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Heart of Jordan - Heart of Jordan Award winner

Heart of Jordan
Heart of Jordan
by Jon Conant at 15 October 2018, 9:45 AM

Newcomers out of Lansing, MI HEART OF JORDAN have arrived with their self released self titled debut full length effort bringing those fresh alt-metal/rock jams everybody has been waiting for, ala (according to them) BREAKING BENJAMIN and KILLSWITCH ENGAGE. I’ll be blunt, I was cynical when I saw a debut self release from a BREAKING BENJAMIN inspired band (no offense or whatever). But, that’s not exactly what we get. We get PLENTY of juicy djent moments sprinkled in for the modern metalhead’s pleasure, a healthy dose of nut inducing breakdowns, and then enough melodic power ballad moments to earn them the alt-metal/rock title as opposed to just being metal.

The melodic moments really remind me of a hard rock band in an effortless way, whereas the heavy moments truly remind me of a metalcore band, with a fresh and 2018 approach. It’s a unique and strong blend that feels balanced, they embrace each aspect for what it is and it never feels forced when they switch between melodic driven moments, and HEAVY breakdowns and djent verses.

Do they live up to the BREAKING BENJAMIN and KILLSWITCH ENGAGE comparison? Definitely (aside from the production lacking somewhat, but come on man self release debut, it’s fine overall). I think they manage to find their own sound while blending the two styles presented between each of these bands, and in some ways even surpassing them with their ability to cohesively switch between heavy moments and melodic/softer moments.

I would definitely say that while the melodic power rock side is VERY present throughout the entire album, the heavy more metal parts take the front seat. Tracks 6 and 7 “Eye” and “Your Vengeance” are really the softest most power ballard type tracks on the album, but still don’t even go all the way to that end. Aside from those songs, there’s really just plenty of heavy shit to love. Djenty and catchy verses, wild breakdowns, all backed up by FANTASTIC harsh vocals from Preston Mailand. It’s also worth mentioning his cleans are epic and truly sell the melodic power ballad moments as well. They go all in when they go all in, whether it’s heavy or melodic, and it’s almost always epic.

The djent and breakdowns are aplenty, but it continually escalates throughout the album. I wasn’t even fully sold until the breakdown in track 3 “No Escape”. The first two tracks are heavy enough, but “No Escape” really proved the definitive metal sound as opposed to “just” being alt-metal. We get plenty more like it, I particularly loved track 5 “Deny” which was a perfect middle album anchor, and tracks 8 & 9 “Deaf Ears” and “Echoes Still Remain” are maybe the two heaviest songs on the album. All wrapped up in epic closer “Enslaved” which was the perfect balance of melodic and heavy going all in on both ends, the album really succeeds. Strong start, strong middle, strong finish, variety, balance, but a unified and defined sound, I think we have ourselves a knockout debut.

It’s also worth mentioning they formatted their band member list correctly in their Facebook about section. That may not seem like a big deal but it’s a big fucking deal. Some come close, few succeed. Nice job bois.

Maybe I’m just getting excited because I love djent and I love formatting, but if HEART OF JORDAN can get themselves on a label with a label financed production team, you could be looking at a future premiere act of the genre. It’s a really good album, it will be in my listening rotation for a while. I’m so fucking stoked to see what happens and I’m beyond ready for another album like this. LET’S GO.

Songwriting: 9
Originality: 9
Memorability: 10
Production: 7

4 Star Rating

1. Throne Alone
2. Shade
3. No Escape
4. Schizo
5. Deny
6. Eye
7. Your Vengeance
8. Deaf Ears
9. Echoes Still Remain
10. Enslaved
Preston Mailand - Vocals
Eric TenEyck - Guitar
Elijah White - Guitar
Daniel Ray Fell Jr. - Bass
Andrew Everett - Drums
Record Label: Self Release


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Edited 28 March 2023

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