Translated from Greek
“Metallia” is the seventh release (four singles, two episodes, one album) within five years of the little known to the Greek audience Olivia Hadjiioannou, who usually identifies with her initials – O.H. “Metallia” is an EP with six songs, lasting 25 minutes, of which should be taken seriously even before listening to it.
It has been released in a wonderful digipack with illustrations for each song separately, artwork unfolding throughout the cover, foretelling the musical sensation the listener is about to encounter, and even after the first listening, expanding it even further.
On the cover, Olivia Hajiioannou, like a neo-Renaissance figure of a female warrior, fly high above in the ethers with her veil waving.
It’s a completely instrumental progressive metal recording, demanding at first, but then swiftly grips you, with its well worked layers and intellectuality. The main weapon is the myriad guitars that pop in from everywhere, raising walls, clashing with force and intertwine, painting creatures and pictures as if they were taken out of the freshest fantasy comic you’ve ever read.
Megadeth, David Chastain, Al Di Meola, and old Vinnie Moore in a symphonic mixer, with armies and chariots springing from one speaker, fights with mythical monsters unfolding in front of you on the other, while solos, camouflaged harmonies and an entire army of exquisite metallic effects giving a sense of fusion. Percussion, drums, violins, keyboards and bass, she plays it all (!!!), while there are atmospheric vocals that act as an extra instrument. A one-woman metal band that will knock you out.
This is not a garrulous display of technique. There is inspiration, delineations, intense vision, to the point of fever pitch chaos, which will delight the “metal” senses and is altogether a monumental showcase. The girl seems to have more riff in her, than half the Greek heavy metal scene of the past 10 years. All this, music, artwork, mixing, production and care in distribution of this self-financed production, carefully crafted to the last detail, is something that reveals character.
“Red Lion” sets the tone forcefully, “Androgyny” is one of the most riveting instrumentals heard in recent years in progressive metal and “Resurrection” full of prophetic power – if someone like Marty Friedman had written this would have grabbed a nomination for Grammy without much talk. All the tracks need to be listened to more than once to show their “juice”.
The 28-year-old Greek American woman with the disarming smile that divides her time between Athens and New York was born as she says “In a musical family and in an environment full of Greek and foreign musicians and composers”, wanting to justify the collection of ideas and devotion that exudes from “Metallia”.
The purity of Olivia’s look reflects a fearless inner strength and depth of inspiration that forces you to bow, even if you are not a devotee of “demanding” metal.
What will happen if you find someone who would transform her musical ideas into a metal album with “normal” tracks? We will be talking about revelation.
And what will happen if it she does not find anyone and continues to develop her ideas in instrumental form? Again, we talk about revelation, a different target and different steps, and fantastic in every way.
Congratulations. We can not help but follow you Olivia.