“Born in the darkest depths of Hell, Andronikos is a new breed of a one-man band
who is here to deliver the most cinematic, and colossal metal music the world has
ever seen. His horrifying appearance and soulless white eyes complement the
ruthlessness of his album ‘King’ that he recorded, and produced entirely by himself
in the studio just off the shore of the River Styx deep down in the Underworld. It is
unknown if he is human or not”.
The description may be a macabre picture, but the effort from Pittsburgh’s own Josh Willis is an amalgamation of technical music that crosses a wide range of genres within the metal arena. I first met the man behind Andronikos at Human Production, a custom tattoo studio in Bethel Park. He and I happen to get our work done by the owner Ben Merrell (IG @humanproductionben). Ben played me some of his earlier work, some with other bands and some of his first demos for what would become Andronikos. Needless to say, I was impressed.
It is hard to pigeonhole Andronikos because the music has so many layers and flavors it is like trying to decipher a Cheesecake Factory menu. At times the tunes are reminiscent of ‘flavors’ from Avenged Sevenfold and other radio oriented metalcore type acts, but other moments take you more into the ‘scents’ of Evanescence or Katatonia. The first track, “Stories From The Light” is an epic style track that would find a great place on a new action film. This bleeds into “The Songs of Winter”, a lightning faced pace of guitar and drum wizardry containing both gruff and clean vocals that fit well into the popular metalcore scene. “Burning The Heavens” continues the breakneck instrumentation but has a more radio-friendly approach, the imagery fitting well with a science fiction tale. Piano dominates the opening of the track “Archaic Anthem” but the balladry unfolds into blasting beats and aggressive metal with a pop sensibility. The final track “Bring Me Home” shows production talents on a grander scale and a mix of symphonic metal and Spanish classical guitar.
Clearly, there are many facets to Andronikos worth exploring. Look out For more from Josh Willis as one of the most impressive aspects of this project is that this is a 100% solo album.