• 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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  • Opeth - PALE COMMUNION

    Image: Opeth, Pale Communion, Pitriff, Review, Progressive Metal Opeth
    PALE COMMUNION

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    Opeth simply fails as a band, at least to me. While I'll admit to never fully understanding the amazement and awe so many have for this band, I've appreciated them from afar. I've listened, and I've at least wrapped my head around what they were trying to do. Their fusing of death metal with progressive elements always made for an

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  • Cannibal Corpse - A SKELETAL DOMAIN

    Cannibal Corpse, A Skeletal Domain, Review, Death Metal Cannibal Corpse
    A SKELETAL DOMAIN

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    So really, what does anyone expect when you get a Cannibal Corpse release handed to you? Ballads, love songs and fun? Not hardly. There's an expectation of severe brutality which the band delivers time and time again. Certainly, it comes with different levels of acceptance to one's ears, but ultimately the only thing that matters if it says

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  • Exodus - BLOOD IN, BLOOD OUT

    Image: Exodus, Blood In Blood Out, Pitriff, Review, Thrash Metal Exodus
    BLOOD IN, BLOOD OUT

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    Unless you call Testament a "thrash band" (which I don't personally), Exodus would rank as my favorite true Thrash band of all time. They have had good times and bad. Occasionally, like on FABULOUS DISASTER, they have misstepped along the way. But overall, they are one of the true powerhouses in the history of thrash metal. Since 2004

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  • Mr. Big - ...THE STORIES WE COULD TELL

    Mr. Big, The Stories We Could Tell, Reviews, Classic Metal, Chris Akin, Pitriff Mr. Big
    ...THE STORIES WE COULD TELL

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    As a fan of Mr. Big, I can't honestly say that many people thought that their reunion was much more than a cash grab opportunity for the guys in the band who, while immensely talented, failed to find solo success to match their collaborative efforts. It was never a question of if they could still play.

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  • Slash - WORLD ON FIRE

    Image: Slash, Myles Kennedy, Conspirators, World On Fire, Pitriff, review, classic metal Slash
    WORLD ON FIRE

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    Hey Gene Simmons. The corpse of rock n' roll just had a baby. That baby is not an average baby at all. That baby was not stillborn, but came out kicking and screaming with an intensity rarely seen. This baby is destined for greatness. This infant is out to prove you wrong. While your days of spitting fire and

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  • Davey Suicide - WORLDWIDE SUICIDE

    Image: Davey Suicide, Worldwide Suicide, Pitriff, Reviews, Modern Metal Davey Suicide
    WORLDWIDE SUICIDE

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    I had the pleasure of working directly with Davey Suicide as he prepped his debut release a few years ago for release. I got to work with him on some promotional stuff, some publicity stuff, his website and a lot more of that kind of stuff. In that work, I quickly found him to be far more than the

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  • Ministry - LAST TANGLE IN PARIS

    Image: Ministry, Last Tangle In Paris, Pitriff, Review, Industrial Metal Ministry
    LAST TANGLE IN PARIS

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    Al Jourgensen of Ministry has been threatening to take his ball and go home for a long time now. Quite frankly, I'm not sure I believe that he'll ever retire. Every time he says he's retiring, he seems to come right back with more music that's stronger, meaner and just better than anything in his past. Being quite

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Review - Walking With Kings

Image: Walking With Kings, Modern Metal, Christian Metal, Rich Ward, Pitriff, CD ReviewWalking With Kings
WALKING WITH KINGS

I’m a big Rich Ward fan - huge, actually.  I think he is the one guitarist out there that’s never been given his just due.  Stuck Mojo was a tremendous band that never got the credit they deserved while lesser bands like Limp Bizkit and Korn rose to dominance for a decade.  Ward has a large body of work with Stuck Mojo, as well as other bands like Sick Speed, The Duke and Adrenaline Mob.  While he’s teetered in and out of Christian-like themes for years, Ward has now put together and recorded a full Christian Rock album with Walking With Kings.  Past Stuck Mojo, this may be his best project to date.  

Let’s look at the positives here.  First, at least for now it’s free!  That’s right, if you want to sample this but the “C” word (Christian) is scaring you into thinking this will be some uncool, Stryper wannabe album, you can at least find out for yourself without spending more than 5 seconds to click the download link over at www.walkingwithkings.com.  

Second, singer and primary lyricist Terry Chism.  Chism is indeed devout in his worship of the Lord, but more importantly to me as a music fan is that he’s a damn good singer.  In a lot of ways, Chism reminds of Alter Bridge’s Miles Kennedy.   Listening to him sing on songs like “Change The World”, you hear a real sense of vocal excellence coming from him.  Further, Chism’s phrasing of lyrics is that of a 20 year professional.  It’s not sing songy, six syllable garbage where the last word rhymes from line to line.  To the contrary, Chism shares his spiritual feelings like a masterful storyteller on songs like “Home”.  Finally, guitarist Rich Ward is on the record, which automatically makes it a lot better.  As I stated, he’s never gotten his due as a player.  While his playing is not as over the top metal as he’s shown in Stuck Mojo as recently as on SOUTHERN BORN KILLERS, his modern rock riffs that he lays down on songs like “Friends” are juicy and fun; easily leading the listener through a fun experience of the songs.  

Now, the negative.  While I get that Sick Speed and the Stuck Mojo album THE GREAT REVIVAL were not successful, massively received projects, they do exist and were heard by hardcore Stuck Mojo fans like...well...like me.  Further, it’s hard to complain about anything that’s given to you free, as again THE GREAT REVIVAL and now WALKING WITH KINGS has been, but free or not, it’s a bit lazy to use the same songs from multiple releases here with virtually no rearrangement other than different vocals.  “Friends” was by far my favorite song on THE GREAT REVIVAL, so hearing what seems like the same musical tracks with different vocals thrown in just doesn’t feel right to me.  The same with Autumn Brings, which also was better when it was a Sick Speed track than here.  These criticisms are not a huge deal mind you, but these tracks just don’t feel good compared to other songs like “Leap Of Faith” or “Here I Stand”.  

PITRIFF RATING - 88/100 - There’s some great riffs on this album; some great songs, great performances and honestly a great message.  It’s definitely a harder Christian rock than I might otherwise look to listen to, but the music itself and the fact that it’s more telling a story than beating the listener up for not walking His path makes it OK with me.  Walking With Kings is a seriously solid band, and this effort is a fun listen to say the least.  It’s got it’s flaws, but it’s far from easily dismissed.  If more Christian Rock bands did this, the message would be easier to get out there to the modern aged kids.

Chris Akin

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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.

CLICK HERE to learn more about LITTLE VICTORIES.

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