Jason Voorhees, it’s a name that is firmly cemented in the pop culture landscape. You’d be hard pressed to find a soul who has never heard it. He is the beloved antagonist of the Friday The 13th horror franchise. The very series that helped usher in the “slasher” craze of the 80’s. Now, you’re probably wondering why a Rock magazine is talking about horror movies. Well, that would be because I am here to sing the praises of the magnificent metal band called ‘First Jason’, who happens to be fronted by the incomparable Ari Lehman, the first person to don the moniker Jason Voorhees in the original Friday The 13th. He is the “OG Jason”, as he is quite often called.
Where to begin with First Jason? They are a band that blazes a path onto the metal and punk landscape with rapturous music imbued with iconography attributed to Friday The 13th.
Make no mistake though, that is not all the band has to offer. Hell, that is barely scratching the surface. To hear them is to hear the true beauty in music. To see them live is to bear witness to an onstage explosion of majestic talent. When I think of the upper echelon of heavy metal and punk, I think of First Jason. Ari Lehman, their battle tested leader has travelled the world learning a myriad of musical styles that he forged into his own. The skills he acquired as a prominent touring keyboardist with top names in the Reggae and African music scenes of the 90’s, were the skills he kept as he toured throughout Europe and Africa. His vocal range is best described as hard edged and operatic if you ask me. His voice is intoxicating and enthralling as it draws you into his storytelling. All those learned skills are what he has furiously brought to his stage presence with First Jason in the form of a one-of-a-kind Machete Keytar. Speaking of Machete, let us speak of Eddie Machete. First Jason’s lead guitarist. This man shreds like his life depended on it. His masterful manipulation of chords is undeniable and adds prominent value to each of First Jason’s songs. Fabian Arroyo, the standout drummer that I can honestly draw no comparisons to. He is a truly unique talent on the “skins”. His unrelenting and unfaltering pace-setting rhythm is palpable. Bassamp? That man lives up to his name as he plays the bass so seamlessly and with expertise that he “amps” up the engaging nature of First Jason. Each piece of this musical puzzle is integral to the tapestry First Jason has created.
Listen to ‘Lord Of The Lake’ on Spotify
‘Lord Of The Lake” highlights each of these uber talented musician’s skills. Ari Lehman’s masterful vocal range is on full display throughout this epic album. From the explosive opening track ‘Voorhees Is The Name’ (which yours truly directed a music video for) First Jason stamps their boots into the ground with earth shattering repercussions as they put everyone on notice that they have arrived, and aren’t leaving anytime soon. ‘Kill For Mother” is another standout classic from this magnificent band as they blow out ear drums far and wide with their eruptive sound that hits all the right spots. Ari Lehman’s storytelling and lyric writing ability shines throughout this ambitious and amazing album. He successfully weaves in the mythos of Friday The 13th throughout this audible adventure. First Jason serves as the conductors on this train ride into a melting pot of horror, heavy metal, and punk. If they ever happen into your town (they tour ferociously) do yourself a favor and go see them, as they are one of the most amazing live acts out there. This I can personally attest to as I’ve seen them live numerous times. Be sure to search out this amazing album as well as their two follow up singles ‘Scapegoat’ and ‘Price Of Peace’. To close with the words of Ari Lehman, “Jason Never Dies!”
FIRST JASON ON VIDEO
Kill For Mother
Voorhees Is The Name