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CAJA DE PANDORA

Caja De Pandora

 

Symphonic Prog

3.46 | 6 ratings

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Ivan_Melgar_M
Special Collaborator
Symphonic Prog Specialist
4 stars It's almost always a pleasure to review Latin American albums, because normally you can find much more than what can be expected form a band of a determined genre, being that it's usual to find ethnic references carefully blended with Symphonic (plus some surprises) and the final result is normally richer than what bands limited to a determined sound or style can offer,

CAJA DE PANDORA is one of this releases, the Folk references are not as clear as in other groups, but there are present, in such a way you practically don't notice them, and the strong Symphonic elements seem the main sound, but if you listen carefully there's a lot to be discovered.

Their self titled and only release starts with "Apocalipsis", a strong introduction wit lush and sometimes distorted keyboards where the skills of Alejandro Lomelin are more than evident, the only problem is that after a minute it becomes a bit repetitive until the third minute where a dramatic guitar solo by José Jorge Teran Gómez who closes the track in a different mood.

"Cuento de Hadas" (Fairytale) has a strange folksy intro that I can't define if inspired in Native American, Mayan or Oriental music, and that is the beauty because the mysterious and undefined sound prepares the listener for nothing specific. But the change comes, after a short frenetic passage, the song turns into a fluid Symphonic soft track interrupted by short sections in which the atmosphere of the introduction of the song is repeated, this time with a great bass job by Antonio Castro Barragàn. The radical changes and the different moods make of this song a great piece of art.

"Ilusión" (Illusion) has a jazzy and bass based intro with the fast piano enhancing the style and solid drumming by Eduardo Medina, but the song starts to gradually morph into a soft form of Symphonic, but as always with blasts of power and strong distorted guitar solos, simply brilliant.

"Requiem Para el Silencio" (Requiem for Silence) shows us again the jazzy side of CAJA DE PANDORA, if you ask me, I dare to say there's a FOCUS influence in the soft atmospheres, but without the spectacularly of Thijs Van Leer. After one minute the song changes dramatically into an elaborate Symphonic - Neo Classical fantasy of sounds and influences, but only for a short time before they return to the jazzy sections that are kept until the end with drastic and violent interruptions.

"Horizontes" (Horizons) takes us back to Symphonic territory, but his time with more energy and power but to be honest, also some AOR influences, specially in the typical 80's keyboards. At the end after a contrapuntal section, the song flows to the end with strength and power.

"Camino Mágico" (Magical Road) surprises me as one of the best tracks in the album, starts a syncopated and rhythm but soon turns into a very complex expression of Symphonic Prog with FOCUS hints, specially in the Flemish oriented guitar solos reminiscent of Jan Akkerman, special mention for Antonio Castro Barragán who does an outstanding percussion work.

"Reunion" is a short jazzy track with Hard Rock fugue and a fantastic piano performance and amazingly abrupt changes, and works as an intro for the dramatic and powerful "Luz en la Oscuridad" (Light in the Darkness) that reminds me of Rossini's William Tell Overture, but soon changes into a mysterious and again jazzy track with excellent management of rhythm that is enhanced by the piano.

The original version is closed with the spacey and melodically beautiful "Esperanza" (Hope), but my version has three bonus tracks that I usually omit, but in this case I will talk about them, because we're before fantastic music.

"La Gruta del Rey de la Montaña" (The Hall of the Mountain King) may be considered a joke, because we should expect something close to Mussorgsky's famous work, but instead of a Russian Nationalist work, we get a fantastic blend of Baroque and Medieval music boosted with strong Rock passages, but in the middle starts an incredibly complex and dissonant section where each musician has the chance to prove his abilities, the only word I can use is breathtaking.

"El Tema de Pandora" (Pandora's Theme) is another Baroque & Roll fantasy, incredibly fluid and elaborate that must be enjoyed from start to end....But the grand finale is "Eclipse", a KING CRIMSON complex oriented track, one of the most experimental and interesting tracks I heard in a long time.

I usually don't like instrumental albums too much, but "CAJA DE PANDORA" is an amazing album that deserves much more attention, if not essential, at least an Excellent addition for any Prog collection.

It's a shame this excellent band stopped their career at this point........4 solid stars.

Ivan_Melgar_M | 4/5 |

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