Oh. – Metallia
Release Date: 28/07/2018
Running Time: 25:13
Review by Dawn King
I don’t know if this is true for everybody, but there comes a time every now and then that I get bored of listening to the same ol’ music and want to find something “different.” Well, you can’t get much different than Oh.
Oh. is Greek progressive metal multi-instrumentalist, composer and producer, Olivia Hadjiioannou who arrived onto the international music scene in 2013, with her award-winning debut EP, “Sleeping World”. She has since released a prog-metal album “Synemotion” on vinyl and four avant-garde progressive ballads and her latest project is this album “Metallia” released in July of 2018.
Since her appearance on the music scene, she has accumulated many honours including, but not limited to, three international music video awards, most recently at the London Greek Festival for single ‘Deserted Eyes’, semi-finalist in the 2017 International Songwriters Competition and she had been added to the Prog Archives in the Crossover Prog Category.
Driven by a passion to musically reveal an “inner-story”, she can play the guitar (electric and acoustic), bass, drums, violin, piano and percussion and her voice has been compared to the likes of Kate Bush, Tori Amos, Happy Rhodes, Céline Dion, Melissa auf der Maur, Sharon den Adel and Anneke van Giesbergen (impressive list eh?). She composes, produces, mixes and masters her music in Athens, Greece.
Playing all those instruments, Oh. is a true do-it-yourself artist but she says; “I never felt as if there were a question of whether I can play music or not. Music is always a question of whether you have something to say.”
And she certainly does have something to say. Her music “evokes intense imagery, entices the listener to journey into epic sonic landscapes and finally escape into intense ecstatic oblivion!” She wants to touch the soul with her music, whether that be in “the dark recesses of sorrow or the heights of elation.”
But you need to listen carefully to her music because there is so much more to her than first appears. Combining frenetic, harmonic guitar solos, multi-layered vocals, head-banging riffs, fantastical violins, groovy bass lines and furious drumming, there are many twists and turns to her progressive rock and metal style. And let’s not forget, this lady plays ALL of the instruments herself!
Since its release in 2018, the album has had 32 different reviews from thirteen countries worldwide, was in the top 10 of the 2018 Progressive Metal EP Chart and was listed as one of the best albums of the year in 2018 by Metal Nation Radio!
Described by the lady herself, the album is an “epical prog-metal compilation in 6 parts – a multi-layered sonic piece of ravishing solo electric guitars, time-bending tempo shifts, grooving bass lines and deranged drums” and she is not far wrong!
Featuring just six tracks and lasting a little over 25 minutes, this album goes against everything that should be considered ‘epic’ but that is the only word I can think of to describe it. It is eccentric (I can see where the Kate Bush and Tori Amos references come in!), atmospheric and really does conjure up all sorts of images in your head while you are listening to it. The guitars whisper of Satriani and Vai and there is a whole host of musical sounds (wails, screams, bongos to name a few) to take you on your journey which Oh. describes as a spiritual one that will “transmute your subliminal mind map.”
‘Experimental’, ‘eclectic’, ‘strong’, ‘packs a punch’ are just a few of the words and phrases I have seen to describe this album and I would agree with every single one of them. Although instrumental (how the album is described by Olivia herself!) prog-metal is not really my thing, I can recognise talent where I see it. And this is one extremely talented woman!
This album won’t appeal to everyone, but anyone with a love of progressive music in general should really check it out!
But be prepared to be gob-smacked, bowled-over and totally amazed all at the same time!
1. Red Lion
5. Dragon’s Kiss
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