I have to admit that I do not really pay much attention to instrumental albums. I prefer my music to have substance than being a pure exhibitionism and a demonstration of playing skills (which we have to admit that most of the guitarist instrumental albums are)…
That said, I have never enjoyed a Joe Satriani or Steve Vai album in my life (names taken indicatively)…actually in my personal collection of more than 4.000 vinyl records and CD’s you can find less than 10 instrumental albums overall. Harsh statements but necessary in order to emphasise how much I liked Metallia…
To start with, OH. (actual name Olivia Hadjiioannou) is a rock and metal multi-instrumentalist - she plays guitar (electric and acoustic), bass, drums, violin, piano and percussion - a sound engineer who mixes and masters her work and also a videographer who currently lives and works in Athens, Greece. So far she has released the 2013 EP Sleeping World, the 2015 full album Synemotion (which saw a physical release in vinyl and was more metal oriented than its predecessor) plus a number of digital only singles.
Metallia is her new EP released during this summer and arrived in my electronic mailbox just before my departure for my summer vacations. I listened to it many times (well that’s the least that someone who intends to write about an album should do) and I have to say that with every listen it offered to me something new to discover.
Starting with the technical aspects, the guitar playing and the overall production are of course great but fortunately the qualities of the compositions in Metallia are not restricted only to these thus avoiding making the final output sound like a meaningless and endlessly boring shredding. One of the reasons that Metallia succeeds in avoiding falling in this trap is the variety and diversity in its songs. Being structured around a basic motive which is based on classic music and operatic vocals, the 6 songs of the EP contain numerous different elements from Funk (Red Lion), Mediterranean melodies (Bee), Epic metal (Androgyny), Industrial (Resurrection), Progressive (Dragon’s Kiss) or even Speed metal (Triumph). A counter question might be how consistently are all these different influences incorporated in the EP and the immediate answer would be :
Consistently enough to make Metallia a grandiose, adventurous, fully developed and complete artistic work and not just an orchestral resume of Olivia’s technical skills.
Please purchase Metallia from here