see through Stevie Nicks white witch’s gown.

The reason that Osegueda is so solid might have a lot to do with the band though. Musically, this album will please any fan of Iron Maiden, Judas Priest, Accept or any rockin’ old school metal band you can think of here that plays traditional rock/metal. Guitarist Josh Schwartz is not the best guitarist you will ever hear, but his riffs are big and loud, and his soloing is effective. The rhythm section of drummer Chris Haren and bassist Jesse Keen lay down a solid foundation throughout as well.

PITRIFF RATING – 60/100 - Not that my words mean anything to anyone, but A Sound Of Thunder has real potential to be a solid band for years to come. They also have potential to be a real flop. I tend to think I’m in tune with the old school metal fans, and they aren’t digging Nightwish. There are some truly great, rockin’ moments on OUT OF THE DARKNESS, but there’s far too many times when Osegueda feels the need to showcase the gothic beauty of her voice. It’s beautiful, but metal fans don’t want a great voice and a backing band. They want a band with cool vocals. Like I said at the beginning, this is a band that could, potentially, be one of those few female fronted bands that I end up digging. This album is just too uneven to take me there. I like moments, but you have to really have some like for the whole female fronted goth metal thing to truly grasp this. I don’t.

Chris Akin

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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