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Pandora Snail - Live at Babooinumfest CD (album) cover

LIVE AT BABOOINUMFEST

Pandora Snail

 

Eclectic Prog

4.03 | 11 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Neu!mann
Prog Reviewer
4 stars The real test for any band, Progressive or otherwise, is how well their music plays in concert, and here's a clue: it has nothing to do with being able to reproduce studio tracks note for note. The Russian group Pandora Snail gets it exactly right on their first live album, already one of the highlights of the New Year.

The gig was recorded in late 2016 in front of what sounds like a sparse but sympathetic crowd, totally appropriate for the band's intimate blend of energetic, instrumental Classical Rock. Smaller venues typically foster a stronger rapport with an audience, and the quintet responded with a dynamic performance far surpassing the expectations raised by their warmly-received debut album "War and Peace".

On stage the group sounds completely liberated from whatever inhibitions might have hindered a pleasant but (in my opinion) too-polite studio recording. Their live sound is more eclectic, and takes bigger risks in pursuit of higher rewards, at times approaching the kinetic intensity achieved by ANGLAGARD, fellow travelers along the same line of musical latitude.

Almost all the music is new too, perhaps offering a road-tested preview of the band's new studio album, currently in the works. If so, we can expect to hear some complex, clever, and hard to categorize music, driven by the agile hand of keyboardist and composer Ulyana Gor but deftly integrated within the full ensemble, playing tricky material with remarkable cohesion and skill. The only familiar track in this set is also the longest ("James Pont", at 16-minutes), and it comes across far stronger in the larger context of a live performance than it did in the studio.

The Snail is suddenly picking up speed, having released three distinct and very different albums within a brief sixteen month time span. Progressive Rock - the real thing, not the comforting nostalgia of Neo Prog - is apparently alive and well in Saint Petersburg, and Pandora Snail is quickly and quietly emerging as a local standard-bearer.

Neu!mann | 4/5 |

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