It’s been 11 years since the formation of Pandora launched. With three albums in the can, they’ve released their fourth album on AMS records last year. With Pandora’s music combining with themes, plans, memories, and moods, the father-son relationship between Beppe and his son Claudio Colombo followed by keyboardist Corrado Grappeggia, they keep the Pandora train rolling without any stopping. And adding to the line up, Emoni Viruet, makes the band a quartet.
The new album entitled Ten Years Like In a Magic Dream features three sections; Fragments of the Presents, Temporal Transition, and Fragments of the Past. Guests include on here are Dino Fiore and Andrea Bertino from Il Castello Di Atlante, Vittorio Nocenzi of Banco Del Mutuo Soccorso, and David Jackson of Van Der Graaf Generator. The first section is a new performance of Pandora’s compositions sung in English for the first time.
You have Drunken Poet’s Drama which begins with an Allegro string section by Bertino himself, it could be the cross between New Trolls and Deep Purple’s concerto before for a brief second going into the Brazilian vibration. Corrado’s rough voice, takes you into the mind of the poet’s deep, cavernous, darker tales with a symphonic progressive metal dramatic followed by the sections from the strings from the keyboards and from Andrea himself.
I love how in The Way You Are shows both the keyboards and heavy guitar riffs sheer into battering punches and followed by lead sections from Claudio by getting the juice with sparking-electrical results while Passagio di Stagioni is a tribute to the late great Francesco Di Giacomo. It begins for the first four minutes and thirty seconds between a mourning sound between the Moog, Mellotron, and Drums setting in these ominous tones.
And then the Organ and David Jackson blaring the door down for a weird section as the acoustic-folk comes in to calm everything down and the cover of Banco’s Canto Di Primavera shines brightly and honoring the legends thanks to Emoni’s vocals to know that Francesco’s spirit and legacy will keep growing for years and then Vittorio has their back and knowing he is lifting his head and pointing to the sky for Francesco.
Their take of Yes’ Ritual (Nous Sommes du Soleil) which they do an 11-minute version of the complexuality composition from their 1973 magnum opus and dividing line in the sand album, Tales from Topographic Oceans shows Pandora going into a sonic energetic and experimental weird twist to capture the style and journey beyond the stars. With the loss of Greg Lake last year to cancer, they honor him with a cover of Lucky Man.
It starts off with this Floydian-sque guitar lines a-la Dark Side of the Moon-era and then straight into the classic version For me, this is Pandora showing support and knowing that the music will never die, but will live on for many generations to discover the true beginnings of the progressive genre. Not to mention the insane Moog improvisation to honor Keith Emerson’s finale near the end of the piece.
I really enjoyed listening to Pandora’s new album. It’s been three years since I’ve listened to their music while I was nearing the end of my final semester of Houston Community College. The band can do no wrong for me. And I hope they will continue to surprise me even more in the future to see where they’ll do next. In the words of Babe Ruth “Heroes get remembered, but legends never die.”