In ancient times in the land of the Hellada it was ‘The Mousa’ (Muses) who were the goddesses of music, song and dance and besides that they were the source for which the poets sought lyrical inspiration. In modern day Greece it may well be that one ‘Olivia Hadjiioannou’ also known as “OH” has stepped up to claim a title share of the old Mousa crown. And certainly gazing at the picture of “OH” resplendent in warrior like adornment, on the impressive colourful front cover of her new extended play mini album, she certainly casts the image of a goddess from a higher plain.
Olivia has put together here a set of six tracks on this mini cd and upon which she has played all of the instruments but not only that she has been responsible for all of the arranging, writing, recording, mixing and final production all carried out and facilitated at her home music studio in Athens.
Employing a stunning range of metal infused guitar histrionics together with extensive percussive skills the six tracks on this album could be construed as veritable catalogue of Olivia’s wide-ranging instrumental armoury. Indeed her prolific skills as musical arranger are quite incredible, particularly working as a lone multi-instrumentalist and seamlessly putting together all of the individual components of this project totally unassisted is quite extraordinary.
Whilst the main theme behind all of the music is a clear reference towards progressive metal there are many neat underlying shifts in tempo and wholesale creative layers of various instrumental additions featuring both violin and keyboards, such contributions that flirt and sway amongst the primary lead and bass guitar foundations.
Also infused within the body of the music are various elaborate vocal contributions with an intensity that ranges from sweet melodic to a controlled beast like aggression. Such choral embellishments being more of an instrumental vocal projection rather than any kind of sweet angelic accompaniment.
Clearly Olivia has worked hard in putting together all of the tasks required to produce this CD (sorry not intended to sound like a school report). I wonder though if she is missing a real trick. Inasmuch that rather than be totally sold towards a definite Western heavy metal sound that she embroils an influx of her own Greek heritage. Not to sell out!!! I don’t mean that: but simply to employ a more Grecian tinge to her metal based music, incorporating voice inflections too. I think that would set her aside as being quite unique. If she can manipulate a guitar with such dexterity then of course an influx of electric bouzouki would be no problem for her to incorporate in a heavier rock kind of way.
Not sure whether Olivia treads the boards anywhere, I imagine everything is studio based because such an undertaking as demonstrated on this CD would be difficult to replicate at a gig.
Summary: An interesting well thought out project from a talented-multi instrumentalist.
Artwork: The entire package has been put together with great care and attention to detail. Gorgeous composite photos assembled as kind of mural elevate totally the attractiveness of the cover. A beautifully detailed insert booklet graces the inside of the package with track details and a set of poems clearly an inspirational gift from the Mousa. Stunning really that from a financial aspect such elaborate design work has been utilised in support of a mini CD.
All Instruments : Olivia Hadjiioannou
Tracks: 1. Red Lion. 2. Bee. 3. Androgyny. 4. Resurrection. 5. Dragon Kiss. 6. Triumph