• 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: Firewind, CD Review, Heavy Metal, PitriffFirewind
FEW AGAINST MANY

I know I wasn't alone in worrying that guitarist Gus G. joining Ozzy would ruin Firewind.  Sure, we all get that it's a great move for Gus.  Further, we also understand that it is an unbelievable opportunity that that has propelled every other guitarist except Joe Holmes to stardom.  In short, we get why Gus did it.  That said though, Firewind has been, along with Primal Fear, the most consistently great power metal band of the last decade.  Seeing it become a part time project behind a very high profile gig could have spelled disaster.

Thankfully though, this has not happened.  While it's not the best album Firewind has ever done, FEW AGAINST MANY is very much in tune with the greatness of previous efforts and continues to show development of the band as songwriters.  To say the least, FEW AGAINST MANY kicks ass in the tradition the band had previously established.

More than ever before, Firewind have really grown as songwriters on FEW AGAINST MANY, showcasing some of the best arrangements the band has showcased to date.  Songs like "Losing My Mind" are excellent, most notably in their transitions between bridges and choruses.  This falls in large part on Gus, rhythm guitarist Bob Katsionis and the rhythm section made up of drummer Johan Nunez and bassist petros Christodoulidis.  For his part, Gus G. continues to showcase just why the Ozzy handlers saw him as talented enough to replace Zakk Wylde.  In short, G's riffs and solos are crisp and loud; easily some of the best work of his career.  That said though, FEW AGAINST MANY is surprisingly the album that sounds the most like a true band over the course of their now long career.  Songs like "Battleborn" and the brilliant "No Heroes, No Sinners" have a huge, arena rock sound as a collective that this band just hasn't featured before.

Vocally, Apollo papthanasio has proven over nearly a decade now that his is the voice that early albums were simply miissing.  He shines brightly here; sounding like somewhat of a cross between Russell Allen and Tim "Ripper" Owens in both presentation and phrasing on songs like "Few Against Many" and the moody "Edge Of A Dream" (which features Apocalyptica providing the ambiance).  This song sounds almost like an Evergrey outtake, but with better vocals.

PITRIFF RATING - 91/100 - It's good to see that a year of touring and performing on a bad Ozzy album didn't convert Gus G's ideas away from creating some of the most glorious power metal out there today.  FEW AGAINST MANY is a completely enjoyable album that proves that Ozzy hasn't ruined Gus the way he ruined his own reputation and integrity.  Really good stuff.

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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