The duo of singer Ian E. Highhill and guitarist Jari Sundstroem came together in Hanko in February 2002 and released a demo-CD called Seven Seas. This demo was exclusively available through MP3.com. The two had played in multiple bands before, even been band-mates and after a couple of drinks after a gig where Jari was playing decided to join forces again. The two produced the debut album. Bassist Krister, who joined in December of 2004, was also a former band-mate. Limb signed the band for four albums. The act threw in the towel in 2010.
Olympos Mons is the home of the ancient Greek gods, the highest mountain on Mars and the largest volcano in the solar system.
OLYMPOS MONS - SEVEN SEAS
The moniker Olympos Mons is befitting a Greek band. This band is from Finland though. The very young duo of singer Ian E. Highhill and guitarist Jari Sundstroem were formed in 2002 and have already released the demo-CD at hand. The fact that the band is quite accomplished is partly explained by how the two had previously played together and separately in cover and original bands. So, what do the songs sound like, you ask? Well, clear influences from German power metal, Finnish epic metal and even Classical music can be detected. Sadly, the duo is using keyboards and a drum machine here. The latter is already history, but the former is here to stay. It is not quite compensation enough, but the band's mature compositions and talented singer bode well for the future. Find the band through firstname.lastname@example.org or try listening via mp3.com. - Ali "The Metallian"
OLYMPOS MONS - CONQUISTADOR - LMP
This had the potential to be a hackneyed journey through the realms of false metal, but Olympos Mons' Conquistador instead turned out to be one smashing speed/power metal album. The band's Finnish origin and presence of keyboards supplied the preconceived prejudice, but the songs, powerful rhythm and affinity to a couple of my favourite bands won the day.
Olympos Mons is a strong power metal band with a good sound, fantasy leanings and an affinity for the 'moon' motif. The band sounds close to Freedom Call in places and clearly has learned much from the Germans. The triumphant riffs and melodies that kick off Stars or Lady In White are note by note Freedom Call. Then again, the rest of the latter song nods to the marvelous Walls Of Jericho. Elsewhere, The Princess Of Saba is more reminiscent of Kamelot and Stratovarius and so the band goes.
All in all though this is a solid album full of sixty minutes of upbeat ambience, soaring vocals and powerful rhythms from a bunch of unknowns. Fans of the sub-genre need to get acquainted with Olympos Mons. - Ali "The Metallian"
Sure you might have heard of the stellar Olympos Mons,
but chances are you have not heard of these Finnish
newcomers... well, sort of a newcomers because
despite shrouding themselves in the kind of secrecy
usually surrounding details of a state visit, the
members of the band are experienced musicians. Never
mind though, what really counts is the music, which
happens to be really good. Ali "The
Metallian" invited the band's singer Ian
and guitarist Jari to Metallian Towers in order to find
out more about the members, the band and the music.
METALLIAN: Welcome to Metallian Towers. I trust that
your stay has been comfortable. Can you guys speak
about the band's formation and background?
IAN E. HIGHHILL: Thank you. We met after a gig Jari was
playing with his former
band at a club in our hometown, Hanko. After the gig we
talked about music in general, bands, what we liked and
what music we would love to play while we were getting
absolutely death drunk. I went home, passed out and
forgot everything about it!
The next day Jari phoned me and asked if I remembered
our chat the other evening and, of course, I did not.
He refreshed my memory and told me that we had sort of
made plans about forming a band - a real metal band
this time. He came over to my place and brought a demo
with him. I listened to it and was totally blown away.
This was exactly what I had always wanted to do and
more. After that we started exchanging ideas, making
songs and eventually auditioning musicians suitable for
the project. It took us quite awhile, but here we are
and the rest is history.
JARI SUNDSTRÖM: Yeah, that's the story basically.
When it comes to the moniker Olympos Mons, it is Latin
and means Mount Olympus, the mythological home of the
gods in ancient Greece and also the greatest volcano in
our solar system, Olympus Mons which is located on
METALLIAN: You guys all have previous band experience
and even shared bands. Why are you so secretive about
IAN: Well, I've been in so many bands I
can't remember them all. The last one was a Deep
Purple tribute band named Stormbringer. And yes, Jari,
Krister and myself have been in the same bands in the
JARI: We have not tried to be secretive about our
former bands. It is just that they have been small-time
bands with a small reputation and small achievements so
I see no point in mentioning any names since they
won't mean anything to anybody anyway.
