Pandora Snail - War And Peace,
Having really enjoyed the Russian band’s live album from last year, I have now finally come across their debut studio album from 2015. Yet again I am amazed at the quality of the music and just how enjoyable this is the very first time I played it, growing to love it even more with each repeated play. Virtually instrumental, the band that one immediately starts to compare them with is Kansas due to the way that the violin is often taking the lead role, but they are influenced by way more than just one band and acts as diverse as King Crimson, Art Zoyd and Frank Zappa have all had their part to play with this album. It is complex and highly structured, with melodies and counter melodies repeated on different instruments (always nice to hear pure piano take a lead role), yet there is a vitality and breath of life through the whole piece. It is music that in some ways does take a lot of listening to, to gain the most benefit, yet at the same time is also immediate and transparent.
This album certainly never comes across as a debut, and I have heard that it took five years from the recording for it to see the light of day, and if that is the case then that is nothing short of travesty and tragedy as this is a super piece of work. There are a great many bands coming out of Russia at present, and Pandora Snail should be viewed as being at the vanguard of the progressive rock movement as this is superb on just so many levels. I can only hope that given the reviews I have seen over both this and the live album that they soon follow up with another visit to the studio.