Review : Oh – Metallia!

Have you ever tried to learn an instrument? Been through the initial pain and frustration it can bring before you can even bang out a flawless rendition of ‘Twinkle Twinkle Little Star’? Then once you’ve finally got that nailed have you ever had the time and patience to actually master that instrument? If you’ve ever done that or even considered it after your initial breakthrough with nursery rhymes then you’ll appreciate how much dedication, time, passion and hell…money it takes to do so! So just imagine the amount of talent and effort which has gone into the works of ‘Metallia’ by Oh which is composed, crafted, mixed and mastered by Olivia Hadjiioannou who played every damn instrument on this EP to immense effect!

‘Metallia’ is a prog metal instrumental epic split into six parts and each and every one of them are essential to the whole yet manage to expand on the previous or dive into new and unexplored territories. The EP consists of diverse and superbly played instrumentation with a full mix of funk and tech bass, violins, bongos, wails, screams and of course a good and healthy mix of beautiful haunting guitar solos and crunching riffs! And of course I would be remiss to not mention the outstanding vocal work, and yes I am aware that I stated it was an instrumental record and stand by that fact. Olivia has used her superb vocal talents on each and every track on this EP as an additional layer of music, not one word is spoken but feelings and emotions are expressed fully with some impressive harmonies, wails, screams, growls like a siren dragging my to my doom…and what a wonderful way to go!

Listening to the EP in full (the only recommended way to listen) feels like being swept up into a tornado of sounds which swirl in and out of your conscience as your brain struggles to keep up with the ever changing rhythmical or melodic passages which float before you. It’s described by Oh as being a spiritual journey which will ‘transmute your subliminal mind map’, I have to say I’m not sure mine has quite transmuted as of yet but it’s certainly melted my mind over the many many listens I have given it…and I constantly want to return.
So, what does it actually sound like then? Well, in short I can’t say if you like ‘x’ band you will love this as there really is a lot of influence and styles melded in to its 25 minute run time yet I can say that if you put Kate Bush, Auf Der Maur, Ayreon, Chiasmata, Igorrr, old White Zombie and Amogh Symphony in a blender with several metronomes running different time signatures, add a healthy dash of thrash riffs to the proggy mix and bake the resulting mixture for several hours you probably wouldn’t even come close to the sound…did that help? Nope? OK then check this out

It’s difficult to choose any particular tracks which stand out as they are all rather experimental and have their own outstanding segments which you will be in awe at and is layered in such a way that you will discover others with repeated listens. For the moment I’m particularly enamored with the way the Spanish acoustic guitar opening of ‘Bee’ descends into an industrial chaos…or the seeming simplicity of the thrash inspired riffs in ‘Androgyny’ which combined with the angelic harmonies create an eerie and haunting counterpart…or the syncopated rhythms which make up ‘Dragons Kiss’.

Overall there is a hell of a lot to discover in this EP which these few words cannot do justice to. In Oh, Olivia has an amazing vehicle for her immense multi-instrumental talents I would advise any lover of eclectic underground metal sounds to give this a listen and like me you will be hooked.
Grab a full copy of ‘Metallia’ right here:

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