Voices of Metal: Iliana Tsakiraki
Written by Brett Kihlmire
Greece has been a center of western culture for millennia and it continues this proud tradition in many ways. One way is through its contributions to heavy metal music and one of the most power voices to come out of the country is Athens native, Iliana Tsakiraki.
Through her older sister, Iliana discovered heavy metal music at the young age of 12 and was hooked ever since. And though she plays power and symphonic metal, she has a wide range of bands that she enjoys.
“Anything passionate, really” she says. “If you’re talking about specific bands I enjoy many different things, from the obvious choices: Nightwish, Epica, Tarja, Lacuna Coil, Therion etc. to Machine Head, Septicflesh, Fleshgod Apocalypse and so many others. Along with classical music and opera influences too.”
In terms of classical influences, Iliana has stated that her favorite composers include Ludwig Van Beethoven, Franz Schubert and Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart.
Taking her love for music to heart, Iliana studied music and earned herself a classic singing diploma, which shines in her powerful soprano lirico-leggero singing voice. Today, she works as a vocalist instructor/coach in a conservatory and fronted Meden Agan (2008-2013) before forming her current band, Enemy of Reality, in 2013.
With her musical career spanning almost a decade and a half, Iliana has certainly accomplished a great deal, including three albums – her latest album being Enemy of Reality’s Arakhne (through FYB Records), which was released in October 2016. Of course, there have been a fair share of challenges, but Iliana prefers to keep her head up high by saying she and her band always try “to overcome ourselves and improve in every aspect of this whole trip.”
“One of the biggest challenges is to improve oneself and one ‘s music as the years go by,” she later explains.
A greatly inspired lyricist as well as a singer, Iliana has drawn on many themes in her work. Her debut release with Enemy of Reality touched on themes of everyday life, but also included a four track sequence based on the ancient myth of Orpheus and Euridice. The mythological themes would carry on in her latest release with Enemy of Reality by focusing on the ancient Hellenic myth of the spider’s creation. She has even gone as far as to represent the spider theme by wearing face paint in the form of the Arakhne while performing and taking promotional photos for the album.
“The main goal is that the fans experience and feel the tale we’re telling to the bone. Generally, people should know about us that whatever they hear on our record is what they’ll get to see in our live shows,” she explains in regards to the lyrics and her costumes.
As of this writing, Enemy of Reality has played the famed Metal Female Voices Fest in Belgium to a roaring applause. Iliana and her bandmates plan to continue the upward momentum of Arakhne’s critical acclaim by hitting the road and playing more shows in Europe. Of course, the band truly hopes to be able to cross the ocean and visit the United States and Canada in the near future with their ultimate goal being “to find our way to the ears, brain and soul of an even larger audience!”
As of this writing the band has an official music video coming up to support the Arakhne album and will be hitting more countries than before. For those who have not yet seen Iliana and Enemy of Reality hit the stage, you’re in for a real treat.
“We just really put our souls to the show; spill as much sweat as we can trying to deliver the best possible show for our fans.”