War and Peace

by Pandora Snail

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Ulyana Gor / keyboards, composer, vocals
Oleg Gorgadze / guitar, electric guitar, composer, vocals
Kirill Klyushin / bass guitar, contrabass
Artem Gareev / violin
Igor Cheridnik / drums, percussion

Sounds in the record: Yanina Podrezova, Demyan Titov, Yulia Alexandrova and Nikita Sokolov.

Recorded at the studio "Interzvouk".
Sound Engineer: Sergey Navetnyi
Mixing: Alexey Topolov
Mastering: Sergey Bolshakov
Art: Konstantin Nagishkin
Design: Alexander Medvedev
Executive Producer: Nikolay "BigNick" Bogaychuk

Album released label Artbeat in 2015.

* * *

«War and Peace is an album that improves as it goes along. It starts well but by the end it really has you, the band seem to improve in every element as you listen – and they aren’t bad to start with. It’s an uncanny effect that serves the album well as it moves from the pastoral to more sophisticated territories with ease in an eclectic storm of influence and inspiration. It’s a diverse listen that handsomely repays repeated plays, the variety of styles being successfully drawn into a cohesive whole with violin holding it all together. This is a feast of composition and ensemble performance».

(c) Jez Rowden, The Progressive Aspect

* * *

«There is only one point of criticism I have with this CD... I wonder if the album wouldn't have been even stronger if they had limited the time to between 40 and 45 minutes so it has a larger impact. I notice that I tend to drift off slightly between James Pont and After The War and that really is a shame! Apart from that: very much recommended!»

(c) Carsten Busch, Background Magazine

* * *

«This is an excellent debut album which I would not hesitate to recommend. The tracks are mellow and for the most part undemanding. An abundance of styles widen the potential appeal of this fine work. Definitely worth a listen».

(c) Ian Sidlow, Progplanet

* * *

«When I heard their music I was quite surprised: first because of their stunning musicianship. all members of Pandora Snail are extremely skillful musicians who are masters of their instruments. Second: the songwriting is very mature for a debut and third: the arrangements and the performances aim towards the music, not showing off. Those two last points surprised the most. Usually instrumental music played by virtuosos sounds more like an exercise of technique to impress other musicians than to please the ears of music lovers. Pandora Snail is a clear case of team work...»

(c) Tarcisio Moura

* * *

«This is an album that gives new meaning to the term "eclectic". A long time coming, Pandora Snail's debut manages to wonderfully blend stylings that include modernesque heavy prog and power prog, retro style organ, and variously neotraditional, neoclassical, and prog violin. It works better than that combination might suggest, fitting together without obvious stitches and creating a diverse and generally upbeat whole...»

(c) LearsFool

* * *

«...The playing of this quintet is full of dynamics, jazzy energy and stylistic flexibility, more than an average band would achieve in a decade. Also the music writing is so mature that it's very hard to guess who could be their prog influences. They might have listened to e.g. Mahavishnu Orchestra, Canterbury bands, King Crimson, Curved Air and Pekka Pohjola, and surely a myriad of other artists. Their style is definitely their own, even if it's not radically new and unheard before. And what's best, there's a genuine joy of playing to be heard. Hence the rather dystopic cover art is in slight contrast to the music, but we can always think that the gigantic sbail looming behind the window represents the playfulness on this 62-minute album. Warmly recommended.»

(c) Matti

* * *

«..."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...»

(c) UMUR

* * *

«With War and Peace Pandora Snail have put out one of the most interesting new album in the "Neo Trad" genre. Fans of Folk music mixed with Rock, Prog, Jazz... should really check this band out.

Highly recommended indeed.»

(c) Marc Roy, Proggnosis

* * *

« ...Ahora que hemos repasado íntegramente este disco que tenemos en las manos, reiteramos que PANDORA SNAIL ha sido un muy agradable descubrimiento de parte nuestra… más que agradable, en realidad: este disco “War And Peace” nos muestra una nueva luz en el mediodía presente de la escena progresiva rusa, instaurando un recurso de vigencia para el ideal del rock artístico a nivel mundial. Vale la pena descubrir a este grupo y seguirle el rastro en el futuro próximo.»

