Jason Blake is a Warr guitarist from Chicago, Illinois. The Warr Guitar is a twelve-string instrument incorporating the range of a guitar and bass. It is played by tapping the strings, a technique known as touchstyle guitar.
Blake plays with his band, Aziola Cry, a progressive metal trio consisting of Warr guitar, guitar, and drums. The band released their debut album, Ellipsis, in 2006. Labeled “a quite monumental album, the work of high-quality instrumental techno-prog Metal,” the album told a story of loss. The band then went into the studio to record what Blake called the final chapter of the Ellipsis story. Released in 2007, and called “dark, unrelenting and complex,” the Ghost Conversations EP furthered the band’s sound while showcasing Blake’s compositional and playing skills. The band promoted the album with a number of shows across the Midwest including M.A.R.S. Fest in Milwaukee and a short tour with progressive rock band, Tiles. Next, Blake set out to record the most complex and heavy Aziola Cry release yet. After a series of setbacks, Aziola Cry released their latest album, The Ironic Divide, a story of a personal collapse. Mixed by Steven Gillis (Filter) and mastered by Ted Jensen (Lamb of God, Gojira), the album was released March 26, 2021, on Sensory Records and was named “Instrumental Progressive Metal Album of the Year” by Sonic Perspectives. Work on a new album began in 2023. The band recently performed at both the ProgDay and ProgStock festvals.
As a solo artist, Blake is not one to pigeonhole himself as his musical output spans a wide variety of genres. In the ambient realm, he signed with Wayfarer Records in 2021 and has released five albums to date with the label. From his drone series that included The Perfect Fallacy and Dreaming in Numbers to his progressive ambient trilogy, The Ternary Instinct, his music has been featured on radio stations and charts all over the world. Based on Freudian psychoanalytic theory, the first album in the trilogy was Fictional Mirrors (2021) which was called “an aural feast of different sounds,” by Sea of Tranquility. Released the following year, The Compromise Rationale, took the progressive sound a step further and showcased his adventurous approach to the genre. Ghost of Cult Magazine called it “as much an album as a soundscape for a personal apocalypse the album reads like a soundtrack to a futuristic dystopian film,” while The Prog Space referred to it as an “engaging, unpredictable, instrumental exploration of an incredibly diverse sounding instrument delivered with impeccable precision.” He also spent the better part of 2020 composing a solo Warr guitar piece entitled, Imaginary Cages. Released in 2022, the album led one reviewer to say this about Blake, “He once again confirms why he is one of the most distinguished technicians on the Warr.”
On March 17, 2023, Blake released a solo progressive rock album featuring Marco Minnemann on drums. Entitled, Subsequent Ruins, it was called a “beautiful and powerful album. The grand mix of various styles are making Jason Blake emerge as an important figure in the creative metal prog world of 2023.”