Metal To Infinity

Nowadays, it happens pretty often that a band releases a musical opera, or an album with only one lyrical theme.  Bands like Ayreon opt to use it as a trademark, and during the last weeks I got in touch with bands like Crystallion (about Napoleon), Carach Angren (about The Flying Dutchman)  and this time around Pandea who got lyrical content from the classic end-time movie of 1973, called Soylent Green. Mastermind Dan Uhden and Mario Le Mole (both Mind Odyssey and Merlin) combined their forces to write and compose a debut album, which is based upon that movie. The whole opera can be divided in 12 acts and celebrates epic and melodic Heavy Metal with charging moods and powerful hymnic refrains. 

First thing first, as Iím not familiar with the mentioned movie, itís perhaps a little different to place the music inside the story.  So, I had to listen to the music in a pure form, and undergo the bombastic arrangements without a cinematic approach.  It wasnít really a problem as the music is taking you by the throat from the very first beginning! 

When I was checking the attached information sheet, one man in particular drew my attention: Victor Smolski!  Heís a real talented riffmaster who combines orchestral influences in his heavy music since years.  Victor is best known for his full time job with Rage, and if you saw him already live, you will be astonished about this musical talent!  As Pandea is totally unknown for me, the name of Victor opens directly some extra doors, so I was with great anticipation! 

After a short intro, the album is bursting out with the track ĎLost Eternityí which sets the standard immediately.  We get melodic power and heavy metal in a mixture with some progmetal elements. Some part of the songs has a major keyboard approach, other go for the heavy guitar riffs that manifest the songs. In fact, it doesnít matter at all which instrument is taking the lead, as they all have the same bombastic foundation. I would like to mention that there are a bunch of vocalists contributing this album, and thatís evoking a great feeling. Every vocalist has its own character and personality, and Dan and Mario worked it out really well!   

Pure Steel Records can be proud to have this band on their roster, and it proves that they have a good eye on quality!  Pandea might be a band to keep an eye on, as they show their skills in a very professional way!  This is only the beginning of a flourishing career, thatís for sure!  I wouldnít be fair to point out some favorite songs, as every track has a strong and charismatic part on its own.  The best way to discover this album is to play it out loud, and use the repeat button of the disc player!  

My rating: 92 / 100 (Review by Patrick De Sloover)