• Black Stone Cherry - KENTUCKY

    Image: Black Stone Cherry, Kentucky Black Stone Cherry
    KENTUCKY

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    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

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    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

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    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

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    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

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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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Image: Kid Rock, Rebel Soul, Pitriff, Heavy Metal News, Reviews, InterviewsKid Rock
REBEL SOUL

You know, I regularly get my ass kicked by readers and friends for claiming that Kid Rock is the most talented, and best artist out there today that's making music. That's fine. I know that as primarily a metalhead, I'm supposed to loathe what Kid Rock stands for. Let's face it, he did make his mark as a rapper, and then sold that out to do what he actually wanted to do, which was make primarily rock music. I guess I see that. I also guess I don't care. I thought he was really good as a rapper. I think he's better as a modern day classic rock artist. The one thing that's never changed with Kid Rock has been his attitude. He's done whatever he wanted from day 1, and he's made it big in spite of the expectations that people in the industry throw on him. Every album now comes with a heavy dose of "fuck you" combined with a side order of "you don't know shit" that he happily throws in the face of an industry that's hellbent on defining trends instead of listening to fans and their desires. Thank God for Kid Rock.

REBEL SOUL is, in my eyes, Kid Rock's finest hour. In so many ways, REBEL SOUL reminds me of THE SOUTHERN HARMONY AND MUSICAL COMPANION album from The Black Crowes from so many years ago. It does so because this album is chock full of tremendously catchy and fun songs, but it's so against the grain of not only what's going on but Rock's own career that it just moves you. Lyrically, Kid Rock has done some different things here, going for a lot deeper political messages this time around. "Catt Boogie" deals a lot with governmental moves that are creating a one world government, while the first single "Let's Ride" makes a very pro-troops statement in the most real and hardcore way Rock can.

Talk of political messages should not influence anyone into thinking that this is strictly a message driven album like a Rage Against The Machine might put out. It's still Kid Rock after all, so there's just as much fun rockin' as there is serious moments. Songs like "Cucci Galore" prove once again that there's still a heavy dose of "let's get naked and party ladies" vibe to Rock. Other songs like "Celebrate" and "Happy New Year" are simple party rockers that get stuck in your head like gum in a middle school girl's hair. As always, there's songs celebrating music in general ("God Save Rock And Roll"), and there's the always needed celebration of Rock's hometown ("Detroit, Michigan"). This album is about as dysfunctional as anything Kid Rock has done lyrically, but the overriding vibe he's created here is one of an album that you don't merely listen to a track or two from. This is a "start to finish" album that you just put on and groove to for an hour; very much like you would back in the day with the work of Rock's musical hero Bob Seger.

While there's a lot of talk about different songs and different meanings, Rock has recorded not only one but two of his best songs ever on REBEL SOUL. The title track, "Rebel Soul" is, without question, the most complete picture of what Kid Rock is as an artist today. By contrast, the ballad "The Mirror" is the most touching, deep track lyrically that Rock has done to date; light years past his previous best "Amen" from ROCK N' ROLL JESUS.

PITRIFF RATING - 97/100 - I'm sure the hate mail will again come for saying Kid Rock is great, but bring it. Kid Rock is fucking great, and his latest REBEL SOUL is the greatest thing this guy has done to date. Truly a moving 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.

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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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