Cyprus isn’t the largest land mass in the world, but has produced several acts that we’ve featured. Add one more to the list. After a difficult year as regards lineup and the other stuff we’ve all had to deal with, Harmonize released a new album. And they’re here to tell us a bit more about it, and the band…
We are Harmonize and we are from Cyprus.
How did you meet?
We’ve known each other for a long time. Rhythm guitarist George is sort of the linking bond between us. He met our vocalist Sozos, at karate class when they were about 12. Lead guitarist Lambros and George have known each other from the Cypriot metal community and have since become really close friends. Our drummer Harris used to be a member of Cypriot band Armageddon when George met him for the first time. Bassist Panayiotis met George at the National Guard when they were 18 and 19.
How long have you been playing as a band?
The band has been active since 2012. The line-up used to be completely different back then. Founder and rhythm guitarist George happens to be the only original member. The band has been performing live since – releasing two demos in 2014 and 2015 – before our album release in 2020.
Before you get sick of being asked… where does the band name come from?
Haha, right! The band name comes from the word harmony and especially its Greek meaning. Equilibrium, balance and harmony are themes we aim to explore further in our chosen concept, even though our songs have conveyed rather contradicting themes so far, such as that of suffering and destruction.
What are your influences?
We like to receive triggers to stimulate our imagination and inspiration from several sources. Thankfully, having such different personalities in the band, despite all the things we have in common, means that each one of us offers ideas from their own tastes, background, experiences and influences. Our main source is a story we are writing. Amon Amarth, Blind Guardian, Iced Earth and Behemoth are bands that we, artistically, aesthetically, thematically and musically relate to and who have influenced our sound to an extent.
Describe your music. What makes you unique?
Our sound could be classified as dark power metal. This is especially apparent in our debut album Warrior in the Night in the last track we composed, “Crawling Among Shadows”. However, there are also some more traditionally heavy metal tracks in the album, because of our influences at the time – when we composed most of our songs. What makes us unique is the authenticity of our concept, which is based on an original epic tale we are writing, as well as our sound and its range.
Do you have any particular lyrical themes?
At the moment we are developing a fantasy fiction story and our songs are based on the story. In other words we are a conceptual band. Our debut album ‘Warrior in the Night’ acts as an introduction to our story and as a homage to one of the main characters.
What’s your live show like? How many shows have you played?
Our shows are full of energy. We like to keep the crowd engaged. We’ve been playing live since 2012. We’ve played for many shows in Cyprus at our own gigs and at festivals.
What’s the wildest thing you’ve seen or done at a live show?
That would be when we introduced brutal vocals for the first time in one of our live shows. We started off as a thrash metal band and gradually shifted towards power metal, but eventually decided to include extreme metal elements. The crowd went wild, they were pleasantly surprised and seemed to have supported our choice to take that path. As for other shows, we have witnessed a lot; including fights, guitars set on fires or truly fascinating shows by popular bands with awesome stage presence and amazing staging.
What kit do you use / guitars do you play / etc.?
For our first album we have used: ESP guitars, Blackstar and Laney Amps, Boss pedals, Yamaha bass, Shure and Rode microphones, Ludwig drums, Sabian and Zildjian cymbals.
What, if anything, are you plugging/promoting at the moment?
At the moment we are promoting our self-released debut album. It is about this absolutely vicious warrior who fights to avenge his kingdom when he is met with dark forces urging him to discover the source of his powers. Each song tells a story which surrounds the presence of the warrior. Some are about wrath, love, salvation, power, glory, grief, pain, greed, death and war. Finally there’s a dilemma which leaves the album on a cliff-hunger, if you will, as well as leaving unanswered questions about his past and the kingdom he served in. The album is available on all digital platforms, or you could find more about our concept on our website where you will be able to purchase a physical copy. We keep updates on all our social media. So far we received countless reviews and have released two video clips, of “Warrior in the Night” and “Angel”, the acoustic version.
What are your plans for 2021?
Due to the uncertainty that dominates the world right now, we can’t say anything for sure. We are currently working on new material for our next album release. When and if it’s safe again, to get back on stage, we may be going on tour, with Greece as our first destination.
If you were second on a three-band bill, which band would you love to be supporting and which band would you choose to open for you? A chance to plug someone you’ve toured with, or a mate’s band we’ve not heard of before!
If we had to choose between metal bands from Cyprus, we would choose to support death metal band, Blynd, who have a great career and strong foundations. Vocalist Andreas Paraschos happens to also be a guest on our debut album, as he recorded brutal backing vocals for our song “Tonight”. Our drummer Harris Peratikas, is also a member of black metal band Temple of Evil, however we wouldn’t choose Harris to open for Harmonize and then play for Harmonize as he would be rather exhausted. Therefore, we would love to have any band that musically relates to us, with the same passion and drive as us, as an opening act.