“If you like Kate Bush, Tori Amos, Anneke van Giersbergen or Eivør, you could only succumb to her new single Deserted Eyes. This is the kind of song written and performed with guts. The artist expresses how our moods, our negative feelings can destroy a relationship, whether romantic or otherwise. Her despair explodes with the same violence as an erupting volcano, then turns into a bubbling lava that nothing seems able to stop. Yet a touch of optimism reflected on the last notes. Nothing is forever…” – Sébastien Bonnays – Prog Female Voices
“Love Will Heal is the epic new single from NYC artist, OH. Built from a singular studio session that led to self analysis and discovery, this track is a moving, soul touching work from a masterful artist. Deep, dark and compelling, This is another must have from a superlative talent.” ~ Prevrat – Floorshime Zipper Boots
“Reviewing an eclectic artist such as OH., is a particularly daunting task, simply because she moves within an enormous contrast of genres. How do you pinpoint an artist that plays screaming lead guitar on epic, progressive rock, instrumental tracks like “Run Away”, the one moment, and then sings gentle, sublime, piano-driven ballads like “Love Will Heal”, the next?
Or rather, how do you describe Joe Satriani and Tori Amos in the same breath? Well, if anything else, for one thing you can say that they’re both super-talented, creative souls! And that is exactly what OH. is!
What I love most about “Love Will Heal”, is even in its simple accessibility, the lyrics are still complex and thought provoking taking the listener through powerful emotions. This track will get you from the first couple listens and it will eventually seep into your brain and somewhere along the line, it will grab you and never let go.” ~ Buddy Nelson – Jamsphere
OH. – A Bombshell
“Behind the initials of OH stands Olivia Hadjiioannou, a young multi-instrumentalist living between New York and Athens. After a first EP in 2013, widely appreciated by critics, OH is back with the album “Synemotion” which is “a journey through the complex emotional states that we experience.”
For OH, each title has a message that is little experience listening to the vibrations and sensations that dominate in each instrumental parts.
The escape and open spaces in “Run Away” with rage “Rumpus” treachery and falsehood with “Subterfuge” the passage of time, and love for “Elegy,” the feeling of dissatisfaction of “Deception”, redemption and self-acceptance “Receiving”, “World of Warcraft” the conscience of a world without end, the call to life “Beckoning” and to close “Synemotion” the song that gives the name to this album, we passed through the whole range of our feelings.
This album is an excellent surprise , the rock / progressive metal of OH., is original, inspired, technical, punctuated with amazing breaks.
This almost completely instrumental album of nine songs (a few words and choirs in “Deception” and “Reception and OH narration in” Synemotion “) shows us an OH comfortable on her guitar, it’s simple, there is everything on this album: melody, rhythm, and yet more unstructured passages.
Few technical demonstrations that could tire, short, concise pieces, impeccable virtuosity and sensitivity.
You’ll understand this disc is a rock concentrate of Progressive metal as we love it.
Take the time to listen and see this album is a bombshell to the world of guitar!
