Jordan Decay's new release spans classic goth and black metal | Music | Pittsburgh | Pittsburgh City Paper

Jordan Decay's new release spans classic goth and black metal

In Pittsburgh's goth scene, Jordan Decay (a.k.a. Jordan Harris) is no neophyte. He's lived the dark life, supporting the music for nigh unto a decade and publishing a zine (The Burnt Library), while spending his days as an actual librarian -- one imagines him poring over musty tomes with Old German lettering. 

As a musician, Decay is known for his performances of macabre spoken-word (think William S. Burroughs meets Diamanda Galas, with a touch of the immortal Rozz Williams, of Christian Death) and doom-ambient electronics. His influences span the history of experimental/industrial with emphasis on power-electronics (Con-Dom, Whitehouse) and the '90s "isolationist" period, specifically the crucial Scandinavian label Cold Meat Industry.

Decay's approach is a bit more literary and sophisticated than that of, say, the grim elfin visage of Mortiis. He creates compelling atmospheres and such maleficent prose as "the holy grail becomes a poison black chalice overflowing with fire" and "insectus, profane and wondrous, the respiratory system is given over to the dwelling tunnels of rats." However, his a cappella closer, "The Cruelty of the Raptor Gods," yanks the listener out a bit abruptly -- it probably should have been the lead-off track.

Ironically, The Beauty of Judgment is unlikely to gain solid traction in the current American goth-industrial scene, which is mostly mired in thumping dance beats. Decay's themes more echo those of black metal, where he should find many fans among the reinvigorated legions of the corpse-painted, his CD resting comfortably on the shelf next to the likes of Sunn0))), Nadja or Xasthur. I'd also love to see him score a horror flick, maybe in conjunction with the prog-tronic soundtrackery of fellow Pittsburghers, Zombi.