• 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: Lamb Of God, Resolution, CD ReviewsLamb Of God
RESOLUTION

Being honest here, a lot of people didn't like WRATH a whole lot, although I didn't fully understand why. Sure they ventured a touch from the tried and true, but ultimately it sounded pretty close to what Lamb Of God has generally sounded like. If anything, it may have been too close to being a sequel to SACRAMENT, but certainly wasn't an album that caused this band to need of a "comeback". That said, Lamb Of God have delivered what some will call a comeback, and what others will call the great next step from the band.

From the start, RESOLUTION beats you over the head like a home invader with a ball bat and nothing at all to lose. The intro "Straight For The Sun" sets the tone for the absolutely vicious "Desolation". From the moment they start playing, it's clear that you are in for far more than a listening of some heavy metal. You are in for an all out attack. These songs are heavy, full of groove, and featuring some of the most brutal vocals that Randy Blythe has ever laid down.

Throughout their career, Lamb Of God have cut their own place in the heavy metal paradigm on the strength of a sound that they have defined as uniquely theirs. That has, and continues to be, based on the unique guitar tone they have. Mark Morton and Willie Adler have defined their sound over the years, and there's no letting up here. Their downtuned, Dimebag-esque riffs dominate songs like "The Number Six" and "Insurrection". To be clear here, I'm not saying the stereotypical "they are new age Pantera" that so many like to falsely tag this band as. There is no denying though that some of that groove does remind of the great Dimebag's playing in the past.

While the album certainly hammers hard, there are moments that don't feel especially fresh. The first single, "Ghost Walking", is a solid tune but will rightly be called this album's "Redneck". It's very, very similar to that track from SACRAMENT, which isn't bad since that's a solid tune. Still, it's hard to not judge it as a bit of a retread.

PITRIFF RATING - 85/100 - They are one of the few consistently great metal bands from the last decade, and RESOLUTION does nothing to change that. A much stronger album than their last couple, Lamb Of God have created another punishing release that will please their hardcores, and even some of those that aren't too cool to listen to some metal that's both extreme and popular. Count me in!

Chris Akin

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.

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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.

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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