• 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: Sepultura, The Mediator Between Head and Hands Must Be The Heart, Pitriff, ReviewSepultura
THE MEDIATOR BETWEEN HEAD AND HANDS MUST BE THE HEART

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It's been years and years at this point, and it's astounding to me that there's so many people that still talk about the former vocalist of this band each and every time they put out a new release. It's so silly at this point. I'm the first one to agree that releases like ARISE and CHAOS AD are some of the best that have ever been recorded. For so many though that have just written off Sepultura as "dead without Max", you've missed out on a lot of truly great metal. Two of the very best albums released under the Sepultura name (A-LEX and DANTE XXI) have come fairly recently and were fronted by vocalist Derrick Green. Going back to Ross Robinson to produce it and with more fire than they have had in 15 years, THE MEDIATOR BETWEEN HEAD AND HANDS MUST BE THE HEART is the most blistering release Sepultura has put forth since SCHIZOPHRENIA, MORBID VISIONS or the aforementioned ARISE. This is some seriously punishing metal, folks.

As you make your way through MEDIATOR, you can't help but think that the old fire is back with Andreas Kisser and company. In short, the material on MEDIATOR borders on death metal time and time again, driven in large part by Kisser's maniacal guitar lines. Songs like "The Vatican" are as intense, fast and furious as anything in Sepultura's entire catalog. Kisser is mind-numbingly good on this tune, and most of the others. Vocally, Green is simply possessed by Satan throughout the entire disc. His raging is blood curdling when he roars on material like "Impending Doom". This song is, arguably, one of the best tunes in the entire Sepultura catalog. While midtempo, the riffs gallop along and have your head banging violently throughout. This song also features some old school breakdowns into ethereal ambiance that the old band used to do, which is a nice touch. It's also enhanced by some Robinson magic to make it even more spooky and punishing.

While the performances from Green and Kisser are the headliners of MEDIATOR, enough cannot be said about the immense bottom end created by longtime bassist Paulo Jr. and new drummer Eloy Casagrande. Especially in the case of Casagrande, the sound is huge underneath Green and Kisser. Not that this band has ever had anything short of legendary skilled drummers, but Casagrande is truly great. Listening to his speed and precision on songs like "Manipulation Of Tragedy", it's apparent that Sepultura is once again stabilized by an incredible drummer. He teams throughout with Paulo Jr., who takes more of a follow along approach than on past releases. The band puts it all together on the disc's best and most old school Sepultura-like song, "The Bliss Of Ignorants". This is where it all comes together - a sick bottom end, crushing riffs, and an absolutely evil vocal. In short, this is where Sepultura reminds you just how dominating they can still be.

PITRIFF RATING - 95/100 - I'm happy to call myself a fan of the Derrick Green era of this band. I scoff at people that just badmouth it and have missed so many killer albums. More than likely, those same people will miss out on MEDIATOR, and it's their own damn fault. Give up the ghost and discover something truly intense and great. MEDIATOR kills it.

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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