Furthermore the album art is beautiful … .. The videos too!” ~ Progcritique.com
Providing proof positive for all time that Greek women rock, here is OH. with a tune from her 2015 album Synemotion. ~ Jon Davis – Exposé
(Self Release) Reviewed 16th April 2015
OH. (aka Olivia Hadjiioannou) is a young multi instrumentalist and by all accounts is going to be the new Prog-Rock sensation. In October of 2008, as an amateur violinist and guitarist she left her home town of Athens in Greece for New York, on the verge of the deepest economic crisis in both countries. Through the mirk and mire of lack of opportunity and the mass frustrations of her “lost generation”, she taught herself drums, bass and keyboards, experimented with sound engineering on Logic Pro and Cubase, mixed and mastered her own songs. OH.’s debut album ‘Sleeping World’ was independently released in February 2013, while this her second and mainly instrumental album is scheduled to be released as a Double 12″ Gatefold vinyl album and digital album on April 24, 2015. The songs on the new album journey through the complex emotional states we experience when we are overwhelmed by concerns and fears – escapist feelings in the song ‘Run Away’, anger and frustration in ‘Rumpus’ – wanting to cower and hide in ‘Subterfuge’ – longing and nostaglia in ‘Elegy’ and the experience of disappointment and let-down in the song ‘Deception’. Finally, letting go and receiving the feeling in the song ‘Reception’ – and the awareness and sensation of irony knowing it will all start over again in the ‘World of Warcraft’. The hard rockin’ title track expresses in words of Olivia this entire journey from pain and fear to release and hope. But most importantly the song uncovers how we cope with pain, fear, disappointment, depression, embarrassment and futility, it uncovers what actually happens to us, when we are overwhelmed by experience, and with a strange twist of perception, gifts the listener a path out of the darkness and despair, into an even more compelling and complex palette of emotions and sensations. The song gives hope and strength to walk through life, even with wounds and disfigurement and have an even greater experience than before. Lots of instrumentation on this album – and it is damn awesome too from this young lass. The haunting vocals of Olivia first appear on fourth track ‘Deception’, still mainly an instrumental however, with the girl proving that she can shred it too. Everything on this album is done by Olivia except the mastering, what a talent! And another thing I notice, the tracks are fairly short and sweet, between 3 & 4 minutes, so no long potentially boring solos. Check out the videos to the title track here and the opening track from the album ‘Runaway’ here … well recommended when released 24th April .. 8.5/10 ~ Dave Smith – Ravenheart Music
Olivia Hadjiioannou is the multi-instrumentalist OH. This lady knows how to rock and shred on the six string and it does not stop there. She composes all of her work and plays bass, drums and keyboards and sings.
Synemotion is her second release. Sleeping World was her first release two years ago; I remember how it got my attention immediately. My expectations were sky high for the new release. I know I should not place expectations upon an artist but when you respect the artist and love what you heard the first time you ever listened it’s hard not to look forward to something new and exciting.
OH was kind enough to send me the limited edition 2 LP set. There were 300 copies produced and only a few are left if you are interested in being one of the select people in the world to own this collectable slice of metal. I was expecting progressive metal but what I got was flat out metal tracks. While diverse and a showcase for the talent of this artist it simply did not sound progressive as I know it. It is however progressive in other ways such as what drove the artist to create the music in the first place, relating it all to the human condition and the choices we have. The artwork is eye catching to be sure and the LP set is beautifully packaged. Music is whatever you want it to be so listen and make your choice and or categorization.
According to the artist the album Synemotion is a journey through the complex emotional states we experience when we are overwhelmed by concerns and fears. I like the premise on which this music was created and that means a lot to this listener.
OH composes, performs, records and mixes all her tracks and does it all very well. Most of the tracks include very heavy fat power chords with sharper more pin point riffs sandwiched in between. Anyone that is into guitar virtuoso types of music will love this release. Some of the tracks I found exhilarating and others interesting but in the end an appreciation for the overall talent this artist brings to the table. You can count on some amazing six string runs throughout this listen.
The first two tracks are at a lightning fast pace and I really enjoyed them then after that things get a little more complicated. Depending on your taste you will find something to enjoy if you are into guitar based music without vocals. I liked the way “Runaway” and “Rumpus” kicks things off on Side A but by the time I got to side C it was starting to sound like organized confusion if you will (like life can be sometimes). I know that sounds negative but it is not that way. I am merely interpreting what I am hearing and trust me it’s all good. This approach and the way the compositions come together are very purposeful and it all makes a musical statement that matches the title of each track. When I gave Side D a spin “Beckoning” provided more of the variety that I heard previously and some hard and fast then slower more delicate moments that showed how diverse this artist can be. As a point of interest for musicians, her guitar was tuned at A=444Hz (C=528Hz) for “Synemotion,” “Runaway,” “Rumpus,” “Deception” and “World of Warcraft.”
The title track “Synemotion” finalizes the album with OH’s voice narrating all of the words listed on the inside sleeve of the album. It is prolific and it can be a life changing message if you truly digest it and own it. I found it interesting that it ended the album rather than open it up. It makes you pay more attention to the music then decide what it all means at the end for you the listener.
