• 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: Sevendust, Time Travelers & Bonfires, Review, Modern Metal, PitriffSevendust
TIME TRAVELERS & BONFIRES

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Sevendust are really a band for the fans, and the fans are definitely always there for the band. Case in point - their latest release TIME TRAVELERS & BONFIRES. This release is one paid for by the latest trend hitting the music business, pre-funding by the fans to pay for a project. The band asked for a lot for this campaign, and got 245% funding from their fans in return. So what did Sevendust do with that money? Well, they created a very cool release that, while different from anything they've ever done studio-wise, is about as good as anything they've created to date. An acoustic release featuring fix new tracks and acoustic reworkings of some of their most popular material, TIME TRAVELERS & BONFIRES connects on every level with the established fanbase. For a band that gets so much from their fans, that's just what you would expect.

For those that don't remember, this is not Sevendust's first foray into the acoustic realm. Their often overlooked yet brilliant acoustic live release DOUBLE WIDE: ACOUSTIC LIVE is one of the most energetic live releases from any band trying to go "unplugged" ever. For fans of the band, that one has stood as a go to release for years. With TIME TRAVELERS & BONFIRES, the ban have seemingly decided to take a new approach to not only their classic material, but to presenting new songs they are working on. It works incredibly well. "The Wait" is one of the best songs these guys have put together since "Angel's Son"; a mid-tempo song that is reminiscent of some of the less heavy material from the last two releases and powered by vocalist Lajon Witherspoon's nearly perfect vocal combination of crooning and power singing. "Under It All" is another nearly perfect song from the band, with guitarists Clint Lowery and John Connolly driving the song with acoustic guitars that are still very much played in the unique rhythmic style the band always maintains. Reading that this is acoustic might give you a false thought that TIME TRAVELERS & BONFIRES is a mellow release. It's far from it. "Upbeat Sugar" rocks, and is one song I'd love to hear live given a full on electric reinterpretation (this one is somewhat electric).

If the new songs don't get you, the classics are sure to entertain even the most casual Sevendust fan. "Denial" is a big fan favorite with it's high energy and memorable presentation. This new version is absolutely dark and haunting. It creeps along, with drummer Morgan Rose adding some bongos lightly behind the music to give it a bit more of a dark tribal vibe. It just works. "Trust" is one where the arrangement from the previous acoustic live album returns, but it works once again here. "Black" is a very unique reinterpretation because it's pacing as a song (and specifically lyrically) is odd to begin with. Still, Witherspoon and company find a way to give it new life.

PITRIFF RATING - 92/100 - Like Sevendust as a band, TIME TRAVELERS & BONFIRES is not for everyone. The most underrated band of the last 20 years does what they always do here. They deliver exactly what their fanbase would want. Solid from start to finish, TIME TRAVELERS & BONFIRES is sure to entertain fans until the next plugged in release comes along. That's good enough for me.

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!

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