(c) César Inca Mendoza

* * *

«...Peut-être légèrement décalé, la musique de nos amis russes respire la recherche et l'imagination, en nous offrant des compositions inspirées et originales. Ici tout se mélange allègrement sans jamais étonner, dans un véritable tourbillon de notes sonores. Funk, folk, classique et progressif s'entremêlent et s'entrecroisent à volonté, pour donner un ensemble parfois déconcertant, mais pourtant si transportant. Ne laissant jamais l'auditeur au repos, les musiciens enchainent les constructions sonores quelque peu hors-normes où, chaque instrument est mis en valeur, prouvant la dextérité de chacun des protagonistes.

Décidément les musiciens russes ont décidé de nous faire perdre la raison, avec des albums où fusion musicale est de mise. Imaginez un rock-fusion où violon classique et relents funky font prendre la sauce de cette étrange alchimie sonore. A la fois intéressant et intriguant, le groupe Pandora Snail nous propose un voyage hors des sentiers battus. Ceux qui cherchent quelque chose de différent, ceci est à découvrir !»

(c) Thirionet

* * *

«...Suddiviso in undici tracce il lavoro si rivela un coinvolgente viaggio sonoro che affida sostanzialmente alle vibrazioni delle corde del violino il compito di fare da rotaia principale nel condurre l'ascoltatore all'interno di un alternarsi di scenari ed atmosfere emotivamente mutevoli.

Una sorta di ipotetica rappresentazione degli iridescenti pensieri che aleggiano nella mente della figura femminile di copertina, intenta nel guardare aldilà della propria finestra un desolato paesaggio. Totalmente strumentale War and peace volteggia tra movimenti di chiara matrice jazz-rock (Submarine), funk (To catch the wind e Dance under the bullets) e fatalmente prog-sinfonica (Dilemma, By the mountain river e Red rivers). Si elevano interessanti gli episodi legati alla suite James Pont - dove le evoluzioni di organo e chitarre pandorariescono a ritagliarsi spazi importanti - e lo struggente duo piano-violino Mother's tears. Determinante appare la presenza di curati e complessi arrangiamenti in virtù soprattutto della striata gamma delle influenze di stile trattate. Indubbiamente un debutto convincente per Ulyana & soci; seppur lentamente questa lumaca di Pandora ha tutti i requisiti per arrivare lontano.»

(c) Alessandro Freschi

* * *

«Ein absolutes Original, wie ich es innerhalb der letzten Jahre kaum gehört habe. Alle Stücke sind komplex, flüssig und schlüssig aufgebaut - es gibt nicht eine Sekunde Füllmaterial zu hören; spätestens an dieser Stelle sollten sogar aufgeschlossene Avant-Freaks aufmerken - und mit solch traumhaft schönen Melodien ausgestattet, dass ich beim Hören wiederholt Gänsehaut bekam und sogar Tränen der Ergriffenheit flossen...»

(c) Frank Bender

* * *

«...De opbouw van het album is subliem. De muziek word steeds intenser en dat ontlaadt uiteindelijk in de euforische slotmelodie van de track Satori.

“War And Peace” is een intrigerend en meeslepend album dat uit z’n voegen dreigt te barsten van de muzikaliteit...»

(c) Dick van der Heijde

* * *

«...I know instrumental music is not for everyone, just like some people have a hard time with progressive rock. In the case of Pandora Snail, the combination works astonishingly well. Ulyana Gor is quite the spirited songwriter who finds usually the right balance between nostalgic reverie and optimistic upbeat parts. War And Peace is an hour long debut album that manages to entertain quite thoroughly.»

(c) Pascal


released March 15, 2015



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