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Johnny Zero

Guitars, Synths & Programming



Petros Fatis



ELYSION: "Silent Scr3am"      


interview with Christianna und Johnny Zero 2010

review by Matthew "Newbreed99" Haumschild___ 




            I didn’t know quite what to expect when I got a message to review my first band of the new decade. Yes, I realize that most people are calling it a new year, I call it a new decade. In terms of music, I think it is most appropriate. Reason being, that the music scene, from a metal prospective, varies greater by decade than it does per year. For music trends seem to last longer than a year. At least, good music trends last more than a year. Towards the late 90’s, an exciting new band, appeared on my radar, and that was Lacuna Coil. When I write, “late 90’s” I mean 1999. One might as well call it the 00’s. I mention them, because for me and for a lot of people my age, 29, Lacuna Coil had a brand of metal where it was a bunch of guys playing with a singer that wasn’t male which back then was uncommon. Drain STH doesn’t exactly count since all their members were female. Anyway. My point is that throughout the 00’s, there have been several bands that have emerged that have a female singer backed by men. Well, mostly men. Lacuna Coil, Evanescence, Nightwish, Epica, The Love Crave, Leaves’ Eyes, Lullacry, ect. Although, female singers in bands isn’t a new phenomenon, it’s the type of music that was created in that decade is what makes the difference as to what metal was in the 90’s.


            Elysion falls in that category of music that was created in the 00’s. It would be unfair for me to really compare them to the above bands. Don’t get me wrong, I love almost all the bands I mentioned in the previous paragraph, but Elysion deserves better than to be compared to them.


            Now, I don’t know much about them. I read their biography, which honestly didn’t tell me a whole lot of what I really wanted to know. Like, where they are from. Does this matter? To some people it does. For me, I’d like to know if this band is a dime-a-dozen from a city/country that churns out a hundred of these bands. To get to my point, Elysion is from Greece. Greece? Yeah, I was kind of surprised myself. The only bands that I know of from Greece is Rotting Christ and Chaos Star; two completely different styles of music. To be honest, I had no idea what to expect. I like this because this means expanding my known palate of Greek Metal. Not to mention that they’ve opened up or played with a number of major acts that have gone through their country.


            My very first impression of the band was when I was listening to “Dreamer,” their first track, my first thought was, “this is kind of an 80’s sounding singer, backed by a modern-metal band, and so far it sounds average.” Not to say average is bad or anything, but it wasn’t striking me as something fantastic. Although, I should note, that the sound quality was, actually quite superb. I eventually, listened to the whole album all the way through thinking it was a short CD. My first impression of the whole album was that it wasn’t bad. I couldn’t pinpoint much for negatives except for it sounded like every other band that had a mastermind in the band (the guitar player in this case) and his singer. Again, not that that’s bad but it was…almost cookie cutter.


            My very second impression of the band, because it sounded good to me, I didn’t mind listening to the album again on the bus ride home. I had to skip “Dreamer” because it wasn’t hard or fast enough for me to really groove into it, so I skipped into “Killing My Dreams” where it reminded me of some of the music I used to be apart of when I lived in Phoenix. Modern rock sounding with a bit of melodic singing sung with lots of emotion. To be honest, I didn’t really get into this song until the 5th listen. “Never Forever” is a rocking song, but again, it didn’t keep me from paying attention. Then….FINALLY, the song I was looking for. In every CD that I’ve ever bought, there’s usually that one song that sticks out. That I want to tell everyone about, show and say, “hey, check out this band” and I turn to this track: “Don’t Say A Word.” This track won me over. I was hooked. I was sold. It started out a little slow, but I kept listening. The pre-chorus and the chorus sounded too emotional! It was heavy and melodic the perfect combination for a great song. I could hear the emotion in Christianna’s singing conveying a possible tragedy about to occur. And who knows more about tragedy than the Greeks? The song is extremely catchy, it’s rockin, and again, I cannot say enough good things about this track. Then “Rules” came on right after that track, which was perfect. It was a hint faster than the previous track with another catchy chorus to it. No melancholy in this track, the music was upbeat, the vocals, stayed melodic however, not quite as upbeat though.


            Now, I look at, “Dreamer” as more than I mentioned before. It’s a carefully laid out track with excellent singing and composition. The synth line is addicting and the singing…yes all the SINGING, is just addictive to listen to. I’m not sure weather to pump my fist in the air for this song or to lie back on my couch and listen to this track. “Never Forever” is a great song to run to and not a bad song to have someone listen to for a first time. Christianna is also exercising her vocal range in this song as well. Other songs worth mentioning are “Walk Away” and “Loss.” They’re just absolutely great songs to listen to.


            In conclusion, as a professional, I might make an observation that the whole album sounded alike. In other words, all the songs sounded the same. Is this bad? Not in this case because the songs sounded very good. I am curious how they are going to pull this off live. There are rhythm tracks on the guitars in nearly every song along with lots of synth and programming and I only see one guitar player. The problem that I see now a days, is the amount of back tracking a band has live. That’s my only concern for this band. I just say get a second guitar player live or something.


            Does this band sound like those other bands I mentioned in the first paragraph? Yes. Does this band fit in a formula for success? Not so sure. The difference is, is Christianna. She sings VERY differently from all those other bands. She has range and emotion, almost like a pop-singer, only metal. Do some of those other singers have great range? Yes! But not all of them can sing with the same emotion and to me that makes all the difference in the world. Any band can be formed with a talented guitar player, competent drummer, competent bass player and a hot singer and sound like all the others, but to believe in the music their playing, that’s uncommon, priceless, and the price of admission.




review by Matthew Haumschild   

Matthew Haumschild is a staff writer/editor for since 2002

He is based out of Minneapolis Minnesota USA he can be reached at and  on

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