• 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

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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

    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: Exumer, Pitriff, CD Review, heavy metal, newsExumer
FIRE & DAMNATION

How can a band that openly acknowledges their influence as Slayer be bad?  Obviously, it could be, but it certainly isn't here.  Having not released an album since 1987, Exumer storms back onto the scene with a killer collection of Thrash that will have fans of everyone from Slayer to Havok moshing around in ecstasy.  FIRE & DAMNATION is a seriously punishing thrash album powered by ripping riffs and chord changes that the mighty Slayer would be proud of had they written them themselves.

 The Slayer comparisons have always been there with Exumer, and it's no different now.  Listening to punishing material like "Walking The Fire" will showcase quickly just why this comparison will always be made for Exumer.  Ray Mensh and HK are absolutely crushing guitarists creating riffs that are just monstrous.  Songs like "Fallen Saint" have a simply massive guitar sound; raging riffs and a screaming solo that just rips through the wall of metal insanity they are creating throughout.  When the guitars aren't center stage, vocalist Mem V. Stein barks out raw lyric after raw lyric.  He's definitely an old school barker that knows how to spit aggression with every word he records.  He does have a bit of vocal range, as he showcases on the lone oddball of the album, "Crushing Point" (a song that feels more like a Pro-Pain song with its gang vocal chorus).  The band is rounded out by Matthias Kassner on drums and T. Schiavo on bass.  They lay in a strong enough foundation, although like most material of this style, the bass lines are fairly invisible.  Every song is fast, furious, and requires a powerful bottom end that transitions tempos fluidly.  Kassner and Schiavo do this very well here.

PITRIFF RATING - 89/100 - Slayer fan here...one that likes bands that take their influence from them.  Exumer may have taken 25 years between albums, but they kept their core sound intact upon their return.  FIRE & DAMNATION is an almost certain pleaser for fans of Slayer, or any Thrash Metal for that matter.  This is simply a crushing, powerful release.

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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