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Pandora Snail - Metamorphosis CD (album) cover


Pandora Snail


Eclectic Prog

3.00 | 6 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
3 stars Prog at its best is all about upsetting expectations, and here's a perfect example: surprising electronica-laced revisions of several songs from the acclaimed debut PANDORA SNAIL album "War and Peace". Talk about a change of pace: the originals were melodic fusions of Classical Rock with local Saint Petersburg Jazz accents; the new EP is more suitable for your next after-hours Ambient House rave.

Remix albums would normally be a hard sell to conservative Proggers who prefer listening with their head instead of their feet. And with good reason: the techno-grooves and critical beats of modern electronic dance music are genetically incompatible with Progressive Rock ideals, dating back to the original schism between Prog and Disco in the later 1970s.

But in truth the music here isn't far removed from some of the more blissful digressions by Ozric Tentacles. And the translation isn't merely cosmetic, with boilerplate 4/4 laptop bleeping added to the songs. Listen to the airy Edelis remix of "To Catch the Wind" and you'll hear a radical re-imagining of what had been a macho gypsy rocker, in a totally contrary vernacular: foreign to pre-millennial Progheads maybe, but completely valid on its own hardwired merits.

The old-school anchor that keeps the new music honest is the soaring violin of Artem Gareev, sounding even more lush when enhanced by the spacious echo added to these nightclub dubs. The reworking of "Mother's Tears" turns a romantic Neo-Classical ballad into an elegant, atmospheric space-groove, and the already nervous-and-jerky "Stones' Names" becomes an amped-up ethnic stomp in a pair of very different interpretations, proof that at the end of the day music is music, regardless of the pigeonholes we force it into.

In keeping with older Prog traditions the 'cover' art (for a digital download) is gorgeous, and amusing too if you think about it. Slimy gastropods aren't usually given the same aesthetic consideration as butterflies, and I suppose the same could be said for this particular style of music on a Progressive Rock website (ignoring for now the crossover charms of Björk). It's only a temporary detour while the band is prepping its second full-length album, but the EP is certainly unexpected and thus worth hearing.

My own first instinct was to politely dismiss it as little more than a fashionable novelty. But after repeated plays the music has grown on a flower, not a fungus. Three bright stars, gaining luminance with each successive listen

Neu!mann | 3/5 |


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