• Megadeth - DYSTOPIA

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

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    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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  • Sevendust - KILL THE FLAW

    Image: Sevendust, Kill The Flaw Sevendust
    KILL THE FLAW

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    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
    THE BOOK OF SOULS

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    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
    REPENTLESS

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    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
    THE KEY

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    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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  • W.A.S.P. - GOLGOTHA

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

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    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: Vicious Rumors, Live You To Death 2, American Punishment, Pitriff, Review, Thrash metalVicious Rumors
LIVE YOU TO DEATH 2: AMERICAN PUNISHMENT

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There are some bands that just seem to live on and on.  Like cockroaches, nothing can really kill them.  Vicious Rumors is one such band.  With a roster that now lists 34 current and past players in their history, there's just something that does not allow this band to die.  That something is guitarist Geoff Thorpe.  One of the most underrated in the thrash/power metal genre from back in the day, Thorpe has long kept Vicious Rumors not only alive, but creating killer releases that their small but loyal fanbase continues to crave.  Last year's ELECTRIC PUNISHMENT was about as good a release as the band had ever done, and yet, even with that, the lineup was turned over by the time they got out on the road and began touring for it.  Still, the band soldiers on and presents the most current lineup in the surprisingly crisp and biting new live release, LIVE YOU TO DEATH 2: AMERICAN PUNISHMENT.

Without question, the interest in this release comes in the form of young Dutch vocalist Nick Holleman.  Literally from out of nowhere, Holleman just appeared on the last tour and made Vicious Rumors his own.  While this is a band that has long boasted great vocalists (James Rivera, Carl Albert, Ronnie Stixx, Brian Allen), few have come in and morphed the sound to them like Holleman has.  Listening to material like "You Only Live Twice", it's clear that Holleman feels perfectly at home belting out these songs.  Nothing against the other guys that have held the microphone in this band, but Holleman is the first in a while that has fit the band instead of the band fitting him.  While James Rivera is one of my favorite singers ever, every band he sings in sounds like James Rivera.  That just didn't work as well as this does for Vicious Rumors.  Holleman just brings it strong, and you can feel his excitement presenting songs like "Mastermind".  He's solid.

As for the rest of the band, they are tight, strong and powerful as always.  The rhythm section of drummer Larry Howe and bassist Tilen Hudrap may have been teaming for the first time on this tour, but they created a killer thump for each song.  They bring it strong on tracks like "Electric Punishment".  That is only bettered by the guitar tandem of Geoff Thorpe and Bob Capka.  Thorpe has long been a favorite of mine, and he is blistering on songs like "I Am The Gun" and the fan favorite, "Don't Wait For Me".  All in all, LIVE YOU TO DEATH 2 is a true metal release that I would think most fans of stuff on the "Metal Church/Anthrax/Exodus" level of heavy will love.

PITRIFF RATING - 88/100 - They may never have been a part of the "Big Four", but Vicious Rumors was always one of those bands that deserved better.  Their lineup inconsistency is probably what bit them back in the day, but that never stopped them from writing great material and delivering it better than just about anyone out there.  LIVE YOU TO DEATH 2 is solid, and features an incredible new vocalist who I can't wait to hear more from personally.  Fans of live metal will dig this.

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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The shockingly honest and emotional first book from radio personality and rock critic Chris Akin.

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

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