• Megadeth - DYSTOPIA

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


    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


    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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  • Sevendust - KILL THE FLAW

    Image: Sevendust, Kill The Flaw Sevendust


    When I first saw Sevendust’s new release was titled KILL THE FLAW, my initial thought was “what exactly is the flaw?” It leads you to wonder just what it is that caused this band to not break big, while bands with lesser quality catalogs like Disturbed or Korn had such crazy amounts of success at the same time. This

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  • Iron Maiden - THE BOOK OF SOULS

    Image: Iron Maiden, The Book of Souls, Review, Classic Metal, Pitriff, Chris Akin Iron Maiden


    They don’t do it that often anymore, but there’s always excitement when Iron Maiden comes out with new music. Knowing that they are closing in on the end of their career, you really do end up hoping that when they go out for good, it will be with a bang. I think it’s universally agreed upon that

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  • Slayer - REPENTLESS

    Image: Slayer, Repentless, Pitriff, Review, Thrash Metal, Chris Akin Slayer


    Probably more than any release in their history, Slayer came into releasing this album at a crossroads. This WAS the album that, in many ways, dictated if the band could continue on or if it was indeed time to drift off quietly to Hell. The loss of guitarist Jeff Hanneman and the removal of drummer Dave Lombardo had almost every Slayer

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  • Operation: Mindcrime - THE KEY

    Image: Operation Mindcrime, Geoff Tate, Reviews, Music, heavy metal Operation: Mindcrime


    Geoff Tate’s falling out and subsequent two years of lawsuits, multiple versions of the same band and overall craziness in the press definitely tarnished a legacy that once seemed untouchable. Think about it. Even with over a decade of arguably bad releases (Q2K, TRIBE, AMERICAN SOLDIER, DEDICATED TO CHAOS), it wasn’t until the now infamous spitting incident and the

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    Image: WASP, Golgotha, Blackie Lawless, Pitriff, Review, Heavy Metal W.A.S.P.


    W.A.S.P. is one of those bands that has a ridiculously loyal fanbase...and good for them, actually. Doing THE CLASSIC METAL SHOW, we get shit on repeatedly anytime we say anything that is less than glowing about W.A.S.P., Blackie Lawless or any of the band’s former or present members. Oh well...comes with the territory, I guess. After what seems like quite a

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SpiralArms, Freedom, Pitriff, CD ReviewSpiralArms

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There are great recordings, and then there are releases that just get better each and every time you listen to them.  SpiralArms new release FREEDOM is one of those releases.  I loved it the first time I heard it, and it's done nothing but get stronger with each and every listen for me.  Maybe it's the mood I'm in these days, or maybe it's just that great music is coming out fast and furiously, but it seems like for the past two months, each release has been better than the last.  In the last 3 months alone, I've proclaimed "album of the year" twice before...Vista Chino's PEACE and Scorpion Child's self-titled debut.  Now, I'm proclaiming it once again.  Full of diversity and influences from all the right bands in the history of rock and metal, FREEDOM stands as the lone perfect listening experience of 2013 for me.  This one is a stunner.

Describing exactly what is going on here with SpiralArms' FREEDOM is not an easy task.  It's appealing to a lot of different audiences, to say the least.  Without question, the music will work very well for the stoner rock/metal crowd, although much like Scorpion Child's release it's not a full on, fuzzed out hempfest of a release.  Guitarist Craig Locicero's (ex-Forbidden / ex-Manmade God) has a much bigger and fuller guitar tone than the standard stoner rock guitarist.  As a former thrash veteran, he also knows how to bring it a lot heavier.  Songs like "Dropping Like Flies" prove that there's a lot of metal in this band when they want to showcase it.  Other songs, like the driving "Drugs & Alcohol" find Locicero just rockin through some of the chunkier, more galloping riffs of his professional career.

Locicero is only a small part of the story here though.  SpiralArms is led vocally by former Systematic vocalist Tim Narducci.  Unlike the generic sounds that band had, his vocals on FREEDOM are far more gritty, powerful and emotional.  In fact, there are four or five songs on the disc that are mid-tempo that seem built to showcase Narducci's emotional delivery time and time again.  Listening to "Exit 63", you feel his passion exploding from his soul as he calmly roars through the chorus.  This song is arguably the best song on the disc, with the giant crescendo building in the middle of the song instrumentally before Narducci repeats the simple, yet effective chorus.  The song also features a sweet piano line which also closes the song that is very much reminiscent of the Derek & The Dominos classic "Layla (Piano Exit)".  ' If that song isn't enough, it's quickly followed by another masterpiece called "Blackmoon Morning", which adds an almost Stone Temple Pilots vibe at the beginning as Narducci starts low before taking his vocal to his higher, more powerful place with Locicero laying in a fat, Soundgarden-esque riff underneath.  It just rocks...period.

PITRIFF RATING - 100/100 - I'm not one for giving perfect scores, as there's almost always flaws in everything.  I can't find one here.  While I know for some their score might be lower because they don't have as wide a musical diversity as I do, there's literally nothing in the hard rock/heavy metal template that isn't touched on here for me.  This has been the sole release in my iPod for a couple of weeks now, because the songs are just so strong and impressive.  This needs to be experienced.


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.

CLICK HERE to learn more about LITTLE VICTORIES.

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Available January 13th in Paperback and Digital Formats on Amazon and iTunes.

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