• 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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Corrosion Of Conformity, Pitriff, CD ReviewCorrosion Of Conformity
CORROSION OF CONFORMITY

Is it just me, or is the first album you actually hear from a band the measuring stick by which you compare everything else from that band? When I look at my musical collection, it's like that. I look at a band like Testament, where the first album I heard from them is SOULS OF BLACK. Everything they've done since is measured against that in my head, and everything before that in some way seems to be not quite up to that release in my mind. I'm not sure why that is, but I find that my first taste of a band is where I ground myself. While some releases can be better than that first release (THE GATHERING for me is far superior, as is FORMATION OF DAMNATION), I just don't see PRACTICE WHAT YOU PREACH in the same light. Maybe because it was old before I ever heard it. Dumb, I know.

What does any of this have to do with Corrosion Of Conformity? Well, with them, I discovered their music after Pepper Keenan was in the band. I'm a huge, huge fan, but for me the pre-Pepper COC never really grabbed me because it was so drastically different in sound from where I entered fandom with them. My first reaction to Pepper-less COC putting out a new album this year was, "eh", to be honest about it. But now I've heard it, and I have to say that this is a seriously triumphant release from the returning trio. CORROSION OF CONFORMITY packs a wallop musically as it does far more than those old releases like ANIMOSITY ever did. The return of COC 1.0 may be heralded as a return to the more punk style of early releases, but it's much more of a fusion of both eras of music these guys have done for 30 years.

Listening to this album, the punk influences are definitely there. You can't listen to a song like "Psychic Vampire" and not realize that these guys were heavily influenced by the heavier punk scenes from three decades ago. That said though, their stoner heritage of the Pepper era is on display throughout as well. "Come Not Here" might be the best mood-enhanced song of the band's career. They shine brighest though on songs like "What We Become", where the amalgamation of their two distinct styles merge.

For their part, the guys in the band sound great. It's clear their touring prior to recording this release helped them out greatly. Their sound, while not the lush soundscape they've done on previous efforts, has a really organic feel to it that would lend me to believe that there's not a lot of studio magic here. These songs have that live power" to them, specifically on guitar where Woody Weatherman is once again an underrated beast with his instrument.

PITRIFF RATING - 96/100 - CORROSION OF CONFORMITY is a seething return for this trio. I think their press people may be going overboard by selling the whole ANIMOSITY lineup return, because this release stands on it's own merits away from past glory from the band. This organic ass kicker may not be the most polished release of the band's career, but it's one of the best. Moody, arrogant at times, and constantly spitting in the face of their perceived sound, it's clear that this band will be just fine as a trio should "the other guy" never find his way back. This is a seriously awesome release.

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.

CLICK HERE to learn more about CAUSE/EFFECT: METALLICA.

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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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Read Reviews and Excerpts from LITTLE VICTORIES: A TALE OF DIVORCE, DEBAUCHERY AND FINDING HAPPINESS HERE!

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