Exposé Online banner

OH. — Synemotion
(Bandcamp oliTunes, 2015, 2LP / DL)

by Jon Davis, Published 2015-08-03

Synemotion Cover art

With the world’s population over seven billion, it’s a reasonable assumption that there must be a few million bands around the planet. Judging by what appears in my inbox, approximately 80% of them play progressive metal. And judging by what they sound like, the majority of them have the same guitarist. That guitarist is not Olivia Hadjiioannou. Although what she does could generally be called prog-metal and her playing does, in fact, shred, she’s got something of her own that sets her apart from legions of [insert your least favorite metal guitarist’s name here] clones. Not only that, but she handles all the other instruments herself, and does a bang-up job of it (sounding a far-cry from the sterile sound that most one-(wo)man bands end up with). Synemotion is mostly instrumental, with guitar being the dominant instrument; there are some good keyboard parts, mostly in a supporting role, and violin even shows up in a few places. Electronic sounds are woven into the fabric, though not obtrusively. There is occasional respite from the pounding rhythms, as on the first half of “Elegy,” where acoustic guitar and atmospheric electronics set a melancholy mood, and the title track, which sets a moody keyboard behind a spoken narration. And some of her lead guitar parts steer away from lightning runs and dive-bombing whammy bar to give us some freaky long tones with interesting effects. For me as a listener, super-chunky metal rhythm guitar parts are like swearing: the less you use them the more impact they have when you do. On the whole, it’s an impressive effort, and while there’s a bit too much chugging for my sustained enjoyment, it’s clear that OH. is a significant talent, sure to impress again.


Filed under: New releases, 2015 releases

Related artist(s): Olivia Hadjiioannou (OH.)

More info
http://music.olitunes.com/album/synemotion

Latest news

2020-05-15
Phil May of The Pretty Things RIP – We were saddened to learn that Phil May, lead singer and founding member of The Pretty Things, has died at the age of 75. The band's 1968 album S.F. Sorrow is one of the enduring classics of the psychedelic era, and the group existed in various forms until finally retiring in 2018. » Read more

2020-05-14
Jorge Santana RIP – Jorge Santana, noted guitarist, leader of the band Malo and brother to Carlos Santan, died on May 14 at the age of 68. Jorge and Carlos worked together on a number of occasions, though Jorge's career was centered around Malo, solo work, and with Fania All-Stars. » Read more

2020-05-06
Florian Schneider RIP – Florian Schneider, one of the founders of the pioneering electronic group Kraftwerk, has died at the age of 73. Co-founder Ralf Hütter announced that his bandmate had passed away from cancer after a brief illness. » Read more

2020-04-23
Shindig Festival Goes Lock-Down – Here's what they're saying: It's A Happening Thing! The Shindig! Magazine Lockdown Festival. In our days of no large gatherings of people, maybe it's still possible to have a music festival. Shindig! Magazine is giving it a go with a multi-artist streaming extravaganza on Saturday April 25. » Read more

2020-03-24
Bill Rieflin RIP – The sad news reaches us today of Bill Rieflin's death. Rieflin was best known as a drummer in bands ranging from post-punk to industrial to indie-rock to progressive rock, including work with The Blackouts, Ministry, Nine Inch Nails, Swans, Land, and King Crimson. Rieflin had been battling cancer for several years, and succumbed to it on March 24. He was 59. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

The Residents - Demons Dance Alone – The last studio album from the Residents was Wormwood, back in 1998. In my review of that album (in #17) I remarked that parts of it were relatively accessible, at least from a Residents standpoint....  (2002) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues