Review of Oh.’s “Metallia” by Tomasz Grzywalski on Secret Exhibition
by on October 8, 2018 in Metallia Reviews
Infernal Machina - Jannick Top -- Metallia Oh.

Tomasz Grzywalski, the author of, “Secret Exhibition” a blog coming out from Poznań, Poland, where algorithm developer, Tomasz expresses his musical “other half” – reviewed the new prog metal album “Metallia”.

He introduces his review referencing the French bass player and composer, Jannick Top’s album “Infernal Machina”:

In 2008 Jannick Top sent a shock wave through progressive rock community with the release of “Infernal Machina”. The sound that he created on that album was absolutely unique, a fascinating collision of zeuhl, metal and primal screams. Now after ten years I found the same formula rediscovered and applied, again with astonishing result, by OH. (Olivia Hadjiioannou) in her new album Metallia.

He says later:

I did not find any indication that OH. was influenced or indeed that she was even aware of Jannick’s work, but I would be very surprised if she wasn’t (although it’s not very uncommon for two composers to come up with similar ideas independently, a notable example is Henry Cow and Thinking Plague).

So for those of you wishing to expand your “prog” vocabulary this is what “zeuhl” means;

Zeuhl is a style of progressive rock that originated in France in the 1960s. Pitchfork’s Dominique Leone says the style is “about what you’d expect an alien rock opera to sound like: massed, chanted choral motifs, martial, repetitive percussion, sudden bursts of explosive improv and just as unexpected lapses into eerie, minimalist trance-rock.

The term comes from Kobaïan, the constructed language created by Christian Vander of the band Magma. He has said that it means celestial; that “Zeuhl music means ‘vibratory music’ and that zeuhl is “L’esprit au travers de la matière. That is Zeuhl. Zeuhl is also the sound which you can feel vibrating in your belly. Pronounce the word Zeuhl very slowly, and stress the letter ‘z’ at the beginning, and you will feel your body vibrating.”

Originally applied solely to the music of Magma, the term “zeuhl” was eventually used to describe the similar music produced by French bands beginning in the 1970s.

Thank you, Tomasz for introducing me to French progressive “zeuhl” and the honour of associating “Metallia” with such a groundbreaking musician as Jannick Top and his album “Infernal Machina”.

Read the review on Secret Exhibition

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