Review of Oh.’s “Metallia” by Thoralf Koß on Musikreviews.de
by on January 20, 2019 in Metallia reviews

Thoralf Koß from the German progressive music magazine Musikreviews.de wrote a vivid review of “Metallia” — a  lyrical narrative spiced with prog references and Greek myths.

The young Greek takes everything, really everything, into her own hands – acoustic and electric guitars, bass, drums, keyboards and even a violin. Full of ecstasy, passion, experimentation and inventiveness she develops the six pieces into an epic Prog-Metal concept, which lives from her singing without any words, so that her voice acts like an additional instrument on “Metallia”. Olivia Hadjiioannou is the female MIKE OLDFIELD of Prog Metal!

I love how he also refers to the ancient myth of Prometheus who created mankind out of clay and whose task was to better the lives of his creation. Thoralf refers to the Trick at Mecone where Prometheus tricked Zeus to give the best of the meat to man. Zeus got angry and as a punishment took fire away from mankind. Prometheus stole it back, but paid the sacrifice of being chained to a rock and have an Eagle peck at him for eternity.

With all these musical contrasts and highs and lows, the Prometheus story comes to mind, in which the demigod, who created humans in his image, deceives the gods when he lets them choose the banquet they want to eat from the pile covered with a cloth – the big one or the small one. In their omnipresent greed they choose the great one, which, after it is covered, contains only the bones, but the people get the little one with the valuable muscle flesh. Then the inferno of angry gods breaks loose.

Thoralf also mentions the production he says:

From a production point of view, however, “Metallia” still has some reserves and it would be desirable to work more diverse in terms of sound with highs and lows as well as much better stereo channel separations

Thoralf has an educated and fine ear. He is right that there is a limit on the production and though I haven’t talked much about this. Here is an opportunity.

I did pull the stereo in a bit less than the normal spread. I wanted the instruments to sit “in front’ of the listener more on this particular album, so that the listener would not get “dizzy” or overwhelmed.

Even I was getting uncomfortable during the production while adjusting the mix on the standard stereo spread. And its my music. I knew what sounds to expect. Even so, the more spread outthe more overwhelming it became. I didn’t want my listeners to have such an uncomfortable experience.

If there are steady melody lines and more predictable instruments coming where you would normally expect. It certainly makes it more arousing and exciting playing around in the spread.

But when nothing is standard (like in Metallia), the listener can feel as if there is a huge crowd with everyone yelling and talking all around them. They would feel a strong desire to escape to a place where there is some silence or prefer to be more in front of the sound, so there is a place of self-referral. There was so much going on in this album. I wanted the instruments to have their “fair space” in the alchemical mix.

So, even though it loses that “extra something” —or rather “steals the fire from the Gods” so to speak. This “hybris” served the purpose of Metallia perfectlybecause in this way, the listener is forced to focus to hear the music rather than be led, taken away or manipulated by the onslaught.

Read the COMPLETE review on Musikreviews.de

Translation

Translation from German by DeepL

From the colorful, mystically designed cover to “Metallia” a beautiful woman is looking at us, who has put on an imaginative “winged” armor, which also gives her a very sexy charisma. In the background a owl rises into the nightly twilight sky.

The title of the album “Metallia” already reveals in which direction the music will move, we don’t know yet who is responsible for it. Should it be the female mythical creature on the cover?

The answer is surprising, because it really is the Greek Olivia Hadjiioannou – on her album she confines herself to the initials of her name OH. – but what’s even more surprising is the fact that the singing multi-instrumentalist recorded and produced this CD completely on her own, invented the story behind it and played a decisive role in the design of the beautiful 16-page booklet.

The young Greek takes everything, really everything, into her own hands – acoustic and electric guitars, bass, drums, keyboards and even a violin. Full of ecstasy, passion, experimentation and inventiveness she develops the six pieces into an epic Prog-Metal concept, which lives from her singing without any words, so that her voice acts like an additional instrument on “Metallia”. Olivia Hadjiioannou is the female MIKE OLDFIELD of Prog Metal!

The gods of Olympus play an important role on the cover and in their history – and OH. acts on “Metallia” as the obvious music goddess of the same name, who sometimes makes it thunder rolling and lightnings hurling, then again tenderly and reservedly float like a dawn or dusk. On “Bee”, a bee flutters to flamenco sounds, which then gets its wide sides missed up to the thrash-boosting electric guitar riffs.

With all these musical contrasts and highs and lows, the Prometheus story comes to mind, in which the demigod, who created humans in his image, deceives the gods when he lets them choose the banquet they want to eat from the pile covered with a cloth – the big one or the small one. In their omnipresent greed they choose the great one, which, after it is covered, contains only the bones, but the people get the little one with the valuable muscle flesh. Then the inferno of angry gods breaks loose.

“Metallia” is a divine prog-metal composition, which consists of six parts and in which the basses groove, the electric guitars crash, the acoustic guitars spread delicate melodies harmonically, the violin adapts to the most different moods, the keyboards prime everything, but also drown it out and the drums sometimes driving, sometimes restrained set its rhythmic accents. And then there are the voices that spread their irresistible aura like sirens.

The progressive metal saga, which was published in the booklet under the title “The Oh.Racle” is told and colorfully designed with beautiful pictures, symbols and motifs, begins with the red lion, which is introduced with metallic guitars and fat basses, then changes to the bee in said flamenco sounds and turns around a bee, which can turn everything into gold, and then continue through the resurrection to the kiss of the dragon and the great triumphal, extremely wild finale – with the message that whatever happens will ultimately be restored to its unchangeable state in nature. And whether it is the gods or fate that is responsible for it is up to each individual to decide.

From a production point of view, however, “Metallia” still has some reserves and it would be desirable to work more diverse in terms of sound with highs and lows as well as much better stereo channel separations, so that OH.’s great musical ability is not dimmed in the production.

CONCLUSION: With “Metallia” the Greek multi-instrumentalist, singer, composer, storyteller and producer OH. presents an epic, colourful and varied prog-metal album, which is musically oriented to the mystical concept of red lions, bees, resurrection as well as the great triumph and is as colourful and imaginative as the 16 page booklet.

For the Scrapbook

OH Metallia (Review Kritik) - Album-Rezension (Progressive Metal)

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