• Black Stone Cherry - KENTUCKY

    Image: Black Stone Cherry, Kentucky Black Stone Cherry
    KENTUCKY

    CD
    MP3

    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

    CD
    MP3

    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

    CD
    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

    CD
    MP3

    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

    CD
    MP3

    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: Koloss, Meshuggah, Pitriff, CD ReviewsMeshuggah
KOLOSS

Meshuggah is a band that has a category all their own. I’ll call them Aspirincore. There’s only a few bands out there that play Aspirincore; Meshuggah, Dillinger Escape Plan, Converge, Candiria, probably a few more. With a term like Aspirincore, you might take that as an immediate negative, and you would be wrong. It’s just that these kinds of bands will give you a headache if you listen to them for too long at any point of any day. Their odd timings and even odder timing changes make them simply hard to follow along with.

 With KOLOSS, Meshuggah have created an album which is, by far, their most listenable album ever. First and foremost, KOLOSS just feels far different than their last album, the uber cold OBZEN. Where the band sounded almost mechanical on the last few albums, there’s a real organic vibe to KOLOSS. This sounds like it might have been written song by song instead of part by part, which has to have been the case on past releases. Songs like “Do Not Look Down” are just vicious attacks that don’t let up, and yet this one features the closest thing to melody that Meshuggah has ever done.

Like all other albums, the power behind Meshuggah is the often imitated but instantly recognizable guitar tone of Fredrik Thordendal. It’s funny how many bands over the last two years leave you referencing Thordendal’s signature sound. He’s the power once again here, driving the sludgy trudge of a song called “Behind The Sun”. Thordendal is teamed once again with the incredible bottom end rhythm team of drummer Tomas Haake and bassist Dick Lovgren, and they shine brightly as well. Songs like “Marrow” showcase Meshuggah at their very best – a cohesive unit that just doesn’t stick to the normal conventions of recorded music.

Vocally, what are you expecting? This is Meshuggah, plain and simple. Jens Kidman has no clean vocals throughout, bringing the Yiddish insanity throughout each and every song. He tears it up on the surprisingly fast “The Hurt That Finds You First”. Kidman is a great frontman who is definitely overlooked most of the time with this band because of the incredible musical intricacies they generally feature. With the music being far more “warm” and far less processed than the last few albums, he really stands out more than ever before.

PITRIFF RATING – 95/100 - KOLOSS is, in my opinion, the best album of Meshuggah’s career. The sound is so much more full of life than the previous two or three that felt completely dry and studio generated. Yes, it gave me a headache listening to it over and over, but it was worth it. KOLOSS kills.

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.

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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