• 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: Testament, Dark Roots Of Thrash, Pitriff, CD ReviewTestament
DARK ROOTS OF THRASH

iTunes
Amazon
Concert Tickets

On my radio show, THE CLASSIC METAL SHOW, we have a long running argument about the Bay Area Thrash bands. We talk about if you could only keep one band's catalog, whose would it be. Would it be Metallica? Megadeth? Or would it be this band, Testament. Certainly there is no denying the greatness of MASTER OF PUPPETS or RUST IN PEACE. But with Testament, you have no ST. ANGER. There is no RISK. There is no sellout period, with the exception of DEMONIC where they sold out to the darker side and took a stab at being heavier than they had been to that point. It's a tough debate, really. While I think I'd still take Metallica based solely on the brilliance of the albums up to and through the Black album, there really is no way you could go wrong with the Testament catalog.

In the live setting, Testament are an untouchable band. Having seen them in front of 15,000 people before as well as having seen them with 200 in front of them in a sweaty club, they deliver one of the most fierce shows any metalhead will ever be graced enough to see. Captured on DARK ROOTS OF THRASH, Testament have delivered what is, definitively, the very best live release of their career. From the opening "Rise Up" through the closing "Disciples Of The Watch", vocalist Chuck Billy and company ravage your ears with a 90 minute assault that is about as stunning as anything a live band can present. For Billy's part, he sounds...well...he sounds like Chuck Billy. While never one of the most dynamic vocalists out there, his sound is genuine and doesn't change from the recorded to the live environment. He sounds great here, destroying early on in the set on songs like "More Than Meets The Eye". He's just one of the great elements here though.

As is always the case with Testament, Billy is but a single element of this band. They are driven by what I would argue is the greatest guitar tandem in the history of heavy metal - Eric Peterson and Alex Skolnick. They are absolutely blistering here, both on new material like "True American Hate" as well as their destructive version of "Burnt Offerings". Their sound on DARK ROOTS OF THRASH is so big and full, and they are about as tight as a tandem can possibly be playing together. They are rounded out by a monsterous bottom end comprised of bassist Greg Christian and a guy considered by many as the greatest drummer in metal, Gene Hoglan. Hoglan is particularly vicious throughout, punching up songs like "New Order" and "D.N.R." far past their recorded counterparts.

PITRIFF RATING - 98/100 - This is as good a live release as can possibly be released by a band this heavy. Incredible production is better only by a nearly flawless, spot on performance by all five members of the band. DARK ROOTS OF THRASH is truly an amazing live listen that will only do one of two things for you. It will a. make you glad you saw them on this tour, or b. make you extremely sorry you missed it. Either way, you won't be sorry you purchased this. Incredible.

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.

Buy Now:  Paperback    Digital

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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