BAND AND RECORD OF THE MONTH
Of course, we close 2016 with many releases and exceptional bands, and we are already starting 2017, with a collection of great new bands and also old ones including their new albuns, with many new and fascinating projects. We start, "The Best Album And Band of The Month" in 2017, with a Italian Band called Pandora, of course, the Italian bands, have always been my favorites, for the musical greatness that they develop with an indisputable sonority and an impressive creativity, both the famous from 70's and the current bands. Since their first appearence, Pandora's music and sonority developed by the musicians on the band, travels around some musical styles, such as Progressive Rock, Prog Metal, Heavy Metal, Symphonic Progressive Rock adding some touchs of Jazz Fuzion and also gently adorned by Folk's elements. In fact, with inventiveness and ability to bring together in the compositions a variety of musical styles and reach a balance point, which is truly inventive and imaginative, with an epic and pompous sound, similar to bands like "Le Orme", "Locanda Delle Fate", "Semiramis", "Yes", "Diario di Viaggio Della Festa Mobile", "King Crimson", "Quella Vecchia Locanda", "Goblin" and "Genesis", "Il Paese Dei Balocchi", "Latte E Miele", "Celeste", "Corte Dei Miracoli", the symphonic trademark from the "New Trolls", "The Trip", "Corte Dei Miracoli", EL&P" and "Premiata Forneria Marcone", "Quella Vecchia Locanda", "Reale Accademia Di Musica", "Sensation's Fix", "The Trip", an instrumentation full of power and energy like of "Balletto Di Bronzo", Ezra Winston", "Biglietto Per L'inferno", "Dream Theater" and "Il Rovescio Della Medaglia", subtle touches from jazz like the "Osanna" and "Deliriun". The Colombo’s are voracious listeners of excellent Prog Rock music from the Seventies and choose to start together a new musical journey. Along side the excellent keyboardist and vocalist Corrado Grappeggia, they created four magnificent projects like "Dramma di un Poeta Ubriaco" (2008), "Sempre e Ovunque Oltre il Sogno" (2011), "Alibi Filosofico" (2013) and now "Ten Years Like in a Magic Dream..." (2016/2017) including a EP called "Sprouts of Life" - Pandora's Music for the Research On Cancer (2016), including Pandora's Solo Projects - C & C Project March To Hell (EP, Auto-Production 2001). They appear on the albuns such as More Animals at the Gates of Reason - A Tribute to Pink Floyd (2 CD, Btf - AMS 2013) and A Flower Full Of Stars - A Tribute To The Flower Kings (CD, Musea Records 2011). The four albuns were based on the musicians' love of the Seventies’ Progressive Rock, inspired by "Genesis", "Emerson Lake and Palmer", "PFM", "New Trolls", "Gentle Giant", and "Le Orme". Though aimed toward a newer sound style, thanks to Claudio’s love for the "Dream Theater". The secret’s in the different conceptions and extractions of the three components: is in at the Beppe’s large experience as listener and musician, Corrado’s musical culture, and Claudio’s talent (a rare example of multi-instrumentalist and the sametime a graphic designer). But, to differentiate and contribute much more with the group, in this last album, they included female vocals, with a smooth and lyrical vocal tone Emoni Viruet is one of the differences and important adhesion, which illustrates the professionalism of this incredible band. Pandora's music shows a great sense of maturity and cohesion that permeates into the songs, creating a mystic, epic, dark witha powerful symphonic atmosphere, we can say that Pandora is among the most famous Italian bands, with a high musical level, easily compared with many icons of the 70's, as "Balletto Di Bronzo", "Ezra Winston", "Osanna", "Le Orme", "Semiramis", "Il Rovescio Della Medaglia", "Diario di Viaggio Della Festa Mobile", "Goblin", "Il Paese Dei Balocchi", "Latte E Miele", "Celeste", "Corte Dei Miracoli", "Deliriun", "New Trolls", "Quella Vecchia Locanda", "Reale Accademia Di Musica", "Sensation's Fix", "The Trip", "PFM" and others. "Ten Years Like in a Magic Dream ..." features nine tracks, divided in three movements, the first on is "Fragments of the Present" composed by four songs, the second is called "Temporal Transition", composed by one song, the third and last one is "Fragments of the Past", composed by four songs, this last part is a tribute and a rereading about a Pandora's interpretation around famous classic songs such as "Second Home by The Sea" (Genesis), "Man of a Thousand Faces" (Marillion), "Ritual" – Part II (Yes) and a special tribute to Greg Lake, In a beautiful vocal performance by Emoni Viruet, with the famous song, "Lucky Man". Totalling 77 minutes of a pure musical delight. In my opinion, "Ten Years Like in a Magic Dream ..." have a big musical soundscape and pretty much all tracks are amazing, so choosing some favorite songs is virtually impossible. Of course, you must listen "Ten Years Like in a Magic Dream ..." immediately, and should listen all the tracks with a special attention, can bet, you will love their music. Brilliant and fantastic, an amazing album and band, highly recommendable...
