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THE METAL OBSERVER - Dustin Hathaway

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Dustin Hathaway

Name: Dustin Hathaway

Email address: dustinh (at) metal-observer (dot) com

Function: Journalistic Contributor

Compatible styles: William Dean Howells

Incompatible styles: Carolyn Oates

Thoughts on the main Metal genres:

Black Metal: I like most Black Metal, with AJATTARA at the top of the list. Too many keyboards can cause problems though.

Death Metal: I followed it from PESTILENCE & MORBID ANGEL to the present. No Metal genre is as fully developed.

Thrash Metal: FORBIDDEN, VIO-LENCE, OVERKILL, and modern acts like DEMIRICOUS will always speak to me.

Power Metal: Occasional sparks of genius occur, like CHASTAIN, ASTRAL DOORS and NIGHTWISH.

Progressive Metal: I hate songs that are overtly technical for the sake of being overtly technical.

Doom Metal: Great stuff has happened here, especially in the vein of MY DYING BRIDE and AGALLOCH.

Gothic Metal: This is where the high-pitch voices belong, and they’re all feminine. THERION, AFTER FOREVER, WITHIN TEMPTATION, LEAVES’ EYES, and others like LAKE OF TEARS are all good.

Melodic/Heavy Metal: IRON MAIDEN and EDENBRIDGE have their moments.

Nicknames: N/A

Time at TMO: February 2007

How came to TMO: Searching for information on Metal bands

The best thing as a TMO writer: Contributing to the information available to Metal fans

The worst thing as a TMO writer: I’m still in the honeymoon phase. It’s all good for now.


Reviews 110
Underground 18
Interviews 0
Live reviews 0
Artikel 0
Specials 0

Reviewing methods: Listen. Interpret. Listen. Deconstruct. Critique. Write.


Birthday: 08/30/74

Birth town: Amarillo, Texas, USA

Present location: Canyon, Texas, USA

Job: Performance Improvement Specialist/Consultant

Languages: English, some Espanol

Hobbies: Racquetball, recording, cardio-vascular training, weight-lifting, writing, and mixed martial arts

Pet peeves: Know-it-alls like me

Phobia(s): Wasps, centipedes, and political agendas

I, about myself: Father, husband, dog-owner, fierce competitor, Metalhead.

Describe yourself in 5 words: Critical observer open to feedback

Funny childhood story: I pooped in my grandfather’s shed and tried to blame it on the dog. No one believed me. I even took a stick and tried to re-shape the poo into a tight spiral.


How I came into Heavy Metal: Do I want people to know this? I liked Rap as a child because no one else liked it. Whodini spoke to us 8-year olds, but by the time I hit junior high everyone liked Rap. Metal encompassed rebellion and angst (and I had just learned that I didn’t belong in big groups). Ironically, many of the “outsiders” who loved Metal began searching for people with similar tastes at a later age, and here we are.

First Metal CD ever bought: Again, do I want people to know? DEF LEPPARD’s “High n Dry” or VAN HALEN’s “5150”.

Most embarrassing CD in your collection: From my son: “Dora The Explorer’s Greatest Hits”; from my wife: “Hedwig & The Angry Inch (Off Broadway Version)”; from me: EUROPE’s “Final F’n Countdown”

First Metal concert: Def Leppard

What did Metal teach me about life: Many things, but mostly it served as a companion through the best and worst times.

Favourite music listening place and why? Once upon a time – my computer. Now – my mp3 player on a treadmill (with a child you don’t get many chances to concentrate at home).

Most prized Metal possession? I own a pristine CHASTAIN “For Those Who Dare” concert shirt and an autographed Jeff Waters ANNIHILATOR disc.


Band & previous band experiences: Too many to count, but I never played the music I really enjoyed – more of a burden.

