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Olympos Mons - Medievil 4/5

Reviewed: 9-7-07


1. One word
2. Frozen
3. The emperors return
4. The price
5. Wolves
6. A race between two hearts
7. Fire and ice
8. Medievil
9. Kingdom of winter
10. Locked in chains
11. Dreamer

Finnish power metal band, Olympos Mons, are back with their 2nd full-length release. Their new CD is called ‘Medievil’ and they have continued on with the sound from their debut CD, ‘Conquistador’. Olympos Mons are primarily power metal, but have also infused symphonic, neo-classical and folk metal parts into their songs. All together, the music sounds very massive, bombastic and majestic, while still being heavy at the same time.

Hearing Olympos Mons for the first time, I was rather taken back with the quality of the music. This is just the band’s 2nd release and they sound fantastic. Immediately I found similarities with bands such as Guardians of Time, Insania (of Stockholm, Sweden), Thy Majestie, early Nocturnal Rites, Majestic, Dragonland and Iron Mask.

The symphonic and neo-classical metal parts are used perfectly into each song, but still maintain that heavy power metal feel. The guitar sound is quite deep, heavy and brooding in most songs, and in others they are more what you would expect in a symphonic/neo-classical metal band. The band hasn’t gone out on their own here, so there isn’t anything new (music wise), but this is still a very solid power metal release.

There are no ballads on ‘Medievil’ and the songs range from mid-paced to fast-paced; and all of them are action packed and keep your interest the whole way through. I did find 2 things on the CD which I must bring to attention, the first being the structure of some of the songs. I feel that in some parts of the songs, the arrangement doesn’t quite fit, whether it clashes with the vocals or just doesn’t sit well with the main structure of the songs. This is mostly done during the choruses, and I feel it makes them less catchy than they could have been.

The other thing is the vocalist, Ian Highhill. I feel that he is a bit hot and cold. Highhill is a talented vocalist and has great range, but there are parts where I can’t hear as much emotion in his voice, which I had heard in other parts. Overall I am pleased with his efforts, but it is something that he could possibly work on for the all-important 3rd CD.

Song highlights on ‘Medievil’ include “Frozen”, “The price”, “Fire and ice” and “Medievil”, while the best 3 tracks would be “Kingdom of winter”, “Wolves” and “Locked in chains”. “Kingdom of winter” is a great guitar driven track which really shows off the quality and skill of the band. The song is structured perfectly and has a slight dark feel to it as well. “Wolves” is a mid-paced track with galloping riffs and melodic vocals, which picks up the pace during the catchy chorus; not to mention a kick-ass heavy metal solo. Finally, the CD closer, “Locked in chains” is a slow and brooding guitar driven track which is rather different from the other tracks on the CD. It really gets the head banging during the opening, and the feel during the verses is slow and sweet but then goes back to its original heavy sound in the choruses. Highhill sings very well on this track and it's probably his best effort in terms of range and emotion.

I am quite impressed with Olympos Mons’ latest CD, as it took me by complete surprise. Expecting just another symphonic, neo-classical sounding CD, which can all sound rather similar to one another, I was greatly mistaken once the CD had completed. Fans of the aforementioned metal genres will very much enjoy this release and it will also be good to get into a fairly new power metal band who are fighting their way through the metal ranks.




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