line-up on Pandora album and actual band are:
When a group gives their band a name, hence to specific genre, it’s never at random. And even when it comes out as part of some sort of “internal vote”, it hides the unconscious reasons that will carry on dreams – and goals – that will give life to various components. Pandora resorts to mythology, as it often happens with to those who refers to Progressive music, that is, to that genre of music that peaked at the turn of the 60’s and 70s, and subsequently decreased in number of enthusiasts, and today was once again on the increase although just within the genre’s group followers. But the link between the ‘now’ and ‘then’ highlights certain analogies, certain similarities, which shorten timeframe and turn fresh concepts and ideas passed down through books, and often used by the people in the form metaphors.
In Greek mythology, the opening of the box given as gift from Zeus to Pandora caused a spill to the entire world’s evil, but initially, hopes remains on the bottom, bringing back life, which became an essential element, just as today, to face daily life. Inside Pandora’s box though, there’s another kind of hope. Hearty and contagious, because it joins together the idea of what quality music is for the group and their fans: to bring back the satisfaction and continuous appreciation of a musical genre which has grown out to infinite dimensions, as with classical music, jazz, and blues. Pandora creates music by merging the arts, combining talents in history and in experience, by engaging and sharing every single step of the way, presenting one with a layered-complex music product, but not self-congratulatory.
The constant theme seen in Pandora’s writing is that of a dream: a cultivated dream, cradled, guarded to act as a launching pad to improve reality. A dream that becomes music, that becomes a colorful “no man’s land” in which, unlike Pandora’s Box, no worldly evil lurks out but instead out comes the idea of a peaceful coexistence between musical genres, between themes, moods, memories and plans. While proudly stating that they belong to the Progressive Rock world and to the stainless “Psychedelic-Symphonic” style, Pandora are diehard fans and creators of good music: with no labels, no categories, no limits. Pandora were born in 2006 but are the arriving point of an old, touching love: that which extremely binds a father and a son, that find in their belonging within Progressive’s music a transgenerational common language, a shared hope.
Claudio Colombo, multi-instrumentalist and drummer, is the son of Beppe, a musician of long experience: The Colombo’s are voracious listeners of excellent Rock music from the Seventies and choose to start together a new musical journey. Alongside the excellent keyboardist Corrado Grappeggia, they launch a musical project based on their love of Seventies’ Progressive Rock, inspired by Genesis, Emerson Lake and Palmer, PFM, New Trolls, Gentle Giant, and Le Orme, though aimed toward a newer sound, thanks to Claudio’s love for Dream Theater. In Pandora one can find not just the passion for the genre but also their desire to give it their own interpretation, bringing forward new compositions: this is how the first songs that gave free play toward fantasy, toward researched sounds and melodies, toward lyrical vision, mythology and Fantasy were born. The secret’s in the different experiences and extractions of the three components: Beppe’s large experience as listener and musician, Corrado’s musical culture, and Claudio’s talent (a rare example of a young multi-instrumentalist and graphic designer).
trio is the basic element that makes up Pandora, which from time
to time welcomes the contribution of different musicians with the purpose
of producing great compositions. The Piedmontese band undertakes a live
event that included acoustic performances. And it was thanks to the popularity
gathered of said live event that in 2008 Pandora find the approval
of the prestigious record label AMS-BTF,
specialized in Progressive Rock and noted globally for their publications.
