Review of Oh.’s “Metallia” by Lorenzo Barbagli of Open Magazine
by on August 31, 2018 in Metallia Reviews
Open Magazine review of Metallia by Oh.

The musicologist and author Lorenzo Barbagli has written a finely penned, eloquent and richly empathetic review of “Metallia” on the Open Magazine. I so appreciate his understanding of the layers and solitude.

A few excerpts of his verse…

Olivia Hadjiioannou shows us the female side of progressive metal, muscular and aggressive like that of her male colleagues, but the Greek musician is also attracted by the contrasts between primordial chaos and latent tension that this can produce…..

The music does not stop at progressive metal with a symphonic touch but inside there emerge inflections that point towards Middle Eastern, operatic and Hellenic stylistic elements, all fundamentals that contribute to increase the melodramatic depth of the work. It must not have been easy to design the complex stratifications that make up the pieces in solitude.

Read the review in full in Italian at Open Magazine

Translated from Italian with Google Translate and DeepL

On the cover of METALLIA, Olivia Hadjiioannou, the real name of her musical alter ego OH., appears to be portrayed as an imaginary goddess of war. The booklet attached to the album is not far behind, expanding its musical imagery in an iconographic form, between legend and mythology. A metaphor that fits in with the charge with which OH. faces this challenge. And so, it would be worthwhile to listen to METALLIA if only for the effort made by its author, who tries to arrange, produce, compose and play all the instruments alone. METALLIA could be defined as an EP concept album where the six instrumental tracks are linked to represent a journey through the mind and body, halfway between regeneration and awareness. Olivia Hadjiioannou shows us the female side of progressive metal, muscular and aggressive like that of her male colleagues, but the Greek musician is also attracted by the contrasts between primordial chaos and latent tension that this can produce.

And so, among spherical guitars, repeated transcendent vocalizations and distant ethnic drifts, Oh.’s one is a metal ritual that mixes many elements as in alchemy (another esoteric theme that emerges from the EP). Obviously, the music does not stop at progressive metal with a symphonic touch, but inside there emerge inflections that point towards Middle Eastern, operatic and Hellenic stylistic elements, all fundamentals that contribute to increase the melodramatic depth of the work. It must not have been easy to design the complex stratifications that make up the pieces in solitude, even if METALLIA shows a coherent and homogeneous development, closer to the perspective of a single suite than to six distinct pieces, characterized by a rhythmic system full of tribalism – that double as war drums, orchestral progressions and frantic guitar phrasings. In this way, an atmosphere of constant tension is created, deflagrating from the first to the last minute, with no crescendo compromised.

For the Scrapbook

Lorenzo Barbagli is a musicologist and author of the books such as, After the Flood – Progressive Rock 1976-2010, Kevin Gilbert – The Best of Everything and The lamb. Il percorso del «lamb» di Peter Gabriel, he was a collaborateor with the music magazine “Wonderous Stories,” with the “Dusk” fanzine and, currently writes for PROG Italia, Suono and for the website www.opento.it. In 2008, he founded the blog Altprogcore in which he deals with the modern deviations of progressive rock.

OPEN is an editorial project designed to follow up on the path taken in the 1994 by the musical journal Wonderous Stories. OPEN is a resource for all music lovers – a web, magazine, series of monographic essays, podcasts and more. 

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