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Pandora - Sempre E Ovunque Oltre Il Sogno CD (album) cover




Rock Progressivo Italiano

3.75 | 102 ratings

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4 stars Back in 2008 I discovered one of the most exciting Italian prog bands of recent years. Their debut album Dramma Di Un Poeta Ubriaco while clearly influenced by the golden era of Italian prog had one foot firmly in the present and was a captivating blend of symphonic and heavy prog with metal flourishes. Naturally I was intrigued to hear that a second album was now released and ordered it without hesitation.

Sempre E Ovunque Oltre Il Sogno does not disappoint and is if anything a more adventurous and sophisicated piece of work than their debut. This is immediately apparent from the bombastic classical introduction that is Il Re Degli Scemi. A second instrumental follows - L'Altare Del Sacrificio and it's clear that Pandora's complex and exciting musical interplay is still intact. One quickly gets the impression that some sort of concept is at work here but frustratingly not speaking Italian I couldn't say for sure. Further investigation is clearly in order.

All the afore mentioned elements that make up Pandora's sound are still clearly in place but the band have gone out of their way to make sure that Sempre.... is a more dynamic and grandiose piece of work. They have undoubtedly succeeded and whether this is better than their debut is difficult to say. However it's certainly its equal as one memorable track follows another. The first track to feature vocals, L'Incantesimo Del Druido twists and turns through complex rhythmic changes, ambient moments, metallic riffs and memorable hooks and is an exhilarating ride. More sombre is following piece Discesa Attraverso Lo Stige with a haunting mellotron and acoustic guitar dominating.

Ade, Sensazione Di Paura is next and gives the best of both worlds from its melancholic organ drenched opening it's soon into busy trademark Pandora instrumental interplay and features some of the bands heaviest playing to date. To this point vocals haven't played a large part on the album and sure enough Ade, Sensazione Di Paura turns out to be another instrumental. This changes for 03-02-1974 as vocals return accompanied by beautiful guitar arpeggios. Intriguingly the picture accompanying this piece in the booklet shows a painting of what appears to be Peter Gabriel in his flower head costume and a quick musical reference to Genesis appears as the track develops. La Formula Finale Di Chad-Bat at less than 4 minutes is one of the shorter pieces and after a short vocal introduction develops into another largely instrumental track, vocals only briefly re- appearing it features some pleasingly searing guitar work.

Pandora save their longest piece until last and Sempre E Ovunque clocks in at a hefty 23 minutes. Running through classical and jazz themes, metallic riffs, flamenco guitar, symphonic keyboard work underscored by the busy and complex rhythm section it pretty much covers all the bases in Pandora's musical arsenal and it all makes for another exhilarating journey. A fine close to a fine album.

Overall then Pandora have excelled and proved they have it in them to grow and develop from a strong debut which was never going to be an easy act to follow. Anyone who enjoyed that release will undoubtedly be thrilled by Sempre E Ovunque Oltre Il Sogno and already we have an early contender for best RPI album of 2011.

Nightfly | 4/5 |


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