• 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: Sixx AM, 7, Heavy Metal News, CD Reviews, PitriffSixx AM
7

I make no secrets about the fact that I literally despise Nikki Sixx. I find it sickening that he's used his hedonistic, ridiculous addictions of the past to profit from. See, I was there in the 80s, and was a huge Motley Crue fan. Nikki Sixx did not suffer from the disease of addiction. In fact, he flaunted it. At least outwardly, Motley Crue were proud to be junkies, flying the flag of abuse under the guise of it all being for "sex, drugs and Rock n' Roll". I know as a teenager, I was heavily influenced by this, and I can tell you for a fact that I snorted more than one line of coke with "Dancin' On Glass" playing in the background at a party. I find it disgusting that Sixx and his media machine prop him up as an overcomer of this disease, when the reality is he used it to make money when he was a user, and he continues to make money from it now that he's stopped. Maybe I'm crazy here, but giving up smack is not heroic...it's what you are supposed to do.

That said, I am as guilty as anyone for supporting this turd, as I have to honestly admit that I really enjoy the music he's doing about those times with the entity known as Sixx AM. Listening to his recent reworking of some of the material from the band's first two releases, I can't help but to seriously find this material credible; in many ways more credible than the original, rocked up versions of these songs. The stripped down versions of many of these songs on 7 are a lot stronger than their plugged in counterparts. "This Is Gonna Hurt" is brilliant stripped down. Vocalist James Michael is, without any question, the strength of the band's performances here and on the other two albums. His ability to put realistic emotion into material that he didn't write is masterful. "Life Is Beautiful" is particularly haunting. Michael's performance comes off almost like a spoken word suicide note, albeit beautiful in the loneliness of the song's message. DJ Ashba's guitar solo on this song works particularly well here too.

Each and every song on 7 is a masterpiece, and far more appropriate to the stories Sixx told in his two books. The band is best on the final song of the disc, "Accidents Can Happen". Again, Michael is the star here. His pain-filled vocals are countered with an almost inspirational uplift in the chorus which then gives way again to more pain. As one that thinks that Sixx is an overrated songwriter that wrote a lot of pathetic lyrics that were praised in Motley Crue, it's good to hear that there is still ability to pen some smart, moving lyrics here.

PITRIFF RATING - 93/100 - Rumor has it that Motley Crue will be going "on hiatus" this Spring. Good. They are a band that hasn't recorded a solid album since 1994, and a band who's current lineup hasn't done anything worth listening to since 1990. Sixx AM is the stronger project at this point, and 7 is the strongest thing they've done to date. Sure, it's just redux of songs they've already done, but the change of sound and scenery for these songs makes them far better than their first recordings plugged in. I may not have much interest at all in the always overhyped Nikki Sixx, but I can't argue that his current band is excellent.

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.

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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!

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

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