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Olympos Mons
November 2005
Released: 2005, Limb Music
Rating: 4.0/5
Reviewer: Waspman

Y’know, I was just thinking that the world was in need of another melodic power metal band and low and behold, here comes Olympos Mons to answer the call! OK, so I really wasn’t thinking that, but here comes Olympos Mons anyway. This Finnish band, lead by vocalist Ian Highhill and guitarist Jari Sundstrom, formed in 2002 to bring both men’s passion for epic melodic metal to life. The band released a demo called SEVEN SEAS in 2002 and have been refining their sound and building towards their debut album ever since.

Released earlier this year on Limb Music, CONQUISTADOR is the culmination of the band’s efforts. Put simply, CONQUISTADOR is melodic power metal, with an emphasis on crunchy guitars and soaring vocals rather than tinkly keyboards. The overly happy opener “Seven Seas’ sets off all kinds of “gay” alarms with its totally fruity chorus and airy flutes (!), but the band quickly settles into a much more powerful sound with the excellent, driving “Stars”. The vocals of Ian Highhill really come to the fore in this song, flying to heights occupied by power metal masters like Timo Koltipelto. The next song, “The Last Light of the Moon” proves the Olympus Mons is capable of more than speedy power metal, bringing the pounding groove that the best power metal bands are intelligent enough to inject in their music.

And that’s exactly what Olympos Mons is: one of the best new power metal bands. Sure, there may not be much need for yet another of these bands, but Olympos Mons are one of the few that can do it right. You’ll hear nothing new on CONQUISTADOR, but if you do give it a shot, you’ll certainly hear one of 2005’s best power metal albums.
Track Listing

1) Seven Seas
2) Stars
3) The Last Light of the Moon
4) Wanted Man
5) Black
6) Through the Ice and Snow
7) Black Desiree
8) Cleopatra
9) The Princess of Saba
10) Lady in White
11) Conquistador


Ian Highhill: Vocals
Jari Sundstrom: Guitars
Mikko Sepponen: Drums
Vili Ollila: Keyboards
Krister Lundell: Bass

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