• Megadeth - DYSTOPIA

    Image: Megadeth, Dystopia, Dave Mustaine, David Ellefson, Kiko Loureiro, Chris Adler Megadeth


    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


    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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  • Sevendust - KILL THE FLAW

    Image: Sevendust, Kill The Flaw Sevendust


    When I first saw Sevendust’s new release was titled KILL THE FLAW, my initial thought was “what exactly is the flaw?” It leads you to wonder just what it is that caused this band to not break big, while bands with lesser quality catalogs like Disturbed or Korn had such crazy amounts of success at the same time. This

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  • Iron Maiden - THE BOOK OF SOULS

    Image: Iron Maiden, The Book of Souls, Review, Classic Metal, Pitriff, Chris Akin Iron Maiden


    They don’t do it that often anymore, but there’s always excitement when Iron Maiden comes out with new music. Knowing that they are closing in on the end of their career, you really do end up hoping that when they go out for good, it will be with a bang. I think it’s universally agreed upon that

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  • Slayer - REPENTLESS

    Image: Slayer, Repentless, Pitriff, Review, Thrash Metal, Chris Akin Slayer


    Probably more than any release in their history, Slayer came into releasing this album at a crossroads. This WAS the album that, in many ways, dictated if the band could continue on or if it was indeed time to drift off quietly to Hell. The loss of guitarist Jeff Hanneman and the removal of drummer Dave Lombardo had almost every Slayer

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  • Operation: Mindcrime - THE KEY

    Image: Operation Mindcrime, Geoff Tate, Reviews, Music, heavy metal Operation: Mindcrime


    Geoff Tate’s falling out and subsequent two years of lawsuits, multiple versions of the same band and overall craziness in the press definitely tarnished a legacy that once seemed untouchable. Think about it. Even with over a decade of arguably bad releases (Q2K, TRIBE, AMERICAN SOLDIER, DEDICATED TO CHAOS), it wasn’t until the now infamous spitting incident and the

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    Image: WASP, Golgotha, Blackie Lawless, Pitriff, Review, Heavy Metal W.A.S.P.


    W.A.S.P. is one of those bands that has a ridiculously loyal fanbase...and good for them, actually. Doing THE CLASSIC METAL SHOW, we get shit on repeatedly anytime we say anything that is less than glowing about W.A.S.P., Blackie Lawless or any of the band’s former or present members. Oh well...comes with the territory, I guess. After what seems like quite a

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Image: KXM, George Lynch, Dug Pinnick, Ray Luzier, PitriffKXM


Some points of clarity before I write a single world about the new project KXM, in order that this review is understood and evaluated fairly by anyone reading it. This project features three guys - Dug Pinnick of King's X, George Lynch of Dokken and Lynch Mob fame, and Ray Luzier who is currently the drummer for Korn. Out of fairness, I'll allow the following for this review. First, I'm not a fan of Dug Pinnick's music at all. I've interviewed him several times (I think five times, actually), and he's a super cool guy, but musically I've just never, ever gotten King's X as much as I've wanted to understand why so many just worship them. In many ways, King's X falls into that category that Dream Theater does for me - that I just don't understand the appeal of. As for Lynch, again putting it out there, I work for Dokken as their webmaster and also for current Dokken guitarist Jon Levin as his as well. That said, I think Lynch has the distinction of not only recording some of the best music of the "hair era and beyond (because LYNCH/PILSON was by far his best recorded work), but he's also recorded two of the worst albums of all time in my ears in Dokken's SHADOWLIFE and Lynch Mob's SMOKE THIS. I haven't liked much of Lynch's work in a long time, as Microdot, Souls of We and other stuff I'm sure I'm missing have just not been very good. As for Luzier, I think I met him once at a David Lee Roth show in the late 90s, enjoyed the DLR Band album he played on, like Korn, and also remember that he had some sort of association with Darren Householder from one of my favorite bands that never made it big, Love/Hate. So there, it's on the table.

The reason I'm putting it on the table? Because I know that no matter what I write next is going to be met with a bunch of criticism. If I say I hate KXM, it's because I hate King's X or Lynch. If I say I like it, it's because I'm a Korn fan. At least now, you can take this review with the proper grain of salt.

The truth though is that, aside from the single "Release Me", KXM is actually a pretty solid listen. I don't love it, but certainly don't hate it either. As a fan of somewhat experimental projects, KXM seems to cross a lot of boundaries that many bands probably wouldn't try to go across. It's hard not to hear King's X from song to song when Pinnick is so much the pivotal member of that band, but throughout KXM, he's added just a hint more texture to his vocal presentation to come across closer to Jeff Scott Soto than his own back catalog. Again, that's just a little difference, and certainly you won't be mistaking one for the other any time soon. Still, he sounds pretty compelling on songs like "Gun Fight".

As for Lynch, KXM is one of those releases from him where his love of trying to not repeat his past has helped him more than hurt him. On other projects (specifically Souls Of We), he stretched far past what made him great. Here on songs like "Faith Is A Room", he seems to explore some kind of odd double tuning in his playing that mixes both modern guitar sound and a deeper tuning that he used in Lynch Mob on REVOLUTION LIVE. Lynch sounds pretty solid here, and is accompanied well by Luzier, who's got a machine gun sounding tribal beat going underneath Lynch and Pinnick on this song.

While overall, KXM is pretty solid, it does come with some missteps. As previously mentioned, the first single "Release Me" is just not a good song. It's far too filled with weirdness, specifically from Lynch who seems to be trying to create too much texture instead of just playing and driving the song with his guitar. The other song that really shouldn't have made this album is the somber, almost pathetic tale of spousal abuse and a mother's willingness to take it called "Sleep". I think it was supposed to be a blues song, but it fails here hard. Lynch's guitar playing is far too metal for the blues solo he provides, and Pinnick is comes off more whiny than feeling deeply pained as I think he was going for. Definitely an immediate skip on future listenings of this release.

PITRIFF RATING - 74/100 - Overall, KXM is a pretty cool project. I would love to see these guys tour with the Winery Dogs just to see the end of show jam that would almost certainly end each show. This is a project that could very potentially have some legs to it, and they are off to a solid start.

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.


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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.

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

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