• 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: Witchcraft, Legend, Pitriff, Interviews, CD Reviews, NewsWitchcraft
LEGEND

Talk about your throwback to the 1960s or very early '70s! LEGEND is one of those albums that if you don't listen closely, you might mistake for a long lost '70s Black Sabbath demo had Ronnie James Dio been auditioning for the band that far back. While it doesn't pack the punch of the great Black Sabbath, the vibe and the aura of doom metal is all over this record. To say the least, Witchcraft is not merely a copycat band though. They have their own vibe that gloriously waves the influence of Black Sabbath on it, but also features a more straight forward rock sound that will make you 80s rockers jump for joy. LEGEND is a very cool release.

Formerly a Pentagram tribute band, Witchcraft have developed their own niche over the last 12 years. Listening to LEGEND, it's clear that these guys get what Doom Metal is supposed to be about, but have the drive to do something a bit more modern to facilitate their great vocalist Magnus Pelander. Pelander is all over the map musically, but all of it proves that you don't have to be a shred throated screamer to succeed in this style of music. Listening to songs like "Flag Of Fate", you hear a very modern sounding voice that reminds at times of Aaron Lewis of Staind. Still, other songs like "Deconstruction" have a much more classic Dio-esque sound to them vocally. Pelander is a fantastic and versatile singer, and he showcases it well here.

Let's be honest though, the strength to this band and any other Doom Metal band comes from the guitars. This is where Witchcraft shine the brightest. Not only are guitarists Simon Solomon and Tom Jondelius excellent players, but they have been recorded masterfully on LEGEND. Riffing through songs like "It's Not Because Of You", you really get to hear the bigness of their combined sound. It's really great work here. There are fuzzed out guitars in parts, but for the most part, their tuning is in the same range as a big 80s arena rock band, which just fills out the sound beautifully. They are grounded by the extremely stable and entertaining bottom end provided by drummer Oscar Johansson and bassist Ola Henriksson. Johansson is particularly good here, with a very big, full sound rarely found in this kind of music. From start to finish, every aspect of LEGEND works.

PITRIFF RATING - 87/100 - Without question, Witchcraft is a Doom Metal band that just gets what it should be about in 2012. Their music pays homage to their heroes of the past, but also steps into the modern age in quality, sound and production value. Their songs could be a little stronger, but for what this is, it's one of the more entertaining listens of the last year. Recommended.

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.

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

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Read Reviews and Excerpts from LITTLE VICTORIES: A TALE OF DIVORCE, DEBAUCHERY AND FINDING HAPPINESS HERE!

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