• AC/DC - ROCK OR BUST

    Image: Rock Or Bust, AC/DC, Chris Akin, Pitriff, Classic Metal, Review AC/DC
    ROCK OR BUST

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    In a year that has see a foundational piece of AC/DC succumb to a debilitating illness and another to his own personal insanity, AC/DC emerges after seemingly forever away with ROCK OR BUST. To be fair and truthfully honest, expectations on this release were pretty low. I know that AC/DC is a band that's been in business almost 50

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  • Whitesnake - BACK TO THE BONE

    Image: Whitesnake, Back To The Bone, Pitriff, Chris Akin Whitesnake
    LIVE IN '84 - BACK TO THE BONE

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    David Coverdale and company have had a very long and successful history that started even before he formed Whitesnake. There's no denying the legacy here. Coverdale has had a fantastic career with Whitesnake, and his time in Deep Purple was every bit as strong to that band as a Sammy Hagar was to Van Halen

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  • Wretch - WARRIORS

    Image: Wretch, Warriors, Review, Power Metal, Chris Akin, Pitriff Wretch
    WARRIORS

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    There's an unwritten rule that I rarely follow here in Cleveland. That rule is that if a band is from Cleveland, I'm supposed to write all glowing things or else be called a hater by the local community. It's sad that it's like that, but the truth is what it is. For years I've lived with that stigma, to the point

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  • Machine Head - BLOODSTONE & DIAMONDS

    Image: Machine Head, Bloodstone & Diamonds, Pitriff, Review, Thrash Metal Machine Head
    BLOODSTONE & DIAMONDS

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    What happened to Machine Head really is a crime. Unfortunately for them, it's a crime they perpetrated upon themselves. With a mistake so many made in their youth, this band singlehandedly torpedoed themselves from ascending to the heights in metal held by only the select few like Metallica and Megadeth before them. After THE MORE THINGS CHANGE came

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  • Nashville Outlaws - TRIBUTE TO MOTLEY CRUE

    Image: Nashville Outlaws, Motley Crue Tribute Nashville Outlaws
    A TRIBUTE TO MOTLEY CRUE

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    With the music industry pretty much dead anymore, nothing really comes off as shocking. After all, you have very desperate companies trying to hang on and make money from an industry that has about as much relevance today as the typewriter ribbon makers of the world still do. The current trend for the last half decade

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  • Texas Hippie Coalition - RIDE ON

    Image: Texas Hippie Coalition, Ride On, Heavy Metal, Hard Rock, Review, Classic Metal Texas Hippie Coalition
    RIDE ON

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    I tell this story often, but it's one of my favorites of the past year. I had the chance to interview the Texas Hippie Coalition earlier this year at Rock On The Range in Columbus, Ohio. I was in a small tent with a bunch of photographers. The tent was fairly quiet really, as the much bigger adjacent

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  • Sammy Hagar - LITE ROAST

    Image: Sammy Hagar, Lite Roast, NonMetal, Review Sammy Hagar
    LITE ROAST

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    I get it. You are Sammy Hagar. You've seen huge success in virtually every world you've entered. In music, he was the main focus of Montrose. He parlayed that into a very successful solo career. That wasn't enough, so he joined the world's largest band at the time (Van Halen), and took them to commercial heights that even they

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  • Cavalera Conspiracy - PANDEMONIUM

    Image: Cavalera Conspiracy, Pandemonium, Pitriff, Death Metal, Review Cavalera Conspiracy
    PANDEMONIUM

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    There's always good news and bad news whenever Max Cavalera gets busy with new music. The good is that you get a whole lot of new music, seemingly all in a very short time. The bad news is it's generally spotty at best, because he simply writes and releases too much music at the same time. His band Soulfly released

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  • Slipknot - .5 THE GRAY MATTER

    Image: Slipknot, .5 The Gray Matter, Pitriff, CD Review, Modern Metal Slipknot
    .5 THE GRAY MATTER

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    With a ton of speculation and even more wonderment on this band's ability to continue on without founding members Paul Gray and Joey Jordison, Slipknot has returned after far too long of a layoff with .5 THE GRAY MATTER. I've listened to this release multiple times a day for the last week or so that I've had it,

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Sevendust - BLACK OUT THE SUN

Image: Sevendust, Black Out The Sun, Pitirff, CD Review, Interview, heavy metal, rock, newsSevendust
BLACK OUT THE SUN

In 2013, there are not many bands where I actually get excited to hear they have a new release coming out.  For a lot of reasons, the whole specter of a new release just doesn't get me anticipating things like it used to.  In large part, it's because I get everything sent to me months in advance that takes away from the real excitement of a release.  For a few bands though, I literally can't wait each and every time for new music.  Sevendust is one such band.  Without question, they are my favorite band of the modern era; a band criminally underappreciated when you consider that lesser bands like Disturbed and Korn surpassed them greatly in popularity throughout their respective runs.  I'm so much of a fan that I'm traveling twice in a month to see them - once in Fort Wayne, Indiana and then a few weeks later in Columbus, Ohio.  So, when BLACK OUT THE SUN was provided, you can bet your ass that it hit my iPod and stayed there for weeks.

Not much to say that really doesn't get said on every one of their releases.  BLACK OUT THE SUN is standard Sevendust faire.  If you loved them before, you will love them now.  If not, move along.  There are some subtle differences on this album from previous efforts, but ultimately this is Sevendust sounding, very much in the ANIMOSITY/SEASONS era of the band.  Certainly, there are songs like the extremely heavy "Til Death" which may surprise people, but in the grand scheme, BLACK OUT THE SUN is just another fun, rhythmic metal album from a great band.  The lead single "Decay" is every bit the first single they always do; a direct counterpart to songs like "Denial", "Praise" or "Enemy" from past efforts.  It's a song that's certainly made for radio and features more of vocalist Lajon Witherspoon singing than screaming, but like all the others, it works for active rock radio.

As for the rest of it, there's a few differences, but not too much that would lead you thinking they are trying anything to different or crazy.  Songs like "Mountain" feature a slightly thicker guitar tone from Clint Lowery and John Connolly than some of the previous efforts, and the tempo is a little more mid-tempo than Sevendust generally goes for.  It works well though.  As always, the band is anchored by the incredible, always unique style of drummer Morgan Rose and bassist Vince Hornsby.  While Rose's playing has long defined the overall vibe of Sevendust's sound, he still continues to find creative ways to mix up the sound with his form and approach.  He's simply compelling on his fills on this release's best song, "Cold As War".  As for Witherspoon, he's the most underrated vocalist in all of rock music today.  His ability to sing cleanly and mix it up with death metal screams has always been a reason to love the band.  That continues here.  In short, Sevendust are as strong as ever, and BLACK OUT THE SUN proves it.

PITRIFF RATING - 88/100 - BLACK OUT THE SUN rocks as Sevendust generally does.  Sure, they have better releases in their catalog, but this one will not disappoint anyone who's been following along.  Their lack of big time success is one of the true failings of modern music fans of the last two decades.  Maybe though, that's the reason they've stayed so hungry and true to their own sound.  BLACK OUT THE SUN is as true as it gets.

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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.

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The shockingly honest and emotional first book from radio personality and rock critic Chris Akin.

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Read Reviews and Excerpts from LITTLE VICTORIES: A TALE OF DIVORCE, DEBAUCHERY AND FINDING HAPPINESS HERE!

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