There are a lot of things to appreciate with OH and I will look forward to future projects. This is one more step to the next level for an artist that will continue to get more attention with each subsequent release. She has my utmost respect for such a huge accomplishment. I know it was labor of love and it shows. ~ Keith “MuzikMan” Hannaleck – MuzikMan Productions
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. ~ Jon Davis – Exposé
OH.,or Olivia Hadjiiouannou is a Greek multi-instrumentalist (acoustic and electric guitars, bass, drums, keyboard and vocals) and visual artist. Being the daughter of a Greek chemistry teacher and part time musician, and an American mother who is a writer and graphic artist, she had been exposed to arts and music all her life. She taught herself to play multiple instruments and how to record and produce music.
Up to now, this has led her to this second album Synemotion, which is a concept that goes beyond the music. Synemotion is the word she coins for the ‘synesthesia of senses and feelings’ – the way the human spirit meets its highs and lows.
OH. defines her music as progressive rock and metal – and listening to this album that is probably the best fitting moniker. The album, which is instrumental except for the title track, is filled with heavy riffing, melodic lead guitar and supporting layers of keyboard. All of these, as well as bass and drums, are played by Olivi a herself. Different feelings and emotions are expressed in her music, from the escapism in the opening track Run Away (with the final drums really sounding like running away), via anger and fear in the slightly faster Rumpus to nostalgia in the Elegy. The latter starts fittingly with a clean guitar and a relatively laid back lead guitar. Best build up for me personally is Deception, which has an acoustic intro, as the soothing voice of the deceiver, who shows his real face in the raw riffs at the end.
All of this only makes sense if as a listener you are aware of what the album is about- on superficial listening, it is just another metal album, albeit very well played. Once you read the background of the album online, or the lyrics to the spoken word title track, the music gets a different meaning. That, combined with the videos that are being put online for various tracks ( Run Away and Synemotion itself) make this into a real multiple art package.
Not for the faint hearted, nor for those who don’t like metal – but definitely a piece of progressive art by a very talented young woman. ~ Angelo Hulshout – Background Magazine
“Out of Athens, Greece, comes a precocious young, creative, female multi-talented musician to add some spice into your record collection. OH (Olivia Hadjiioannou) recorded it herself and plays all the instruments, including drums, bass, keyboards, and vocals, but most notably brooding and evocative electric guitar on this record.
Synemotion is a mostly instrumental progressive metal album, a concept record based on exploring the diverse emotional states humans experience when they are burdened by fear and worry. The gorgeously packaged double vinyl record is a worthy addition to any collection. The heavy music is powerful and explosive, and OH truly leads you on an emotional journey.
Starting off with Run Away, the listener is transported by the driving instrumental into being reminded of why we withdraw into ourselves when we are in pain, shutting ourselves off from the loved ones around us. Rumpus continues that theme, a groovy rocking tune that really showcases OH’s chops as a guitarist. The next several tracks follow that lead, driving progressive instrumental music that follows an emotional roller coaster. The song Deception, one of my favorites, starts slowly with an acoustic guitar and hand drums, before blowing up into a powerful metal anthem, interspersed with strings and tight guitar riffage.
All the songs are quite interesting, although the album is short – only 37 minutes long (and may have more conveniently fit on one vinyl record – but then again, double albums are cool!). Most hard rock instrumental music seems a bit naked without vocals, and this album has moments of that. However, the tracks are fairly short and the music diverse enough that they never devolve into the monotony that some instrumental albums plod under.
That said, the title track packs the largest punch on the strength of the spoken word vocals. The song synchronizes the emotional journey into something tangible and accessible, and you get to hear a bit more of OH’s gorgeous voice which she highlighted in her 2013 debut, Sleeping World. When you know someone can sing, but yet they eschew that for the larger vision, which is to wring emotion out of the listener on the strength of the music alone, that takes courage and confidence.
