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Personal Top 20 of 2005

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Jason Jordan

Name: Jason Jordan

Email address: jason (at) metal-observer.com

Function: Reviewer

Compatible styles: Black, Death and Grind

Incompatible styles: Power

Thoughts on the main Metal genres:

Black Metal: This sub-genre is easily one of my favourites and is what drew me to Metal in the first place. I love the extreme vocals, but subpar production is my least favourite thing about it. If a band writes quality songs (i.e. DARKTHRONE), though, then the production isn’t such a problem.

Death Metal: Again, this sub-genre is another one of my faves. I like everything from brutal, to melodic, to anything else.

Thrash Metal: I’ve never been much of a fan of this style either. Don’t know why, but I’ve had a tough time encountering groups that dabble in this particular paradigm.

Power Metal: This is the only Metal sub-genre that I can say I consistently don’t like. The operatic vocals, though they require skill, turn me off and Power Metal has gotten so formulaic as of late. The genre does have its share of diamonds in the rough: ICED EARTH, JAG PANZER, et cetera.

Doom Metal: This is something I’ve never really gotten into. I can appreciate Doomsters like MY DYING BRIDE and such but – at the end of the day – I’ll rarely listen to them. Sometimes, Doom Metal is just too damn slow.

Progressive Metal: For a while, this was my favourite sub-genre and I’d bask in albums from DREAM THEATER and SYMPHONY X. Somewhere along the line, I lost interest in it. I still drool over music with progressive tendencies such as records from QUO VADIS, ALARUM and CYNIC, however.

Gothic Metal: I like a few bands from other styles of Metal, but they’re few and far between. I stick to mostly Black and Death and occasionally let technical stuff sneak in my CD player.

Heavy/Melodic Metal: I like a few bands from other styles of Metal, but they’re few and far between. I stick to mostly Black and Death and occasionally let technical stuff sneak in my CD player.

 

Nicknames: circus_brimstone

Time at TMO: March 2005

How came to TMO: Alex approached me after he read a lot of my work at Ultimatemetal and Scandinavian Metal.

The best thing as a TMO writer: Meeting new people who like Metal as much, if not more, than I do. Oh yeah, the free CD’s is a nice perk also. J

The worst thing as a TMO writer: Some of said free CD’s can be pretty awful. L

Statistics:
Reviews 60
Underground 4
Interviews 6
Live reviews 0
Articles 1
Specials 0
Reviewing methods: It really depends on the CD. First, I always listen to an album in my car on the way to work, college, or anywhere else. It might take me one listen to get a handle on it, or five, or more. Whenever I’m comfortable with the record, though, I sit down and listen to it as I write the review.

 

Birthday: May 25, 1983

Birth town: Louisville, Kentucky

Present location: New Albany, Indiana

Job: Student

Languages: English of course and bastardized Spanish

Hobbies: Writing, reading and almost anything related to music

Pet peeves: A lot of stuff not worth mentioning here!

Phobia(s): None really, although I don’t like flying or looking over the edge of a skyscraper

I, about myself: Hope to graduate in Spring of 2006 with an undergraduate degree in English with a writing concentration. From then on, I want to teach college writing while writing on the side. I write all sorts of things from reviews, to fiction, to nonfiction, to poetry.

Describe yourself in 5 words: Honest, loyal, dependable and avant-garde

Funny childhood story: I once told my younger brother (he was five; I was eight) to take a shit in our backyard and he did. He got in trouble both with the babysitter and our parents.

 

How I came into Heavy Metal: I was first exposed to TOURNIQUET and DREAM THEATER back in the mid-nineties. After that, I gobbled up what I could find and became much more sophisticated – in my musical tastes – later on.

First Metal CD ever bought: TOURNIQUET’s “Stop The Bleeding.” I still own three versions of it (cassette tape, original CD and re-release CD).

Most embarrassing CD in your collection: Any and all Screamo. I like it, though. J

First Metal concert: LIVING SACRIFICE?

What did Metal teach me about life: There are a lot of people out there who are hardworking and value art above all. Metal can also be a perfect encapsulation of emotion – positive or negative.

