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.
On a closing note, I should mention that this album is available as a digital download, and in a limited edition of 300 45RPM vinyl pressings - not on CD.
**** Angelo Hulshout (edited by Astrid de Ronde)
Where to buy?
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