• Black Stone Cherry - KENTUCKY

    Image: Black Stone Cherry, Kentucky Black Stone Cherry
    KENTUCKY

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    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
    BOOK OF SHADOWS II

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    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
    THE ASTONISHING

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    MP3

    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
    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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Image: Skid Row, United World Rebellion, review, pitriff, heavy metalSkid Row
UNITED WORLD REBELLION: CHAPTER 1

Let's just be honest here.  Skid Row has done themselves no favors since Johnny Solinger took over as the lead vocalist.  They have put out two really subpar albums; subpar at least to those of us that were fans of their great past.  I'm more giving than most, and even with that, I found both REVOLUTIONS PER MINUTE and THICKSKIN to be pretty much unlistenable (even though both did have a couple of tolerable moments).  It's a shame too, because the band clearly can do some good things with Solinger, who doesn't sound like their old singer Sebastian Bach, but has enough of a "real rock" sound to fit well with their music (both the past stuff, and what they can do moving forward).  If nothing else, listening to UNITED WORLD REBELLION: CHAPTER 1 seems to tell a story that the band finally understands what they need to be doing.  By far, this is the best thing Skid Row has done since SUBHUMAN RACE.

To be completely fair to Solinger, the problems with their previous two albums had more to do with the band and the songwriting than it did with Solinger's performance.  It just seemed like the band lost focus on what the name "Skid Row" meant with those past two albums.  For UNITED WORLD REBELLION, it's clear that they have recorded music designed to "sound" like Skid Row.  Listening to songs like "Get Up", there are some clear reminders of songs like "Mudkicker"; specifcally in the guitar and basslines provided by Dave "Snake" Sabo and Rachel Bolan.  Even on songs like "Stitches" where they take cues from THICKSKIN ("New Generation"), they've chosen one of the better places to draw from of the post-Bach era.  For some, this song may draw a bit too directly from "New Generation", but it rocks regardless of being somewhat of a clone.  "Kings Of Demolition" has a cool vibe to it that feels cut straight from "Livin' On A Chain Gang".  "Let's Go" is a pretty terrible song lyrically, but in true 80s metal fashion, it doesn't really matter because the song flat out rocks.  All in all, UNITED WORLD REBELLION is a very, very good listen.

PITRIFF RATING - 88/100 - Skid Row is a band that I, personally, never gave up on.  They entertained me in their heyday about as much as any band in that era; enough so that I'm always willing and anxious to hear what they are doing.  UNITED WORLD REBELLION brings things back around for the band, as it's very SLAVE TO THE GRIND-esque.  If you're like me and have been waiting for a decade for them to come back to kicking ass, the wait is over.  This one rocks!

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.

CLICK HERE to learn more about CAUSE/EFFECT: METALLICA.

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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Read Reviews and Excerpts from LITTLE VICTORIES: A TALE OF DIVORCE, DEBAUCHERY AND FINDING HAPPINESS HERE!

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

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