• Black Stone Cherry - KENTUCKY

    Image: Black Stone Cherry, Kentucky Black Stone Cherry
    KENTUCKY

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    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

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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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    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

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    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

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    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: Fist Fight In The Parking Lot, Year Of The Ox, Pitriff, Review, Stoner MetalFist Fight In The Parking Lot
YEAR OF THE OX

Wow, here's one that's unexpected. With a name that sounds like one of these bad emocore bands of the modern day, Fist Fight In The Parking Lot is a deep, heavy and damn near perfect doom metal band that breaks the mold by adding a female vocalist to the front of their thick, heavy sludge. There's a lot to say here, but the main word that keeps coming to mind is, simply, "wow"! As we march our way into 2014, it's clear that Fist Fight In The Parking Lot are the first new band to land on my radar for the upcoming year. YEAR OF THE OX just flat out rocks!

It's easy to simply narrow things and point to vocalist Abby Krizner as the focal point of the band. She is an absolute temptress vocally. In a lot of ways, she has a clean vocal that strongly reminds of Crisis vocalist Karyn Crisis from a decade ago. Her soft inflections and clarity on songs like "Natural Fool" are as enticing as you will hear from a singer. She is a masterful singer, both in her actual sound and the inflection that she brings to all the right places. I'm not sure how to explain this, but she just lures you in with at once powerful and demure way of putting forth lyrics. Maybe it's just because her sound and her band are new to me, but hearing Krizner sing is about as compelling as anything I've listened to in quite awhile.

This is not to say that Krizner is the whole story, or even the major part of it. In fact, it's the work that the band does behind her that elevates her performance. The music on YEAR OF THE OX is amazingly good. They are in a lot of ways like Crowbar in that their doom sound is slightly less than a mid-tempo in most spots, but thick and furious all the while. Additionally, the production on YEAR OF THE OX is masterful, which just enhances the entire project. Songs like the raging "Horsemouth" are driven by a wicked rhythm provided by guitarist Jason Sichi and a thick bottom end delivered by drummer Chris Ruane and bassist John McCallough. On this song, even more vocal range from leaps out from Krizner as well, reminding a lot of Kate French in her days with Chastain on some of the more growly parts of the song.

PITRIFF RATING - 96/100 - YEAR OF THE OX is a pretty masterful, impressive release from Fist Fight In The Parking Lot. The name of the band is probably going to hurt them because it's misleading many people to considering them part of a shitty genre. If they get past that though, fans of doom metal that love stuff like old Cathedral, Kyuss and the like will fall in love with this EP. This is REALLY impressive.

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.

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