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Name: J Christopher Mitchell

Birthday: June, 1958

Current location: North Carolina, U.S.

Current occupation: Retired (from finance).

Hobbies: Chess, horseback riding and bicycling.

Favorite books: The Lord of the Rings, A Confederacy of Dunces, The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy and most of John Grisham’s novels.

Favorite movies: Pulp Fiction, Unforgiven, Tombstone, The Outlaw Josey Wales, The Quick and the Dead and The Terminator series.

Words that describe me: “The quintessential dweeb”.

Instrumental talents: None.

Past and present band experience: None.

Favorite music listening location and why: We have a renovated barn on our property far enough away from the house that I can blast the music as loud as I want without bothering my wife or neighbors.

How I got into metal: I grew up listening to prog and blues rock like Pink Floyd, Genesis, Led Zeppelin and The Who, then discovered prog metal in the 90s with Dream Theater, Fates Warning and Queenschryche, and then discovered gothic metal in the 2000s with Tristania, The Gathering, Nightwish and Dreams of Sanity.

Most influential bands: Tristania, After Forever, Within Temptation, Nightwish and Therion.

Favorite/most memorable concerts: Nightwish, Epica, After Forever, Diablo Swing Orchestra, Therion and Orphaned Land when they each performed at ProgPower USA.

Genre likes: See list below.

Genre dislikes: See list below.

Thoughts on the metal genres:
Black metal: Generally too harsh and jarring but I like well-done black metal influences scattered throughout the music when they add elements of menace and aggression.
Death metal: Generally too sterile, but I like the aggression of death vocals a lot.
Doom metal: Generally boring, with Draconian being the bright exception.
Folk metal: I love it, especially with female vocals and when a band mixes aggression with infectious festivity.
Gothic metal: My favorite genre; I love the lush atmosphere, especially with female vocals and when mixed with elements of black and/or death metal.
Heavy/melodic metal: Generally too cheesy.
Power metal: I like it mid-paced and symphonic, especially with female vocals.
Progressive metal: I used to love it, but I got burned out, though I still listen to the best from the 90s.
Symphonic metal: I love symphonic elements in metal, especially real orchestration and choirs.
Thrash metal: Generally too non-melodic.

Favorite musicians: Morten Veland, Tilo Wolff and Christofer Johnsson.

Favorite vocalists: Floor Jansen, Sharon Den Adel, Simone Simons, Tarja Turunen, Tanja Maul and Telya Melane.

Favorite CD covers: Not really my focus.

Favorite bands: After Forever, Within Temptation, Epica, Nightwish, Dawn of Destiny, Whyzdom and Therion.

Favorite CDs: After Forever 'Decipher', Crimson Tears 'The dark awakening', Dawn of Destiny 'Rebellion in heaven', Epica 'The divine conspiracy', Nightwish 'Once', Shadowplay 's/t', Tiarra 'Post scriptum', Sirenia 'At sixes and sevens', The Gathering 'Nighttime birds', Tristania 'Beyond the veil', Unshine 'The enigma of immortals', Whyzdom 'From the brink of infinity', Within Temptation 'The silent force' and Xandria 'Salomé'.

CDs that are overrated: Anything by Lacuna Coil since their first 2 CDs.

CDs that are underrated: Whyzdom 'From the brink of infinity'.

Most prized metal posession: My stereo in the barn.

Reasons I joined the Metal CD Ratings site: I find writing down my opinions on the music I listen to helps me to focus more seriously on it, increasing the depth of my enjoyment of it.

Advantages to being a reviewer on the Metal CD Ratings site: It’s a comprehensive and well-organized review site, and Clint runs it very seriously and professionally.

Disadvantages to being a reviewer on the Metal CD Ratings site: Clint isn’t interested in my reviews of post-black metal or electro-goth. :o)

Bands I would like to see in concert: Within Temptation, Whyzdom and Dawn of Destiny.

People I would like to meet: Clint.

What I would like to see for the future of metal: The scene is absolutely over-run with mediocre bands; I would like to see more bands undertaking something fresh and new rather than rehashing what has already been done well a dozen or more times.



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