In that same period, the group signs a contract deal with BTF
and finds guitarist Christian Dimasi.
Invigorated by the public success and critiques, Pandora quickly targeted at a second album that could confirm the excellence of the original intuitions and release an innovative project for Italian Progressive Rock. That Italian Progressive Rock so loved overseas – from the United States to Japan, from Europe to South America – today finds a favorable rebirth and Pandora are the leaders of a renewed Italian-flagged movement.
Before the new album, the band held some concerts with fellow Italian bands such as Ubi Maior, but also with prestigious foreign names like Poland’s Riverside. Once done with the recording of the second album, Dimasi left the band, which meant the group went back to its origins as a trio. A new collaboration however takes place: that of artist Emoni Viruet, who executes some wonderful paintings that stimulate the group’s new musical compositions. Like any self-respecting Progressive band, Pandora also pays special attention to the evocative power of their sound, to the strong creative visuals of the compositions: the talent of the young painter of Puerto Rico is another added element to the band’s already-noted polychromatic force. The completion of the album’s new cover art is immediate and for the other paintings that represent each song of the album.
Back as a trio and lead by an always more decided and inspired Claudio Colombo, Pandora release their highly anticipated second album on January 15th, 2011: once again labeled BTF, with Sempre e Ovunque Oltre il Sogno. An album that explores what was presented by the group’s debut and offers the Prog trio new perspectives: hard and evocative, exciting and dynamic, open in the same way towards acoustic and hard sounds, Pandora’s new sound is among the most intriguing Art Rock in Europe.
The second album brings home great satisfaction, and Sempre e Ovunque Oltre il Sogno reaches in 21st place in the TOP 100 CD Prog of 2011 in U.S. radio program "Global Progressive Rock Network". On the wave of excitement Pandora is back to work and made Alibi Filosofico, officially released on September 23rd, 2013. The band has, once again, joined forces with Matthias Scheller's AMS-BTF. Their tight bond has allowed them to continue on with their musical journey, which started many years back. Alibi Filosofico was carried out in new recording studios Pandora-Music and was recorded, mixed and edited entirely by Claudio Colombo, taking about seven months' time to complete. One particularly important feature in the album is its important special guests: David Jackson, Arjen A. Lucassen and Dino Fiore, while Emoni Viruet, gaining ever-growing experience within the band, gives a great vocal contribution, in addition to her on art work.
Three years later, Pandora and AMS Records release Ten Years Like In A Magic Dream…, that celebrates 10 years of Pandora. The first section – Fragments of the Present – has a complete new performance of four Pandora tracks, for the very first time sung in english. These four tracks feature the special guest Andrea Bertino (violin of Rondò Veneziano, Archimedi and legendary prog band Castello di Atlante) and a new fourth member in line-up: Emoni Viruet, now vocalist of the band.
The second section Temporal Transition features a touching reinterpretation of a famous Banco del Mutuo Soccorso song, Canto di Primavera, with an extraordinary threesome: Vittorio Nocenzi, David Jackson and Dino Fiore (bass player of Castello di Atlante). The third section Fragments Of The Past includes Second Home by The Sea (Genesis), Man of a Thousand Faces (Marillion), Ritual - Part II (Yes) and Lucky Man (Emerson, Lake & Palmer) reinvented by Pandora.
"Ten Years Like in a Magic Dream ..."
of the Present
of the Past
a long wait and a lot of hard work, the release of Pandora's latest
project is finally here!
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