Olympos Mons - ConquistadorI've always wanted to know what it's like to go into space and fly to distant planets. I think that desire lies in each of us humans. Some dream of going to the moon, others dream of visiting mercury, the Disney-fans dream of hugging Pluto, but, my friends, most of us wannabe spacepirates dream of only one thing: visiting Mars, where the biggest volcano known to man can be found: Olympos Mons!
Guitarist Jari Sundström and vocalist Ian E. Highhill founded Olympos Mons back in 2002, when they met after a concert in a small town in Finland. In that same year, the first demo - Seven Seas - would be released. In april 2003, a contract with Limb Music Products would be signed.
And that brings us at this moment, where the band's new album, Conquistador, is about to be reviewed.
The titlesong of their first demo serves as a worthy opener to Conquistador. With melodic vocals, bagpipes and adventurous lyrics, this mid-paced song reminded me a lot of the highlands. I love the highlands. Through The Ice And Snow starts with a medieval sounding piano-like intro, after which the guitars take over the melody and the song starts to get some pace. The lyrics aren't very deep, yet very romantic. This romanticism is found in each of the songs, which give the lyrics a significant amount of body if you're into these kind of lyrics (I know I'm a sucker for romance).
But not only the lyrics and the soothing vocals give the songs a breeze of romance. Especially the intros and choruses of most songs accentuate this particular theme. There are plenty of fast passages on Conquistador, yet there is no song on the album I consider agressive from the beginning to the end, which I had kind of hoped to see. What does let you pick up the pace, however, are the cleverly inserted fast guitar- and keyboardsolos. Without them, the album would just not be complete.
The production is done very nicely, judging by the decent quality of the sound and the interesting artwork of the cover. It shows a somewhat dark, Spanish conquerer (conquistador - hence the title) in a red, rocky environment pointing a sabre at the throat of a young, scarcely clothed maiden. It reflects the music of Olympos Mons perfectly; mysterious romance with just a hint of agression.
I was thrilled with Conquistador while listening to the first song. As I described before, it had this real 'highland' feel to it and I love those kind of songs. That splash of folk - that wave of mystery - was what gripped me. I guess it explains why I regret to say that none of the other songs were able to regenerate the sound. They were all very nice songs, but, when comparing them to Seven Seas, not of such innovativity that it made me wild.
However, in the end, Conquistador is definitely a very solid powermetal album. For all you adventurous space pirates who would like to know what Olympos Mons is all about, be sure to give it a shot!
Absolute favourite song: Seven Seas
Ian E. highhill - vocals
Jari Sundström - guitars
Henrik Tuura - bass
Mikko Sepponen - drums
Vili Ollila - keyboard
1. Seven Seas
3. Tha Last Light Of The Moon
4. Wanted Man
6. Through The Ice And Snow
7. Black Desireé
9. The Princess Of Saba
10. Lady In White