• Megadeth - DYSTOPIA

    Image: Megadeth, Dystopia, Dave Mustaine, David Ellefson, Kiko Loureiro, Chris Adler Megadeth
    DYSTOPIA

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    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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    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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  • Sevendust - KILL THE FLAW

    Image: Sevendust, Kill The Flaw Sevendust
    KILL THE FLAW

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    When I first saw Sevendust’s new release was titled KILL THE FLAW, my initial thought was “what exactly is the flaw?” It leads you to wonder just what it is that caused this band to not break big, while bands with lesser quality catalogs like Disturbed or Korn had such crazy amounts of success at the same time. This

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  • Iron Maiden - THE BOOK OF SOULS

    Image: Iron Maiden, The Book of Souls, Review, Classic Metal, Pitriff, Chris Akin Iron Maiden
    THE BOOK OF SOULS

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    They don’t do it that often anymore, but there’s always excitement when Iron Maiden comes out with new music. Knowing that they are closing in on the end of their career, you really do end up hoping that when they go out for good, it will be with a bang. I think it’s universally agreed upon that

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  • Slayer - REPENTLESS

    Image: Slayer, Repentless, Pitriff, Review, Thrash Metal, Chris Akin Slayer
    REPENTLESS

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    Probably more than any release in their history, Slayer came into releasing this album at a crossroads. This WAS the album that, in many ways, dictated if the band could continue on or if it was indeed time to drift off quietly to Hell. The loss of guitarist Jeff Hanneman and the removal of drummer Dave Lombardo had almost every Slayer

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  • Operation: Mindcrime - THE KEY

    Image: Operation Mindcrime, Geoff Tate, Reviews, Music, heavy metal Operation: Mindcrime
    THE KEY

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    Geoff Tate’s falling out and subsequent two years of lawsuits, multiple versions of the same band and overall craziness in the press definitely tarnished a legacy that once seemed untouchable. Think about it. Even with over a decade of arguably bad releases (Q2K, TRIBE, AMERICAN SOLDIER, DEDICATED TO CHAOS), it wasn’t until the now infamous spitting incident and the

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  • W.A.S.P. - GOLGOTHA

    Image: WASP, Golgotha, Blackie Lawless, Pitriff, Review, Heavy Metal W.A.S.P.
    GOLGOTHA

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    W.A.S.P. is one of those bands that has a ridiculously loyal fanbase...and good for them, actually. Doing THE CLASSIC METAL SHOW, we get shit on repeatedly anytime we say anything that is less than glowing about W.A.S.P., Blackie Lawless or any of the band’s former or present members. Oh well...comes with the territory, I guess. After what seems like quite a

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Image: Jeff Scott Soto, Damage Control, Pitriff, CD ReviewsJeff Scott Soto
DAMAGE CONTROL

Jeff Scott Soto is, by far, my favorite singer out there today. The guy has one of the strongest voices in the world, and his ability to use it in a multitude of ways stretches far past what most singers ever showcase. Let’s face it, you have to have incredible talent to be able to front a band that was defined by a voice (Journey), as well as fronting a metal band of prominence (Yngwie Malmsteen’s Rising Force).

Even the great ones come back to earth occasionally though. While DAMAGE CONTROL is a fine album without anything that you’d look at cringe on, it lacks anything that really grabs you too much either. It’s fairly standard, and while it does feature a full plate of good songs, there’s not really a great or unique moment on it. The truth is that Soto pretty much spoiled fans with his last release BEAUTIFUL MESS. That album had so many twists, turns and unexpected moments that anything a bit more standard would feel like a step backwards. Still, DAMAGE CONTROL feels like a step backwards.

Even stepping backwards though, I’m happy to have DAMAGE CONTROL. Songs like the arena rocker “Afterworld” certainly will have your head bobbing and will tempt you to throw your fist in the air and scream “Hey” on queue. Other songs, like “Look Inside Your Heart” definitely find Soto channelling his inner Journey once again. For his part, Soto sounds fantastic as always on DAMAGE CONTROL. He’s a big time voice that knows when to croon and when to shout, and as always, he puts it together perfectly. Listening to songs like “If I Never Let Her Go”, it’s apparent that he’s very compelling as a singer.

The issue with DAMAGE CONTROL is that so much of the material is very formulaic. It’s kind of like listening to a Bryan Adams record with a better vocalist. With his last release BEAUTIFUL MESS, there were twists and turns from song to song. That really doesn’t happen here. Instead, you have 11 really strong songs that are all pretty similar stylistically. DAMAGE CONTROL fails to deliver something unique like “21st Century” or “Mountain” from the last album. While songs like “Give A Little More” and “Damage Control” are certainly good songs, they are very predictable AOR rock.

PITRIFF RATING – 80/100 - To reiterate, DAMAGE CONTROL is a solid album; completely listenable and entertaining. Unfortunately for Jeff Scott Soto, he raised the bar very high with BEAUTIFUL MESS to a point where a straight forward rock record was not about to clear that hurdle. I like it. I don’t love it. It’ll be in my Ipod for the next six months, so it will probably grow on me. For now though, it’s a solid, standard release from the best vocalist making music today.

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.

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The shockingly honest and emotional first book from radio personality and rock critic Chris Akin.

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