Favourite music listening place and why? I prefer my car to anyone place else, because I can drum along on my steering wheel.

Most prized Metal possession? Well, I suppose the entire OPETH discography – sans “Blackwater Park” – on vinyl is worth some money… I like it, too.

 

Band & previous band experiences: None too serious

Instrumental talents: I play drums and can fiddle around with the guitar.

Favourite bands: ARCTURUS, DARKTHRONE, EMPEROR, EXTOL, ISIS, KATATONIA, MAUDLIN OF THE WELL, NOVEMBRE, OPETH, SOLEFALD, STARFLYER 59, TOURNIQUET, UNDEROATH and ZAO

Least favourite bands: Nu-Metal bands

Sound you’d like to have banned: I think we need to put a cap on the Metalcore sub-genre. We’ve got enough of that already!

Most overrated bands: CRADLE OF FILTH and DIMMU BORGIR. I like both anyway, but…

Most underrated bands: EXTOL and ZAO

Most influential band: EXTOL / OPETH

Favourite musician: Hellhammer (MAYHEM, ARCTURUS, AGE OF SILENCE, WINDS, ANTESTOR, ex-THE KOVENANT)

Favourite album cover: Anything by EXTOL, OPETH and Travis Smith.

10 favourite albums: (with reasons for each album)

Age Of Silence – Acceleration

This was my favourite album of 2004 and just blew me away. The musicianship is top-notch, as is everything else. I imagine I’ll be listening to this for many years to come.

 

Dream Theater – Awake

This had a significant impact on me back in my formidable years. I’m still astonished at the level of technicality that the band possesses. This was my favourite line-up too!

 

Emperor – Anthems To The Welkin At Dusk

I love EMPEROR and “IX Equilibrium” was essentially my first exposure to Black Metal. “Anthems To The Welkin At Dusk” is arguably the finest in their catalogue.

 

Extol – Undeceived

EXTOL is one of my favourite bands and “Undeceived” proves that the band was unparalleled at the time. It’s Progressive Death Metal at its peak.

 

Isis – Panopticon

The group carries a lot of clout and I think “Panopticon” is not only their best, but it’s destined to become a classic that the Metal canon will subscribe to.

 

Katatonia – Last Fair Deal Gone Down

The KATATONIA discography is rich in quality, but the aforementioned album is lush with melody and troubled beauty.

 

Maudlin Of The Well – Leaving Your Body Map

I’m a sucker for the experimental and “Leaving Your Body Map” is what happens when a group funnels all their efforts to compose a masterpiece. I am still absolutely stunned by the juxtaposition between the heavy vocals and soft music.

 

Opeth – Blackwater Park

I’m still up in arms about which OPETH release is the best. But, it’s difficult to pick anything other than “Blackwater Park” because it was my introduction to these Swedish gods.

 

Tourniquet – Pathogenic Ocular Dissonance

This was the best that TOURNIQUET had to offer. “Pathogenic Ocular Dissonance” runs rampant with Thrashy riffs, incredible drumming and medical-related lyrics and imagery.

 

Zao – Liberate Te Ex Inferis (Save Yourself From Hell)

American Metallers ZAO have toiled without really catching any big breaks. This album is exceptionally brooding and perhaps captures their pessimism to a tee.

 

Favourite films: I love Quentin Tarantino’s films, specifically “Pulp Fiction.” “The Shawshank Redemption” is right behind it as well. For comedy: “Office Space.”

Favourite books: My favourite authors are Kurt Vonnegut and Richard Russo. I also enjoy Stephen King, the Barthelme brothers, Al Burian and Jack Kerouac.

Favourite food: Pizza rocks.

Favourite drink: Captain Morgan’s Spiced Rum and Jägermeister

Favourite smokes: Not a smoker.

Which song should be played at your funeral? LIVING SACRIFICE’s “Presence Of God”

Idol (s): Good writers.

Person you‘d like to meet: It’s definitely a tie between Jesus Christ and Satan.

Catchphrase: Upholster that!

Biggest thrill in life (so far): Reading my work in public is actually pretty thrilling.

Goal in life: Find a suitable wife, start a family and write something monumental (or many things!).

Secret: WTF?

5 favourite links:



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