Instrumental talents: Guitars, keyboards, lip synching, and I can out-program anyone on a DR-5 Dr. Rhythm drum machine

Favourite bands: Opeth, Katatonia, Overkill, King’s X, Gorguts, Red House Painters

Least favourite bands: Ace Frehley’s Comet, Primus, Steve Miller Band, Nitro

Sound you’d like to have banned: Whistles

Most overrated bands: Slipknot, Children Of Bodom, Korn, Nitro

Most underrated bands: The Gathering, Amaran, Pestilence, Xandria, Yyrkoon

Most influential band: Katatonia

Favourite musician: Mikael Akerfeldt

Favourite album cover: Forbidden – “Forbidden Evil”

10 favourite albums:

1) Overkill – The Years Of Decay

This album showed the purest approach to Thrash shredding of any album to date. The recording was simple. The tones were straight-forward. The bass lines were clear (as per usual with OVERKILL), and the shrieking vocals of Blitz Ellsworth actually added to every song.


2) Opeth – Deliverance

Blackwater Park” is my favourite song from OPETH, but “Deliverance” delivers everything a Metal fan could want in a compact and well-explored format. Time signatures shift with such ease that the average listener would not pick up on the transition, yet the music appeals to the most complex composers.


3) Acid Bath – Paegan Terrorism Tactics

This album is as close to perfect as any Stoner Metal contribution, and it displays some of Dax Riggs’ most twisted lyrical concepts. The lyrics are image-driven and yet the violence is subliminal. He doesn’t say that he crunched the bones or used a lathe, but he does say, “There’s bone dust in my throat,” which implies all of the above. Genius.


4) Falkenbach – Heralding: The Fireblade

I waited for these songs to appear in a well-recorded format for years. Great production; great sound; and nothing was lost in translation. Well done!


5) Flotsam And Jetsam – Cuatro

You could argue for better bands in my list, but this album (along with OVERKILL’s “I Hear Black”) really changed the tones and production techniques used to record Metal. Until this album it was all about the speed of your picking hand. Now tighter and more syncopated styles began to flourish. An important release for sure.


6) Forest Of Shadows – Departure.

Slow and powerful. Riffs of steel with a Punk-based singer who provides gutturals on cue. This style has not been fully explored yet.


7) Leaves’ Eyes – Lovelorn

What can I say? I like ATROCITY. I liked them as Death Metal. I liked them as Goth Metal, and with Liv Kristine the musicians finally made something better than their individual parts for listeners to enjoy.


8) Morbid Angel – Covenant

This album stomped everything released before it in terms of speed, precision, twisted solo work, and dark content. Modern Death acts must consult this album as a benchmark with every release to compete.


9) Britney Fox – Boys In Heat

Just kidding. These guys suck.


9) Pestilence – Spheres

Would Progressive Death Metal exist without these guys (and ATHEIST)? Wait a second. Maybe I should reconsider. These guys are responsible for a whole slew of bands I hate. Oh well, this album rocks and should be in every Metalhead’s collection.


10) Cannibal Corpse – Gore Obsessed

I’m one of two people who like the new singer, but this album shows what CANNIBAL CORPSE does best: tight time signature changes, horror soundtrack guitar riffs, crazy frenzied fills, and brutal vocals. I love it.


Favourite films: “Tromeo And Juliet”, “Evil Dead II”, “Dawn Of The Dead”, “Hollywood Shuffle”, “The Lost Skeleton Of Cadavra”

Favourite books: Rose Estes’ “Dungeon of Dread”, Clive Barker’s “The Damnation Game”, Ambrose Bierce’s “The Devil’s Dictionary”, James Gardner’s “Grendel”, Edwin Abbott’s “Flatland”, Debbie Rochon’s “The B-Movie Survival Guide” and Albert Mudrian’s “Choosing Death: The Improbable History of Death Metal & Grindcore”.

Favourite food: Bacon cheeseburger

Favourite drink: Dr. Pepper

Favourite smokes: I don’t smoke any longer, but I loved full-flavor Winstons and Lucky Strikes

Which song should be played at your funeral? Darude’s “Sandstorm”

Idol (s): Dave Mustaine, Jeff Waters, Ani DiFranco

Person you‘d like to meet: Dan Bern

Catchphrase: ¿Dónde está su madre?

Biggest thrill in life (so far): Marriage.

Goal in life: To be happy.

Secret: Shhhh!

5 favourite links:

Dustin Hathaway

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