• 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: God Forbid, Equilibrium, Pitriff, CD ReviewsGod Forbid
EQUILIBRIUM

While the last 10+ years have seen a gluttony of garbage when it comes to newer, modern metal bands, there have been a few that have continually stood above the fray musically. God Forbid is definitely one of them. Their intensity combined with their brutality in the live setting has made them one of the most universally recognized great bands out there…even if they don’t sell a lot of records. Albums like EARTHSBLOOD and IV: CONSTITUTION OF TREASON were some of the best this genre has offered up. It wasn’t enough though for former founding member Dallas Coyle, who left the band in 2009 and left a lot of people wondering what the future would hold for them.

 

The band is back with EQUILIBRIUM; an album that is distinctively God Forbid while feeling like quite a departure from much of their previous work. To be clear here, it’s very good, but different. There are some songs, like the opening “Don’t Tell Me What To Dream”, which are pretty much spot on what you would expect from the band. But then there are other songs that are very different and almost feel like their new label (Victory Records) guided them in some of the writing. A prime example of this is “Scraping The Walls”. Where vocalist Byron Davis is primarily a guttural screamer that has very occasionally mixed in clean vocals for effect, there’s a LOT more clean vocals on EQUILIBRIUM. There’s far too much of it on “Scraping The Walls”. Songs like “Conquer” are much stronger because they use the clean vocal for peppering more than as a chosen style.

Musically, EQUILIBRIUM is a strong effort, but not the band’s strongest effort by a long shot. I’m not sure if it’s that they were writing to find a new record deal or that Dallas Coyle’s loss just changed the dynamic drastically, but what’s left is a sound that’s much closer to the pack than they have ever been before. Doc Coyle and new guitarist Matt Wicklund produce little more than standard fair on guitar, which combined with the clean vocals on songs like “Equilibrium” render the song lifeless. That can be said on a lot of the material.

PITRIFF RATING – 67/100 - It’s not bad, and with my first listen I will admit that I was pretty much into it. Further listens though quickly pointed out more and more pieces that just didn’t fit…or more importantly didn’t stick in my head long. It’s OK, but it’s a great example of a great band putting out a decent, non-great album.

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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