METALLIAN: No matter how minor the bands, can you give
us the names?
JARI: Well, our former bands weren't metal bands
at all. They were mainly... they were really crappy
hard rock bands of total insignificance so lets drop
the subject, please...
METALLIAN: In that case, it is also probably impossible
to get Ian's real last name because one somehow
doubts that he is a hobbit.
IAN: No, not impossible, I am the Grand Wizard of
Mordor, no further comments.
METALLIAN: Oh no, not secretive at all! Never mind, let
us talk about the band's music. It is quite
effective. Can you elaborate?
IAN: I don't know man, you must have an excellent
taste in music to say that.
JARI: Yes Ali, you certainly must have an excellent
taste in music, or then our album must be excellent, or
then it's something else which must be
excellent... did I mention the word
'excellent' already (laughs)? I think the
instruments are like a long and heavy, powerful steam
engine train pulling cargo through the desert landscape
with our music and the vocals and keyboards are the
clouds floating above this whole scenery.
METALLIAN: Is the Conquistador album a concept and to
what does the title refer?
IAN: The album is not a concept album and is simply
named for the song Conquistador.
JARI: Conquistador is Spanish for
'conqueror.' That particular song is about
the troops of Hernando Cortez conquering the Aztec
METALLIAN: In that case, is the cover artwork related
to that particular song as well? By the way, just
curious, what is the cover model's phone
IAN: What we wanted to do was to bring in the
conquistador theme into the Martian environment. So the
result was a reverse Captain Smith-slash-Pocahontas
scene with a Martian background (more laughter). Her
phone number, by the way, is 666-616.
METALLIAN: Her number is almost as cool as her looks.
Was the illustration you used painted for Olympos Mons
or did you buy it from the artist's existing
IAN: It was made exclusively for us.
METALLIAN: What about the references to Freedom Call?
Is that a correct analogy and are you fans of that
IAN: Freedom who? Yeah man, I like German bands, but I
think my biggest influences are in the British hard
rock scene of the late '70s and early '80s.
Bands like Iron Maiden, Black Sabbath with Dio, Uriah
Heep, Judas Priest and Rainbow with Dio are bands I
I also like some American bands like Kansas and, of
course, Canada's Rush. But I think when Jari and
I are writing songs it is like a product of every tune
we ever heard in our lives and not of any one in
particular. Olympos Mons is what comes out when we
start writing. It's as simple as that.
JARI: I don't know about any references, but I
have certainly been a big fan of several German acts
like Accept, Udo, Helloween and Gamma Ray.
METALLIAN: Elsewhere, can you explain for aspiring
bands and other readers how a band goes from demo to a
deal with a label?
IAN: It all depends on how hard you're ready to
work on promoting yourself
and of course the product has to be good so you can
believe in it one-hundred percent. We started
promoting our demo on the internet and soon there were
many webzines and radio stations worldwide who were
interested in us.
We had at the most about six labels wanting us, of
which LIMB was the biggest so the choice was easy
really. We have a one-album plus three-options
METALLIAN: There has been some line-up changes within
the ranks. Who is in, who is out and why all the
IAN: The current line-up is Mikko Sepponen on drums,
Jari Sundström on guitar, Krister Lundell on bass and
me behind the microphone stand. As far as changes in
the line-up, well, it's been for the usual
reasons. Two guys were having a vision and some other
guys were not quite sharing it (laughs). We knew what
we wanted. All those changes were necessary in order
for us to achieve them.
METALLIAN: In that case, What are you immediate and
long-term plans with the
IAN: Making demos for our next studio album and
preparing ourselves for
some serious gigging are on top of the list. The
long-term plans are to conquer the world of course! As
far as goals go, well does the Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame
sound too much?
JARI: (Laughingly) well that's about it.
METALLIAN: What about newer songs and what the fans can
IAN: A new album with kick ass heavy metal as only
Olympos Mons can deliver is next. The new songs only
have working titles so far, but Frozen will be one
title, I think.
METALLIAN: Thank you for your time and I trust that
your stay at Metallian towers was satisfactory. Let us
end the conversation by answering why Metallian is the
best source for metal in the universe?
IAN: Because Metallian now has an interview with the
To find out more or hear samples of the band's
music browse over to http://www.olymposmons.com.