• 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

    Read More
  • 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.

    Read More
  • 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

    Read More
  • 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,

    Read More
  • 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

    Read More
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5

Image: Shadows Fall, Pitriff, Reviews, News, Interviews, heavy metal, pitriffShadows Fall
FIRE FROM THE SKY

There's definitely some credit that has to be given to Shadows Fall.  Without question, they are one of the most recognizable band from a collection of extreme metal bands to have broken out in the early 2000s.  When you look at their contemporaries - God Forbid, Lamb Of God, Killswitch Engage - they fit perfectly in there with that small collection of bands that a lot of modern metalheads actually care about from release to release.  To me personally, they've done the most with the least amount of "it" factor.  To their credit (or discredit if you must), they have always featured a sound that's all their own while merging pieces parts from everything else around them.

Shadows Fall did put out a strong effort in 2009 with RETRIBUTION, and with FIRE FROM THE SKY they seem to have picked up where they left off.  Full of song with chunky riffs, the combination of modern guitar mixed with old school riffs and fills, and the somewhat generic scream - sing - scream vocals, FIRE FROM THE SKY continues what was started with their last release.  To be perfectly honest, this is a damn solid effort that showcases almost nothing new, unexpected or overly interesting...if that makes any sense at all.  To explain that, the songs are all good, but you really don't even need to know the names of them as they all sound the same on this album and with virtually everything else these guys have done on the last 3 or 4 albums.  There's some very mild differences, but they don't really lead you to think that something new and great has occurred.  Songs like "Save Your Soul" could easily be mistaken for a Trivium outtake by any average fan of this musical genre.  Vocalist Brian Fair mixing his screaming, singing and death metal barking around nicely to fit all the right spots on each song.  Songs like "Weight Of The World" are standard issue for Fair, who is one of the more versatile vocalists making this style of music.

As always though, Fair is only one piece of the Shadows Fall puzzle.  Jonathan Donais and Matt Bancand are, to me anyway, the sole reason to listen to Shadows Fall.  They are about as good as any guitar duo today at mixing the downtuned modern riffage with a clear and undeniable showcase of respect to the old school metal riffing of the 80s metal thrashers.  They put it all together on "Blind Faith"; a thrashing headbanger with an intricate intro that leads into an all out speed metal riff attack.  As always, the band is rounded out solidly on every song by the much respected Jason Bittner on drums and Paul Romanko on bass.  Bittner is a terrific drummer, and his excellent skills show through as they always do on every song he plays on.

PITRIFF RATING - 80/100 - Let's be honest here.  Shadows Fall is never going to be the most creative or the "best" band in anyone's collection.  That said, they are one of the most consistent, serviceable and entertaining acts in modern metal today.  FIRE FROM THE SKY really doesn't do a lot as far as breaking any kind of new ground.  I doubt it's meant to.  Workmanlike effort from Fair and company.

Chris Akin



Shadows Fall

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.

Buy Now:  Paperback     Digital

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.

 Image: Keel, pitriff, heavy metal, news, reviews, interviews

Want Streets Of Rock N' Roll Radio On Your Phone - CLICK HERE To Download The New App