The first album from this instrumental group based in Russia. 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. 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. A spectacular piece of work.
Pretty much exactly what it says it is – a combination of the two releases, the Bloodied But Unbowed compilation and the War On 45 EP, on one compact disc. The remastering job is fine, the cover art is all reproduced, and there are even complete lyrics, with one or two exceptions. Anyone wanting to give these guys a listen should start right here.
While this set of Shostakovich's Fourth through Ninth symphonies is billed as his "War" symphonies, these six works could be more aptly identified as his "Terror and War" symphonies. After all, the Fourth, Fifth, and Sixth were composed in the years before the "Great Patriotic War" during the period called the "Great Terror," that period of Soviet history in which Stalin attempted to liquidate everyone he ever remotely suspected of having an unkind thought about him. Still, these six symphonies do form a cogent group of works that describe with extremely painful exactitude the horror of living through one of the most horrific decades in twentieth century history, qualities that Russian conductor Valery Gergiev captures with excruciating effectiveness.