• 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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Image: Evergrey, Hymns For The Broken, Review, Progressive MetalEvergrey
HYMNS FOR THE BROKEN

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MP3

In the world of progressive metal, there are exactly 2 bands which I worship. Those bands are Symphony X and Evergrey. Both bands are immensely talented, feature incredible musicianship, and come full of great lyrical and musical representations that tell amazing stories to the listeners. Following their last release GLORIOUS COLLISION, it really seemed like Evergrey may have hit the end of their run. GLORIOUS COLLISION didn't do especially well for the band, and they seemingly disappeared as soon as it came out. There's been a lot of rumors that they had indeed broken up. Those turned out to be untrue though, and back comes Evergrey with a revamped lineup and HYMNS FOR THE BROKEN; a release that could very well be the very best of their almost two decade long career.

What makes HYMNS FOR THE BROKEN such a good release is the songwriting. Vocalist Tom Englund has a slightly different tone to his vocals than on past releases, and that helps greatly. Songs like the driving rocker "A New Dawn" are the most layered and thick sounding of the band's career, which is a testament to what they are trying to do on HYMNS FOR THE BROKEN. More than any other release in their catalog, HYMNS is the most multifaceted release of their career. Listening to the songs, you get an almost Dream Theater like meshing of the various instrumentation and vocals instead of the more raw, powerful sound they are known for. This is not to say this is sterile in any way. It's far from that, in fact. "A New Dawn" is one of the heaviest guitar songs of the band's career, with Henrik Danrage returning and giving a much needed push on the six strings. Always a band that uses classier keyboards than most progressive bands, Evergrey use them well here as well. Songs like "Wake A Change" let the keyboards act as a guide for the rest of the band. Rikard Zander more than ably plays keys throughout the disc, and does so in a classy manner without being sucked into the over the top overuse that plagues so many of the gothic and orchestral metal bands today. He's instead content to allow the keys to guide things while Englund delivers the best vocals of his career.

PITRIFF RATING - 94/100 - In short, HYMNS FOR THE BROKEN is the moody, intense masterpiece that Evergrey has long looked to write and never quite completed from start to finish. As an uber fan of the band, I know the history and realize just how much better than everything else this is. It's the most grand release of their career. It's the best written, and by far the best performed. At least for now, Evergrey is back and stronger than they've ever been.

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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