|It was neither the alcohol nor their similar band backgrounds which brought the guitarist Jari Sundström and singer Ian E. Highhill together on a concert evening in a small town in Finland in 2002. It was the passion for melodic, symphonic metal music and one which led the two experienced musicians to the important decision of founding a band with the name of OLYMPOS MONS (the highest mountain on Mars and the largest volcano in our own solar system). It was a decision which would make waves in the world of heavy metal. Thanks to their yearlong activities in various bands they certainly had the right stuff. Jari Sundström feels just as much at home in the world of classical music as he does in rock and metal, has been composing songs for many years and his aggressive style of playing guitar has made him a popular figure on the local scene. For his part, Ian E. Highhill has a voice of exceptional range and is known both as a composer and as the author of dark, romantic lyrics.
Their first demo, "Seven Seas", released in August 2002, was a clear demonstration of OLYMPOS MONS' musical direction. The mixture of hard and aggressive guitar riffs and musical-like passages with strings, bagpipes and harps are the basis for powerful, bombastic metal songs full of a uniquely mystical atmosphere. And between the melodic, varied songlines, the listener can bathe in singer Ian's romantic lyrics. It is a mixture which immediately awakened the interest of numerous labels, webzines and power metal fans in Europe, Japan, the USA and South America. In April 2003 OLYMPOS MONS signed a contract with LIMB MUSIC PRODUCTS.
Their new album, "Conquistador" clearly shows that OLYMPOS MONS have jumped the queue to become forerunners in the field. Straight rock songs such as "Through The Ice And Snow" and "Stars" alternate with songs to make the hairs of your arm stand on end - for example the bombastic "Black" or "Cleopatra" with its hint of the Orient. The Finns pack all their experience and talent into the over 10 minute long title track. The impressive production by Sundström & Highhill, the excellent mixing by Nino Laurenne (Sonic Pump-Studio) as well as the brilliant mastering by Mika Jussila (Finnvox Studios, e.g. Stratovarius, Edguy, Nightwish) make sure that "Conquistador" is just as huge and sounds just as explosive as the name OLYMPOS MONS implies.