• 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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  • Sevendust - KILL THE FLAW

    Image: Sevendust, Kill The Flaw Sevendust


    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


    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


    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


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


    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: Great White, Elation, news, reviews, interviews, heavy metalGreat White

It's interesting just how the tables have turned for Great White. On the morning of February 21st, 2003, you have to think that not a single member of this band, past or present, wanted to be associated with the band in any way. A decade later, there's two versions of the band floating around and trying to claim themselves as "the real" Great White. It's a sad state of affairs, really. Jack Russell is out and about doing his thing, and then this band with guitarist Mark Kendall, keyboardist Michael Lardie, drummer Audie Desbrow and XYZ frontman Terry Ilous are out doing another thing. The "Kendall" version of the band is the first to produce new music with ELATION.

The argument is always there with bands...is it still the same band when the singer leaves? In this case, not really. For all the bad things that can be said about Jack Russell's off the stage activities and near willingness to kill himself to continue to cop a couple of years ago, listening to ELATION makes it very clear that he IS the signature sound of Great White. While Ilous does a solid job singing these songs, and the band does a decent enough job playing them, there's not a single moment on ELATION that really captures that sound or vibe that fans of Great White have been in love with for 30 years now.

To be clear here, ELATION is not a bad album. The performances are solid. The songs are decent enough. Aside from being mid-tempoed throughout most of the album, there's little else that really reminds you of Great White. Ilous just doesn't ooze that bluesy grit that made people compare the band in the past to Led Zeppelin. For his part, Ilous has toned back his performance from past album like the brilliant, heavy LETTER TO GOD from XYZ. Songs like the ballad "Hard To Say Goodbye" are his best reaches to find the Great White blues vibe, but he's just flat in this area. Ilous is a great vocalist under most conditions, but on ELATION he's out out of sorts from what he does best.

As for the material, there's several songs that have a real "almost Great White" feel, but never fully achieve their classic sound. Songs like "Resolution" could have been taken a bit further and found the groove of a song like "Mista Bone", but fall flat with a dull riff from Kendall and a soft "yeah yeah" sing along chorus that pretty much ruins the vibe here. I realize they are getting older, but there's just not a lot of standout moments on ELATION from anyone in the band that makes you think, "yeah, this could work".

PITRIFF RATING - 51/100 - This is such a painful review to write, as I've had a great relationship with Mark Kendall and Terry Ilous in the past. They are two of the more upstanding guys in all of the music business to be honest, and I believe them when they say they are continuing on for the fans. That said though, the loss of Jack Russell's creative abilities in this band have left a much bigger hole than a lot of people would have expected. It's like replacing real supernatural magic with a magician who pulls that long handkerchief from his pocket. One is the real thing, and the other is meant to seem like the real thing. I wish the best for both Jack Russell and Mark, Terry and the guys in this version of Great White (all have always been beyond nice to me, personally). At some point though, Jack Russell needs to be back in this fold. ELATION just doesn't feel right.

Chris Akin

Great White

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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.

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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