I told you OH was precocious and creative. She’s also strikingly beautiful, as one can experience in her sensual and artistic music videos that accompany this release (check out the track Run Away on Youtube: (https://youtu.be/m2Xoc8fyGb8). OH is definitely an artist to keep an eye on. With her talent, vision, and drive, she is definitely going to make a name for herself in the music world. ~ Dave – Virtuosity
“Olivia Hadjiioannou erfährt Ereignisse als Sounds, Sounds als physisch spürbare Emotionen, Synästhesie als Quelle der Komposition, Die in Athens und NYC beheimatete Autodidaktin spielte auch für Ihre zweite VO nach “Sleeping World” (2013), alle Instrumente selber ein, nahm auf und mischte. Aif den Einsatz ihrer Stimme, von den Kritikern des Debuts gefeiert, hat sie diesmal fast ganz verzichtet: “This album wanted to be as it is.” Die zehm im Kanon Progressiven Rocks von der Gitarre transformierten Geschichten in alternativen bis soundtrackartigen Arrangements drehan sich em eine alltägliche wie grundlegende Entscheidung: Auf-und- wider stand oder Aufgabe und Flucht? Wondervolle Melodien und der stetige Fluss durch komplexe Raume erregen mistreißende, Stimmungen und Gefühle; mal Hängematte, mal Nagelbrett, aber immer voller Hoffnung”
Translation in English:
“Olivia Hadjiioannou experiences events as sounds, sounds as physically perceptible emotions, synaesthesia as the source of her compositions. At home in Athens and NYC the autodidact plays all instruments by herself and is responsible for recording, mixing and mastering of her second album after “Sleeping World” (2013), also completely done by herself. This time she almost fully renounced the use of her voice, a voice that was unanimous acclaimed by the critics of her debut: “This album wanted to be as it is.” The ten stories in the canon of progressive rock, transformed by the guitar in alternative to soundtrack-like arrangements concerning the ordinary and vital decision: insurgence and resistance or surrender and abscondence? Wonderful melodies and the constant flow through complex spaces stimulate impassionate moods and emotions; sometimes hammock, sometimes bed of nails, but always full of hope.” ~ Peter “Brutus” Habermann – DEAF FOREVER
OH. or rather Olivia Hadjiioannou and for those who do not know her, it’s time to learn about the talented Miss Olivia. To give you a first impression: she’s a symphonic progressive rock singer / songwriter, composer, multi-instrumentalist, based in Athens and New York’s, Manhattan. In 2008, she won a scholarship for a sound system, then gathered and settled in New York. Early 2013 she released her first album titled, “Sleeping World”, which is influenced by and / refers to the economic crisis. That same year she participated in the international music competition, BEAT100 with the song “Trials” from this album. With about 20,000 views, the song received over 4000 votes and won first place.
She returned this year with his second complete work: “Synemotion”. A progressive rock album with 10 for the most part instrumental pieces-. A album-journey through thoughts and feelings. Escape, anger, frustration, fear, longing, nostalgia, futility, disappointment, abandonment, awareness, irony … where the only words … are notes …and finally comes the title piece “Synemotion” to redeem it, give your hope again. Let me show you the way. The only piece on the album containing lyrics takes you by the hand and after having crossed the path from fear to hope, shows you how to move forward even if the wounds are such that they have disfigured your soul.
It is well worth spending about 40 minutes of your time to take this journey, with the talent of this 25 year old Greek-American. With lots of music, with few but essential words, and with originality. Something tells me that we will soon be hearing again about her even larger (music) plans … ~ Elias “DEMON” Papazoglou – Hard Music
Progressive Metal (OH. is the moniker for Greek born guitarist/composer Olivia Hadjiioannou who favors impassioned shredding and hard-driving songs along with some really powerful progressive vocal numbers. She’s quite a talent and, at least on the video for Run Away, does not have a problem featuring her extremely fit physique!) ~ Prog Metal Zone
No self-indulgent technicality here: this is prog metal that blossoms from the heart and the soul, full of intriguing ideas and deepened by OH’s ardent vocals, intense lyrics and unique vision. Favorite track: Have You Ever. ~ Muschio Sauro
When I first heard “Trials”, I was immediately impressed with Olivia’s voice. I then found for her full EP on Reverb Nation and became an instant fan! The 6 songs are filled with thoughtful musical passages, passionate vocals and all the skillfully performed music is by Olivia on her own… a one woman musical force!
