OH. — Metallia
(Bandcamp OliTunes, 2018, CD / DL)
by Jon Davis, Published 2018-11-27
Back in 2015 I wrote about the debut of one-woman prog-metal artist OH. Olivia Hadjiioannou seems to have the uncanny ability to touch any musical instrument and immediately produce impressive sounds (this is easy for me to say, not having witnessed what are probably monumental hours of practice). She’s also a strong singer, though much of her music is instrumental. Metallia is an EP featuring six tracks of new music, and it is charmingly eccentric, combining flashy electric guitar with all manner of unexpected sounds, most notably other-worldly wordless vocals. It’s a little like a Bulgarian women’s choir backing a metal band suffering from attention deficit disorder. In a good way. “Red Lion” starts out with a Middle-Eastern tinged vocal wail, a fast lick on a bass guitar, and then jumps into a heavy guitar riff with pounding drums and lots of percussion. The changes come fast and heavy, punctuated with pseudo-orchestral hits. It’s more than a bit schizophrenic, and that craziness really sets it apart from other artists out there. Other tracks bring in acoustic guitar (sometimes with a great Spanish flavor) and industrial electronics. Altogether, it’s an interesting stew, a fascinating personal musical vision from a supremely talented musician. All of the songs are concisely arranged with no slack time or fluff, and in fact I would be happy if she would occasionally stretch out and explore an idea further, perhaps letting up a bit on the relentless energy. She’s got everything it would take to pull that off.
Related artist(s): Olivia Hadjiioannou (OH.)
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