• 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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    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 Chapter 2, Pitriff, Classic Metal, ReviewSkid Row
UNITED WORLD REBELLION, CHAPTER 2

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Part two of the three part Skid Row series known as UNITED WORLD REBELLION has been unleashed. Dubbed as RISE OF THE DAMNATION ARMY, UWR2 picks up where the first EP left off. There's simple math here. Over the course of these two EPs you have 14 songs. If you put the two together, you've got a really good full length release. That's definitely a testament to Skid Row, who have seemingly found their way back on course following a decade filled with a couple releases even their most hardcore fans (of which I think I'm one) had trouble supporting. Let's face it - REVOLUTIONS PER MINUTE was atrocious, and THICKSKIN had a few moments but was far too much of a sellout of their core sound to be appreciated. Thankfully, they have found their direction once again.

From the start, UWR2 is full of energy and that old school frenetic rock that made Skid Row one of the biggest bands of the 80s. "We Are The Damned" is a strong, anthemic opener that will have you rockin' out in your chair. It's followed nicely but a more punk influenced "Give It The Gun". The band are hitting on all cylinders here. Vocalist Johnny Solinger sounds about as good as he's sounded since he joined the band. Scotti Hill and Dave "Snake" Sabo seems to have refound the fire that powered them early in the band's career. Rachel Bolan thumps out a strong bottom end, and drummer Rob Hammersmith pounds the beat steadily and well. The entire band sounds great, be it on the faster songs, or th emore mid-tempo stuff like "Catch Your Fall".

The difference between the past Solinger efforts and the UNITED WORLD REBELLION releases is the songwriting. While the band claims otherwise, it seems like they made a conscious effort to write with a bit more focus on their past. It's working. They put it all togehter on the raucous "Damnation Day", which has the best galloping pace the band has done since "The Threat" on SLAVE TO THE GRIND. That's a LONG time ago, folks. Simply, the writing here is great, the performances are good, and Skid Row is once again compelling.

PITRIFF RATING - 88/100 - I think the days of needing to reference "the other guy" might finally be over. They were only relevant when the band's music didn't represent what most thought of as "Skid Row". These two EPs certainly bring the brand back into focus. UNITED WORLD REBELLION, CHAPTER 2 is worth the listen if you were a fan in the old days.

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.

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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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