PANDORA SNAIL

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PANDORA SNAIL War And Peace album cover 4.09 | 2 ratings
War And Peace
Jazz Related Rock 2015

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PANDORA SNAIL War And Peace

Album · 2015 · Jazz Related Rock
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UMUR
"War And Peace" is the debut full-length studio album by Russian, St.Petersburg based progressive rock act Pandora Snail. The album was released through the Moscow based label Artbeat in March 2015. Pandora Snail was formed in 2008 and went through quite a few lineup changes in the first couple of years. The lineup who recorded "War And Peace" are Ulyana Gor (keyboards, composer, vocals), Oleg Gorgadze (guitar, electric guitar, conposer, vocals), Kirill Klyushin (bass guitar, contrabass), Artem Gareev (violin), and Igor Cheridnik (drums, percussion).

Stylistically the music on the 11 track, 62:01 minutes long album is an eclectic type of progressive rock drawing influences from not only the classic 70s prog rock artists, but also from jazz rock/fusion, classical music (the band mentions Sergej Rahmaninov as an influence), and folk (among other things). There is even an occasional use of heavy distorted guitars featured on some sections of the album, so it is definitely a type of music featuring influences from many genres and musical styles. "War And Peace" is still a stylistically very consistent album though, and there is a good flow throughout the playing time. And putting this many elements into a cohesive sounding musical style is not easy, which serves as a testimony to how skilled Pandora Snail are as composers.

The music is predominantly instrumental with an organic yet tight playing rhythm section, atmospheric keyboards, guitars, and a very dominant use of violin as the lead instrument. The compositions are for the most part quite catchy, although some tracks are structurally relatively complex. Except for the 16:36 minutes long "James Pont" and the 8:05 minutes long closing track "Satori", the tracks generally aren´t that long though. It´s not music that is hard to get into, although it´s certainly not easy listening either. It´s just that some of those violin melodies are spot on and nicely hook laden. Because he is so dominant in the soundscape it´s hard not to mention Artem Gareev´s performance on the album as something special, but the rest of the musicians performing on the album are equally as skilled. The high level playing is definitely one of the great assets of "War And Peace".

The compositions are strong too though, and it´s all packed in a powerful, organic, and overall well sounding production, which helps bring the best out in the music. This is generally a very interesting album, and considering that it´s a debut album its a very strong one too. A 3.5 - 4 star (75%) rating is deserved.

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