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Pandora Snail - War and Peace CD (album) cover

WAR AND PEACE

Pandora Snail

 

Eclectic Prog

3.92 | 125 ratings

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GruvanDahlman
5 stars Sometimes you just know it. What you are about to hear is so great that it you feel in the very fibre of your being. And the funny thing is that you feel it after just a few seconds. What is it, with some albums, that gives you this impression? After all, there are only so many notes to play with. Could it be that some notes, played in a certain order and in just the right way, is the key? I suppose so. Still, it is curious to feel the music and knowing you are about to witness something extraordinary. That feeling, that stems from somewhere metaphysical and is nigh on impossible to translate into words, that feeling is what I perceived when I put this album on.

The sound of Pandora Snail is tricky to pinpoint. Often enough, I suppose too often, contemporary bands are likened to the very greats of the 70's and that is a shame. I'm sorry to say but that will be the case in this review. Mainly because I can only hear one band that I immediately am able to link to Pandora Snail. That band is Gentle Giant and only by way of the violin, that is a very present instrument. Maybe there are some Emerson-ish piano. But for the most part I think that Pandora Snail really have been able to construct a sound of their own. Maybe other reviewers are able to hear influences from other bands, supposedly more contemporary, but I can't. That is, to me, one fine thing about this band.

The thing that impresses me the most is really the concoction of sounds. To say it is eclectic is putting it mildly. There are melodic sections, heavy outbursts, classical elements and something that I would like to refer to as the soundtrack to a visit in a smoky restaurant in the 1930's. That to me is a blend I have never heard before. The music as a whole evokes images and emotions quite extraordinary. The opening track, for instance, begins ever so gently with violin and a sombre melody that transforms into something very beautiful. And just when you think you know just what the song is all about it launches into this great, driving section with heavy guitar and drums and then back again. Simply amazing and done without the slightest of effort. At least it feels that way. The musicianship is impeccable.

The track 'Dance under the bullets' is yet another of those great tracks, evoking imagery and action. The music is aptly named and one can almost see someone dodging the flying bullets and debris, in almost a classical ballet kind of dance. Brilliant.

I have spent quite some time listening to this almost completely instrumental album. Every time I do I find myself nodding and feeling very at ease. Pandora Snail have produced an album which appears to be a conceptual piece and as such it segues into every segment without losing sight of what's the main idea. It holds together very well indeed. I spoke of understatement when describing the eclectic nature of the music and it is an understatement to say that the band is brilliant. I am actually in awe. I can only imagine that they are all classically trained in some way or other but sensitive enough to branch out into whatever genre or sound that is needed. Now, I try very hard to keep away from giving the rating five stars. It should only be applied when absolutely necessary and to be fair, it takes quite a lot to hit that spot. Not many bands do. However, I feel it would be unjust of me to deny Pandora Snail that rating, since this album really brings me an experience that is quite out of the ordinary. The songs are all brilliant and the eclectic sound, the imagery, the gentleness, the vision, it is all, without a doubt, genius. There is, actually, no weak spot to be found. I do hope that Pandora Snail will return with more music and that my review will bring more listeners to them. A terrific album by a very talented band.

GruvanDahlman | 5/5 |

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