• 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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Image: Hatriot, Dawn Of The New Creation, Pitriff, Thrash MetalHatriot


Steve "Zetro" Souza is clearly a godfather of all that is thrash metal. While he wasn't the original vocalist of Exodus, he was by far the most recognized. He's definitely a "love him or hate him" type of guy, both with the sound of his voice and with some of his actions in the later days that left Exodus in turmoil on more than one occasion. That said, there is no arguing his importance on Thrash Metal as a genre. His latest project Hatriot, a band that he does with his sons Nick and Cody, is one of many strong things that Zetro has done since leaving Exodus a second time. While it's not the strongest or heaviest project he's done post-Exodus (that award would go to the single released Tenet back in 2009), Hatriot looks to recapture what Souza did best for decades.

DAWN OF THE NEW CENTURION is a solid release, although there is something a bit flat about it. Unlike their HEROES OF ORIGIN release, DAWN OF THE NEW CENTURION just doesn't stick with you past the listening experience. This is not to say that it isn't good. Songs like "Honor In The Rise And Fall" are about as good as anything Zetro has ever done. One definite problem with the entire release is the sound of the backing vocals. They just don't fit. They literally sound like they were recorded by Testament's Chuck Billy if he was standing on the other side of a gymnasium. It's just a dulled, echoey belching underneath Zetro that's not very good. At times, it's absolutely annoying.

Giving credit where credit is due, Zetro has put together a very solid band behind him. Growing up in the shadows of a thrash metal legend has shown drummer Nick Souza and bassist Cody Souza just what it will take to create a meaty underbelly on any and all thrash metal tunes. They bring it hard and steady on songs like "My Cold Dead Hands". They are balanced out by the twin guitar attack let loose by Kosta V. and Miguel Esparza. Their riffs are very strong; mostly thrash rhythms that dominate and drive songs like "World Funeral". Over top of it all, the very signature sound of Steve Souza rips through each and every song.

The real problem with DAWN OF THE NEW CENTURION is that that songwriting is just a bit flat. The entire release is pretty much a carbon copy of the last effort, and while there are different tempos from song to song, most of this release comes off as repetitive from track to track. That's not a bad thing, really...but you expect a bit more than is delivered and walk away a bit flat from the listening experience.

PITRIFF RATING - 69/100 - Don't read this as terrible effort. It's not...not at all. There's some cool stuff going on here, and I think that taken in doses of a song or two, you can really enjoy the latest from Hatriot. Listening straight through is just not advised. It really wears thin and dull as a result. Like the Hatriot, and am a big fan of Zetro Souza, but DAWN OF THE NEW CENTURION just isn't doing a ton for me.

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.

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