The comeback to the scene after four years from the Brazilian metal girrrls' debut and the time keeps looking like as if it had stopped 30 years ago; the sounds, the arrangements, the main effect used (a Metalzone), and a not very compressed production all contribute to this goal.
Panndora's new album contains 12 tracks of average length and the Heavy/Power metal formula remains the same in all of the songs, without bringing innovations but also avoiding boring solutions; even if we're not ahead of a complicated record, it takes two or three listens to appreciate all of it.
"Heretic's Box" is pompously opened by a cinematic intro, soon making way for the double kick drumming of "Killing Yourself", where the vain vocals and the epic riffs rule all the rest. What a fantastic beginning imprecioused by a cool axe solo!
"Nightmare of My Essence" is based upon a crushing main riff, while the others, faster and more involving, go hand in hand with the vocals, which couldn't be more Metal at all. The kick drum sounds like a tank, the bass is as heavy as fuck, I just don't know what more to ask!
The fast-paced "Prisoner" contains the best lyrics, dealing with existential issues like many of the others. There's a break alluding to Iron Maiden before the guitar solo, too, yet fundamentally this is a minimalistic song.
A proof that Metal and Rock can coexist without making any fans of the two sides unhappy lies in the catchy hook of "Black Sky", embellished by a nice lick and a waiting break.
Iron Maiden appear again during the very first part of "My Heretic Lips", swiftly veering towards Dark metal; this catchy track includes the best seducing and scratching vocals of the platter, with Rebeca Castelli sounding more like a snake tightening its lethal grip on the victim; excellent is the synergy between drums, guitars and the stunning bass lines and the Thrash metal fugue along with the fastest guitar solo on this album have made this composition my favourite with no doubts.
The fantasy lyrics of "Choose Your Side" match well with the Battle metal proposed by the five south American female goddesses; this song originally appeared on their demo when the monicker was still Wind Of Fate and the feeling expressed in that is repeated in the following US Metal of "Wild Battle", boasting real warriors-like rifferama, piercing and annihilating the enemy.
Those searching a delightful, tight, quick song with nice and lively bass lines will drool with "Other Life", featuring two axe solos different one from each other, one Rock and another Metal. The guitars and the unforgettable screams penetrate and conquer their spaces in the grooves of the songs without asking for permission.
The bootlicking Metal and Rock in "Devil's Man" seem to be dedicated to a man who seduced the lyricist Camila Dias and show a lighter aspect of the five-piece.
Intense drumming and a mid-tempo riff characterize "Control My Mind", a song drawing inspiration from the hypocrites exploiting behind our backs. Amazing is the epic chorus, as well as the liquid axe solo, but also the remaining vocals are memorable.
Bad ass riffs for one of the album's highlights; the refrain to sing as one is as traditional as is stunning. "Prisoner of Our Time" is a cover of Running Wild, interpreted with the quintet's style, made of classicality, forcefulness and easiness.
If the Brazilian cuties go on like this their next record might be a masterpiece; for the moment we have in our hands a really enjoyable product where occasionally one can hear tiny facets to be improved (skill-wise, songwriting-wise, pronunciation-wise); this doesn't compromise the listening at all, and still it remains the gap that small indie-based or self-produced bands suffer in comparison with the ones signed with the 3-4 major indies ruling the market.
MARKUS GANZHERRLICH - June 30, 2012