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Pandora Snail - War and Peace CD (album) cover


Pandora Snail


Eclectic Prog

3.88 | 131 ratings

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Special Collaborator
RIO/Avant/Zeuhl,Neo & Post/Math Teams
4 stars It's probably time to create a subgenre specific for Russian prog artists and their contaminations with classical music, or at least for the use of classical instruments. Even an avant band like ROZ VITALIS has those elements, but how not to think to IAMTHEMORNING and the solo work of the two band members?

Now PANDORA SNAIL appear suddenly and add another chapter to this great Russian season. This debut album is totally instrumental, with the violin playing the main role. The tracks go from the beautyful lazyness of "Dilemma" and "The Mountain River" to the uptime funky of "Catch The Wind" with an impressive bass riff, on which every instrument has its moment. Then comes "Submarine" on which those different moments are fused in a single track.

But it's the epic "James Pont" the very highlight. In some moments it has made me remind the CARAVAN of the first three albums, but in the most rhytmic moments driven by the keys, also NIACIN come to mind. Sixteen minutes of beauty.

The classical mood is back with "Tears" followed by the excellent "Rivers". "Names" has some folky accents. The first notes are probably the only clue of the fact that this is a band from Russia. So to dissimulate they switch to a reggae rhythm for few beats.

"Under The Bullets" is another track reminding to NIACIN (or similar artists). The passages are never trivial and if strange signatures are a distinctive sign for progressive music, well, this is full of signature changes. "The War" proceeds in this vein, including also a small taste of heavy metal with uptime bass and drums plus highly distorted guitar, all totally mitigated by the violin which leads to a psychedelic section. I think that the word "Eclectic" describes them well.

The closer "Satori" starts very melodic. The chords are almost the same of Pachelbel's Canon, which I don't think is copyrighted anyway. But suddenly it enters a section which is very 70s. It reminded me to Prokov'ev, therefore to RENAISSANCE. But in this case it's like a medley of many short pieces, all good. The piano part after 4 minutes sounds very Emersonian.

A remark: the album title doesn't have anything to do withthe famous novel by Lev Tolstoj. It's the band itself who says so.

A very good album. A true surprise in a 2015 which in my opinion hasn't seen too many good ones. Not at this level, at least

octopus-4 | 4/5 |


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