The Power Metal Force of Harmonize
The Power Metal Force of Harmonize
Formed in Nicosia, Cyprus in 2012, HARMONIZE originally started as a thrash metal band until gradually transforming into the Heavy/Power Metal force that they are today. And towards the end of the pandemic year of 2020, Harmonize unleashed their triumphant debut entitled Warrior In The Night upon the world at large. They’ve opened for the likes of Blaze Bayley and are ready to bring their Warrior In The Night epic to the world live as soon as it is possible. Highwire Daze recently interviewed founding member George Constantinou to find out a whole lot more about the grand and glorious sounds of the almighty Harmonize. Read on…
Introduce yourself, tell me what you do in HARMONIZE, and how long the band has been together.
I’m George Constantinou and I play rhythm guitar. I also write and compose songs with the rest of the band. I founded Harmonize in 2012 but I happen to be the only original member in the band. We’ve been active since but only now were we truly ready to release our debut album.
Where is the band based out of and what is your local music scene like there?
We are currently based in Cyprus. To be honest our local music scene doesn’t look like much at the moment, due to the pandemic. A small metal community-as Cyprus is a small island-with talented and notable bands and passionate fans.
Is there any overall story or concept behind the Warrior In The Night album title?
Our album is indeed a conceptual piece of work, based on a fantasy fiction story we are writing. The nameless warrior is only one of the characters and this album acts as a homage to him and as an introduction to our story.
Select any two songs from Warrior In The Night and what inspired the lyrics?
All our tracks, in one way or another follow or surround the character of the Warrior in the Night. Through these we reveal hints about certain elements of the story, the storylines and the characters. The Astonishing End, our first single, describes a battle, but more specifically its atmosphere. In this song, the Warrior is leading a battle motivated by vengeance, which is manifested by the spirit of one of our female characters, the Queen. Her astonishing end is but a rite and a sacrifice. Possessed by her, the Warrior conducts this ritual through his killings. She shall soon be reborn through flames. Our story was the main source of inspiration for the lyrics as well as battle imagery.
Crawling Among Shadows describes the current state of our protagonist, the Warrior, who finds himself in a vivid vision. He meets dark forces in his path and is tortured. He battles his own demons as he realizes he was but a pawn. Soon he discovers his true powers and the doom he can spread. Emotionally connecting to the song for the lyric writing process meant that there was some sort of shadow work involved. Finding the beast within us, to best capture the essence of the character of the Warrior. The music we wrote also aided the lyric writing process as well as the emotional connection.
Who did the cover art for Warrior In The Night and how much input did you have on it?
Giannis Nakos from Greece, known by Remedy Art Design did the cover art for our album. We gave him a brief on the characters of our story but he came up with the artwork himself, as he is the kind of artist who works with artistic freedom. He exceeded expectations.
What has it been like to release new music right in the middle of a pandemic and so much social unrest in the world?
Definitely a hectic experience, but it was the right time to be released. Having tried to release it earlier, before the pandemic, we faced more challenges than we expected, so when we were finally able to take the step, we couldn’t back down. We turned the social unrest, the uncertainty and the despair into fuel to motivate us. This has been a very difficult time for artists but we have to prevail.
What is a HARMONIZE live show like?
From our perspective our shows are full of energy. Our crowd is always very supportive and even if some people come to our show without prior knowledge about our band, they always find a reason to stay. It seems that during gigs, people resonate with our music. At the end of the day we play for them. Our more loyal supporters know the lyrics by heart and everyone seems to share the same adrenaline rush we have on stage. It’s an extraordinary cycle of energy, give and take. It is that relation you build with your audience. Even our most stern critics have been pleasantly surprised at our live shows. It is also a great way to reach people and potential Harmonize fans. Usually we like to plan something special we’ve been preparing, be it a cover or a new song, keeping the suspense up. If you find yourself at our show, expect loud music, lots of headbanging, people cheering and a captivating performance, as this is what we always aim for.
What was it like opening for Bonfire and did you get to meet or hang out with them at all?
It is truly great when you get to open for such a band in the beginning of your career. It was awesome, but unfortunately there was no time to have a proper chat with them. However we thankfully did get to meet them briefly and they were very nice.
You also played a show with Blaze Bayley. What was that experience like?
Yes, in 2018 Blaze Bayley visited Cyprus at Power of the Night Festival. We performed then too, which was quite special. His show was great and his band was a group of excellent musicians. Our night was awesome, we got to perform and meet them all too which was a nice bonus
If HARMONIZE could open up for any band either now or from the past, who would it be and why?
This is such a difficult question as there are many bands and many metal legends we could pick. An intangible dream would be to open for Ronnie James Dio or Lemmy Kilmister. These are people who have taught us, shaped us, rocked us and who have left behind a vast legacy. If we had to pick conceptually and realistically which bands who we admire, we could open for, those would be Rhapsody of Fire, Blind Guardian, Manowar, Iced Earth as we share mutual elements. Other bands we love and listen to everyday are Amon Amarth and Behemoth, we would love to open for them.
Are you involved with any other bands or projects outside of HARMONIZE?
Personally, not at the moment, although we are all generally involved in different projects most times. Harris Peratikas our drummer, is also a member of Temple of Evil, Cypriot black metal band. Our vocalist Sozos Michael, previously a member of American band Helion Prime, is involved in other collaborations and is also realizing his own music.
What’s up next for HARMONIZE?
Only time will tell. Right now we are working on new material for our next release and we are excited about the progress. When the time is right, we hope to be back on the stage with a possible tour. For the time being, we will keep creating and we will be keeping our audience engaged.
Any final words of wisdom?
I don’t know if I am much of a wise person. I guess, since this is a difficult time for all of us, it would be nice to remind people to take it easy and perhaps support the arts. Watch a movie, read a book, or you know, listen to music. For instance you could stream our album Warrior in the Night on all digital platforms. Sit back and give it a listen or stand up and headbang your way through.
Sozos Michael – Vocals
George Constantinou – Rhythm Guitars
Lambros Apousianas – Lead Guitars
Panagiotis Takkides – Bass
Harrys Peratikas – Drums
(Interview by Ken Morton)
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