This should be a welcomed addition to any collection. Olivia is an artist to keep an eye for future releases. Favorite track: Non-Existent Myth. ~ Andrew James Liles
Olivia Hadjiioannou aka “Oh.” from Greece is a new bright light on the horizon of prog. She’s a passionate composer, with her main instruments being guitar and violin. It’s interesting that the various musical influences she lists on her web site are not the typical “proggy” ones, except for “Dogs” by “Pink Floyd” – but probably that’s exactly what makes her music so special, being closer to Kate Bush and Tori Amos than to Genesis and Yes. ~ Sven B. Schreiber
“The Art of music personified….literally. This EP is truly progressive and I say this without any caveat. I have listened to this 24 minute, six track composition many times and still have found no valid comparison to anything I am familiar with. It was a difficult process to deliberately put aside the fact the Olivia Hadjiioannou plays each instrument, is responsible for all vocals, composed and produced everything including the video. I did this so that I could focus on the music only. In so doing, I was able to finally write this review.
The character and spirit of this remarkable young artist is evident in every moment of her debut EP. The vocals are so compelling and ethereal that they give me goosebumps. The emotion and raw talent that can be clearly heard throughout each and every track are unforgettable.
This EP is very insightful. It brings to light the socioeconomic issues in Greece (and the world) and it’s rippling effect on the hopes and dreams of young people everywhere. It is presented in a compelling, yet tongue-in-cheek way.
Some may find it too subtle to notice through the beauty of the music that there is a real message here. Perhaps as a sarcastic person myself… I quickly picked up on the political and social message contained within the magical music. It doesn’t come through as a diatribe and can easily be missed. Please consider taking the time to listen more than once and all the way through these six tracks.
Understanding the meaning may not be terribly important to all listeners and that is a non issue. I do not prefer any music that forces a listener to swallow the artists “message”. I will not give examples to be polite to these artists; however, it is like a breath of fresh air to be able to enjoy this message whether you agree or not. The seriousness of the issues never intrudes on the beauty of the music. It is also so expressive emotionally that I have found it difficult not to go back to again and again.
A track by track breakdown will not help anyone reading this so I will again remind you that you should use your “prog” heads… listen to it as a 24 minute piece as is normally expected for “prog” tracks instead of ignoring this debut based solely on the short length of each track. This is not pop, jazz, rock, blues or anything else, but OH. My dislike of pigeon holing is obvious. I believe it’s unfortunate that the industry still requires it. Whether it be for marketing or reviewing purposes.
“It is time to take down the walls around our hearts and minds”… is what I hear in the music and the soul behind it. I am actually much more hopeful about the future of music and society thanks to OH’s EP. I am so rarely uplifted and truly moved by music that I feel that I have received a gift that will stay with me forever.
As a musician and fan of music I feel obligated to discuss my opinions in that regard as well. It is apparent to me that OH has mastered each sound that you hear. Each tracks’ individual tracks are easy for a musical ear to separate in their head and from that perspective I can assure you that it is completely flawless. The vocal range and quality, the enchanting and varying guitar techniques, the fantastic rhythms and melodic bass riffs combine to make each track a musical journey. The use of 4/4 time proves to me that random time signature changes and funny noises are not what makes music progressive. “Prog” as it is labeled and thought of today has unfortunately become a desire to copy instead of to truly progress. Almost every “prog” artist wants to be the next [insert artist here], yet claims to be progressive. Even their own press is presented in a hypocritical and phony way ie: ‘so and so’s’ new CD is the best new prog album/artist ever … and in the same breath …. they are the next ‘such and such’ artist/group.
Although I too can play a plethora of instruments … I am still blown away when someone has truly mastered each one. If you can find a clear list of musical influences on OH’s EP then please tell me. Otherwise I will have to find a way to ask OH myself. As a fan I am interested, but if I had to guess.. I would say that OH has always loved to play music more than listening to it. She has not had the time to be influenced because she has never had the need to devour it. I believe that from a very young age… Olivia has managed to avoid most if not all of the mainstream influences. This is what the world needs more of. Young people who want to do something about real world