• 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: Ronnie Munroe, Electric Wake, review, thrash metal, metal churchRonny Munroe


One of the most disrespected singers in all of heavy metal, Ronny Munroe has more than ably fronted Metal Church for a decade now. Fronting Metal Church since 2004, the band has been a touch inconsistent (A LIGHT IN THE DARK and GENERATION NOTHING being great, WEIGHT OF THE WORLD and THIS PRESENT WASTELAND being a bit forgettable), but that inconsistency really can't be blamed on Munroe. Having seen him a couple of times with Metal Church, he honors the work of Both David Wayne and Mike Howe without being a mere copycat clone of either. In short, he's taken the reigns of a legacy position and rode it ably into the future. Still, every time Munroe opens his mouth, there's some assclown on Blabbermouth screaming that he's not Wayne or Howe. No shit, Sherlock! His solo efforts though have been his places to shine on his own, and he's been especially strong there. ELECTRIC WAKE is definitely a strong metal effort. While not the best thing Munroe has done, it's a far cry from the worst.

Without question, Munroe knows how to sing metal songs well. Listening to songs like "Turn To Stone", this is exactly the kind of metal that old school metalheads are into now, and have always been into. His vast range is also on display on songs like "My Shadow", which opens up with a scream that sounded an awful lot like Ralf Sheepers of Primal Fear. Other songs, like "Ghosts", rock pretty hard and find Munroe in fine vocal form. This song also features Dokken/Lynch Mob guitarist George Lynch laying down a solid, albeit generic solo that reminds me of Kreator for some reason. Throughout the entire disc though, Munroe is powerful; his strong vocals dominate each and every song on the disc.

On a negative front though, the songs are good, but not great like on his last release LORDS OF THE EDGE or his solo debut THE FIRE WITHIN. There are several songs here that are kind of flat and feel more like songs left off the last Metal Church release than something written solely for this project. That could very well be the case though, and if Munroe believed in these songs, why should they die on the cutting room floor? Still, songs like "Not You Not Me" are very flat and lacking tracks. Another real issue with ELECTRIC WAKE is the overall lack of flair from the band; specifically Stu Marshall on guitar. That's not to say he plays poorly anywhere, as he doesn't. But the performance is just flat from Marshall; surprising when you consider just how nasty and dynamic he played when teamed with Ross The Boss on 2013's WAR MASTER from Death Dealer.

PITRIFF RATING - 81/100 - I know I wrote a good amount of negative stuff here, but this is not a bad release at all. If you are a Metal Church fan, it's an instant winner. Munroe has done better in both the solo environment and with Metal Church, but that's not to say that ELECTRIC WAKE is a subpar effort. In a way I think he might suffer a bit from "Zakk Wylde Syndrome" that occurred when he was trying to do both BLS and Ozzy at the same time. After awhile, one was a shell of the other. I certainly recommend this to metal fans. It's the lead singer of Metal Church. For God's sake, it's not going to suck!!

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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