• Black Stone Cherry - KENTUCKY

    Image: Black Stone Cherry, Kentucky Black Stone Cherry


    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


    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


    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


    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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Image: Fear Factory, The Industrialist, pitriff, reviews, news, interviews, heavy metalFear Factory

For the purists out there, this version of Fear Factory that only features original members Burton C. Bell and Dino Cazares just doesn't measure up as the "real deal".  To those people, I hope you enjoy missing out on one of the greatest resurgences in all of heavy metal.  Without question, Fear Factory was at a point where it was time to give it up and do other things.  Albums like ARCHETYPE and TRANSGRESSION were just shells of the former intensity that the band had possessed, and most thought these guys were done.  Still, Bell rekindled his relationship with Cazares, pushed aside other original members, and forged ahead.  If it did nothing else, the extremely solid MECHANIZE proved that the fire in the band was always spawned from the riffs of Cazares and the voice of Bell.  With THE INDUSTRIALIST, they have seemingly taken it all the way back to their best era of the band.

THE INDUSTRIALIST is the second best album in the Fear Factory catalog.  Only DEMANUFACTURE stands above it in the catalog.  I know, that's extremely high praise when you consider that albums like OBSOLETE and SOUL OF A NEW MACHINE are being passed for those words.  Still, it is what it is.  THE INDUSTRIALIST, a concept album from Bell loosely based on one of his always present themes (machinery evolving to take over mankind), feels so much like the DEMANUFACTURE/OBSOLETE era of the band that it wouldn't be at all surprising if this album was written and shelved for whatever reason back in that era.  While Bell and Cazares basically performed this album themselves (drummer John Sankey performed on it and did the programming, but all vocals, guitars and bass were performed by Bell and Cazares), the results are astonishingly full and vibrant.  Fear Factory has found its way back to its core sound.  Tracks like the blistering "New Messiah" showcase both the multi-inflectioned voice of Bell and the brilliant, tight industrial meets metal riffs that have defined Cazares' long career.  Bell is particularly good on THE INDUSTRIALIST, as some of his vocals on later records almost came off as a parody of older releases.  Still, leading the way is Cazares.  Always having his own extremely identifiable sound, Cazares has added little things here and there to really expand what he's done previously.  Songs like "God Eater" are prime examples of the expanded playbook of Cazares.  On this track, he not only features his heavy riffing that's instantly recognizable, but he also incorporates a lower, droning type line (a la a band like Meshuggah) to the underside of the song to just fatten it up that much more.

PITRIFF RATING - 96/100 - Without question, I love this album.  As a Fear Factory fan that has been disappointed with most of their output since OBSOLETE, I was glad to see them start the process of a full on resurgence with MECHANIZE.  I'm even more happy to see them claw all the way back with THE INDUSTRIALIST.  Without question, this is the best release they've put out in 20 years.

Chris Akin

Fear Factory

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.


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

 Image: Keel, pitriff, heavy metal, news, reviews, interviews

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