• 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: Overkill, White Devil Armory, Pitriff, Review, Thrash Metal

Overkill
WHITE DEVIL ARMORY

CD
MP3

Holy shit! Who saw this coming? In an astonishing detour off the band's well-trampled musical path. Their latest album ventures into heretofore uncharted territories, embracing such unexpected sonic offshoots as Eastern-tinged black metal, polka-dotted folk-metal, and, in what is sure to be a harbinger of trends to come, Tuvan throat-singing.

Nah, just fuckin' with you to see if you were paying attention. This kind of journalistic red herring is second only to starting off an Overkill review by talking about the band's remarkable consistency.

So, getting to the point, WHITE DEVIL ARMORY sounds exactly like every Overkill album since at least NECROSHINE fifteen years ago, and not too different from the four or five that came before that. The differences are so minute that only Blitz Ellsworth himself can truly say for sure. So when he claimed that 2012's The Electric Age was a "two-dimensional" album in hindsight, it made me snap my fingers and say, "So THAT'S why I had trouble remembering any songs after the first three or four!" No worries, as Blitz has declared WHITE DEVIL ARMORY to be a more well-rounded release. We mere mortals will just have to take his word for it.

Seriously, I love Overkill. I love their tunes, I love their attitude, and I love their steadfast refusal to tinker with a prize recipe. And when I say you could take any song from WHITE DEVIL ARMORY, insert it anywhere on the previous half-dozen albums, and never know the difference, I'm being honest, but it's also meant in the best possible way.
The Overkill sound is well-entrenched: you got D.D. Verni laying down the loudest bass in thrash, and you got Blitz's signature half-strangled, goiter-rattling shriek. Then you got the twin guitars of Dave Linsk and Derek Tailer, whose approach is so workmanlike you almost don't notice how talented they truly are, plus the likewise-overlooked drum frenzy of Ron Lipnicki. Top it off with a healthy dose of East Coast smartassery, and you have Overkill, friend. "Give 'em what they're lookin' for!" Blitz hollers on "Armorist," the album's first true song (after a short and completely unnecessary intro). And that's what they do.

That doesn't mean there aren't highlights. Hel no, they're everywhere. If there is a difference, it's that WHITE DEVIL ARMORY offers more consistently catchy songs than its predecessor, while still remaining utterly Overkill. "Armorist," "Pig," "Freedom Rings," "It's All Yours" and the somewhat slower "Bitter Pill," all stand out as some of the disc's best moments. As always, the band is more than ready to skid into a grinding breakdown halfway through a song, or drop a beat here and there to keep you guessing. There's just no tighter band in thrash than Overkill.

Lyrically, Blitz is his usual snide, cynical self. You can ascertain from some of his interviews what his political leanings are, but when dealing with such issues in "Pig" and "King Of The Rat Bastards," he still manages to keep everything fairly vague. His point of view could have been applicable twenty years ago, and probably will still be just as relevant twenty years from now.

PITRIFF RATING - 84/100 – Really, what's left to say about Overkill? They practice consistency almost to a fault, always playing up their strengths. They might make it hard for reviewers to come up with new things to say about them, but their music, even as bruising as it unfailingly is, has such a refreshing and reassuring, favorite-old-sweatshirt feeling of comfort, it's damn near impossible to find fault. If you don't like Overkill on at least SOME level, you just aren't much of a fan of thrash metal.

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

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