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Personal Top 20 of 2008
Personal Top 20 of 2009

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Sebastian Jazdzewski

Name: Sebastian Jazdzewski

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

Function: reviewer/interviewer

Compatible styles: Mainly Viking/Black/Folk/Pagan Metal but I am also interested in many other styles as well, not only in Metal.

Incompatible styles: Hardcore, Grind, Traditional Death Metal, Nu Metal, Thrash Metal.

Thoughts on the main Metal genres:

Black Metal: I am neither a devoted fan of raw Black Metal nor the symphonic one, though, there are albums which definitely attract my attention. My absolute favourite one is “Nattens Madrigal” by ULVER not only for very good musicianship but also for the whole concept of this record. What I like about Black is that it has a strong charge of something primordial and untamed. If mixed with some Folk music elements and references to mythology or folk beliefs in the lyrics, it draws immediately my attention. At the same time I do not appreciate the fact that many bands try to promote themselves by other means that music.

Death Metal: I am not interested in its traditional form, though, I have to say it is nice to know that some of the most renowned bands in this genre originate from my country. As far as melodic version of Death Metal is concerned my absolute favourite is AMON AMARTH, especially “With Oden At Our Side”. I also like other bands from Swedish scene such as AT THE GATES, ARCH ENEMY or IN FLAMES.

Thrash Metal: Not a fan at all.

Power Metal: I did like some bands from this genre when I started listening to Metal music but time after time I realised that this is not something I am really keen on. Ok, I like the energy and the kick this music gives but in the long run it can be annoying with its high-pitched vocals and these, oh so merry sounds. Another thing that puts me off here are the lyrics about warriors, knights and their charming maidens.

Progressive Metal: Not the genre of my kind actually, still, I like some stuff from AYREON or EVERGREY.

Doom Metal: I like it for the atmosphere, tension and some lyrics. It is difficult to fully explain why, but somehow Great Britain seems to be a perfect origin for bands representing this genre. Nothing surprising then that MY DYING BRIDE and PARADISE LOST (certain periods in their career) are one of my favourites here. Apart from the Brits I consider AGALLOCH’s art as very good though I am not so sure whether the style they play should be called doom…

Gothic Metal: The first Metal genre I fall into (though it can be disputable whether my first favourite band, NIGHTWISH, is a Goth Metal band), perhaps because of plenty catchy songs that are to be found here. Later though, some bands I listen a lot to, like SIRENIA or WITHIN TEMPTATION, started to create music with a pop-like touch which made me a bit cautious as regards listening to such records.

Melodic/Heavy Metal: Well, what can I say about heavy metal? This is the style all the other Metal genres origin from. Despite this fact I do not listen much to this kind of music. Of course there are certain exceptions like some stuff from BLACK SABBATH, IRON MAIDEN or JUDAS PRIEST but nothing more.

Nicknames: Not detected

Time at TMO: January 2008

How came to TMO: Just wrote an e-mail, attached some reviews and sent it to Alex.

The best thing as a TMO writer: practicing English, contact with people interested in Metal, possibility of being updated with the latest news in my favourite music genre.

The worst thing as a TMO writer: Filling in this questionnaire? :> I actually do not know as I am a newcomer. Guess I will have to update this one after a certain period of time.

Statistics: 5 reviews

Reviewing methods: I just push the play button on my CD-player and let the music stream out of the speakers. While going deeper into the music I write down notes and associations that come to my mind. After that I put my notes together adding certain things and that’s all.

 

Birthday: 1983

Birth town: Poland.

Present location: Poland

Job: student

Languages: Polish, fluent Swedish and English, basic German and Norwegian

Hobbies: Scandinavian music and history, Nordic mythology and folk beliefs, foreign languages, football, nature

Pet peeves: injustice, intolerance, corruption

Phobia(s): None

I, about myself: It would be better if you asked someone who knows me :)

Describe yourself in 5 words: See the answer above

Funny childhood story: Too many to chose from thus I do not know which one I should tell :>

 

How I came into Heavy Metal: A friend of mine lent me once an album by NIGHTWISH.

First Metal CD ever bought: “Ödemarkens Son” by VINTERSORG.

Most embarrassing CD in your collection: Not detected. I only have decent CDs in my collection :>

First Metal concert: Don’t remember but the best one so far was MY DYING BRIDE’s gig at Metalmania festival 2007 in Poland.

What did Metal teach me about life: I have never pondered upon that.

Favourite music listening place and why? My bed, the reason is simple – it is comfortable. It does not mean though that any comfortable place is a good place for music listening.

Most prized Metal possession? Perhaps the first release of BATHORY’s “Twilight Of The Gods”, maybe some autographs (THERION, MY DYING BRIDE, ENTOMBED, KORPIKLAANI).

 

Band & previous band experiences: None, though I sometimes think I could be a good Black/Death/Viking metal singer :D

Instrumental talents: Ha-ha…

Favourite bands: AMORPHIS, EINHERJER, LUMSK, THYRFING, OTYG, VINTERSORG, MÅNEGARM, STORM, MYRKGRAV, ULVER, SOLEFALD, ENSIFERUM, MOONSORROW, THERION, early NIGHTWISH + TRISTANIA + WITHIN TEMPTATION and many more…

Least favourite bands: I am simply not interested in bands I do not like so why should I mention them?

Sound you’d like to have banned: The sound of fork scratching the surface of a plate.

Most overrated bands: You can always find such bands in every genre and I do not feel like mentioning them here.

Most underrated bands: see above, please.

Most influential band: ONE of the most influential bands is BATHORY.

Favourite musician: None

Favourite album cover: Can I mention more than one? Ok, here are some of my favourites: “Kveldssanger” and “Nattens Madrigal” (ULVER), “Tales From The Thousand Lakes” (AMORPHIS).

10 favourite albums:

It’s a difficult choice but I will try mentioning some albums with no particular order:

“Tales From The Thousand Lakes” by AMORPHIS

“Elegy” by AMORPHIS

“Bergtatt” by ULVER

“Kveldssanger” by ULVER

”Nattens Madrigal” by ULVER

”Odin Owns Ye All” by EINHERJER

“Urminnes Hävd” by MÅNEGARM

“Twilight Of The Gods” by BATHORY

Åsmund Frægdegjevar” by LUMSK

“Urkraft” by THYRFING

 

I did not want to write a separate comment on each of these releases as there is one, very important in my view, feature common for each of them, namely the inspiration from Nordic culture. It goes without saying, that from the musical point of view these albums are one of the best and most prominent examples of metal influenced by Scandinavian culture heritage. For me though, it is not the pure music, sounds which are the most significant but the lyrics and the concept of these albums. As a person who studies Scandinavian studies I simply enjoy it. I could write much more about this phenomenon here but I actually have to much to say in this matter.

 

Favourite films: Hard to say, I will tell you later…

Favourite books: “The Poetic Edda” by some unknown scalds, “Heimskringla” (Sagas of the Norwegian kings) by Snorre Sturlasson, some books about Vikings and Nordic mythology (like “German Mythology” by A. Szrejter), “The Red Room” by August Strindberg and some more.

Favourite food: traditional Polish meals, pizza, Norwegian brown cheese

Favourite drink: Mead, flavoured tea, beer

Favourite smokes: I do not smoke

Which song should be played at your funeral? You want to know too much :>

Idol (s): None

Person you‘d like to meet: Too many to be mentioned here

Catchphrase: None

Biggest thrill in life (so far): None

Goal in life: To be a good man.

Secret: If I revealed it, it would not longer be a secret.

5 favourite links:

 



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