• Black Stone Cherry - KENTUCKY

    Image: Black Stone Cherry, Kentucky Black Stone Cherry


    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


    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


    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


    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


    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: Godsmack, Live & Inspired, heavy metal, pitriff, news, reviews, interviewsGodsmack

I'm sure I'll probably get killed here by my metal brethren, but I actually like Godsmack.  Certainly, I realize they are a more metal version of Nickelback; a band whose sole goal is to create three or four radio hits on each album, sell a good amount of music and concert tickets, and basically be a key cog in the radio rock syndicate.  I get it - it's less about the art of music than the business of music with them.  That said, they have been consistently solid with their albums...so much so that most say they are the modern day AC/DC where there's NO difference from record to record.  For Godsmack, all a new album means to most people is that they will be invading radio with the sames songs as always...but with different words attached to them.

Another thing I've learned about Godsmack though is that their consistency does not stop in the recording studio.  Having seen them 3 times, they are consistently boring on stage.  I saw them once before they were big, and twice after they made it.  They killed it before they were big.  They were very dull live after they hit.  LIVE & INSPIRED pretty much captures the successful live Godsmack experience.  They bring all the energy of the corpse in the first minute of an episode of LAW & ORDER: SVU.  Each member of the band (sans drummer Shannon Larkin, who's drums are booming throughout) puts forth a remarkably drab performance here that is boring to painful to get through.  Songs like "Straight Out Of Line" are greatly diminished without the studio enhancements added to the vocals of Sully Erna.  That song is still decent, but it gets worse as things move on.  "Moon Baby" is simply painful to listen to as Erna drones on and on through a megaphone or some other voice altering device.  The band drone on and on throughout this show; playing all of their hits and making you wish that you had just decided to listen to one of their studio albums instead.

Also included on this release are four newly recorded cover songs - Joe Walsh's "Rocky Mountain Way", The Beatles "Come Together", Pink Floyd's "Time" and Metallica's "Nothing Else Matters".  In short, four unnecessary versions of these songs that really no one needed to hear.  In fairness, the reworking of "Come Together" is interesting and pretty good.  As for "Rocky Mountain Way" and "Time", both are pretty much standard re-recordings of the work that lack what the originals had.  As for "Nothing Else Matters", I think that speaks for itself.

PITRIFF RATING - 34/100 - Boring, uninspired and featuring about as much life as Whitney Houston's bath water, LIVE & INSPIRED is certainly one of the least necessary releases to come along in awhile.  Just buy the studio albums - they are a whole lot better.  On a side note, since Oracle came out we've had a Sully solo album, a greatest hits and now a live record.  Is this band about to call it a day?

Chris Akin

Live & Inspired - Godsmack

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.


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

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

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