Pandaemonium - Return to reality 3.5/5

Reviewed: 10-28-05


1. Intro
2. Time of glory
3. Evil star
4. Ancient time
5. Fires in the sky
6. Return to reality
7. Hymn to the fifth element
8. Miracle
9. Flying over the clouds
10. Blazing fire
11. Warrior lost in time
12. Land of dreams

This 2nd CD has been released a full 6 years after Pandaemonium’s very good debut '...And the runes being to pray'. A lot has changed for the band in those years including the departure of 3 of the 5 members from that debut release. Thankfully, singer Daniel Reda, who is also the main songwriter, remains so there isn’t a noticeable difference in quality or style between the 2 CDs. Pandaemonium is heavily classically influenced both with the melodies and with the fairly heavy use of male choirs providing a bed for Reda’s high voice to sing over.

The songwriting on the CD is strong. Reda doesn’t possess the melodic abilities of Skylark’s Eddy Antonini who can wrote jaw droppingly good melodies, but Reda is a good, consistent writer who sticks very much to the Italian metal genre. The CD opens with a very nice slow piece, named “Introduction”. The 2nd track, “Time of glory” is an excellent uptempo piece. “Ancient time” is very good with some strong male choir parts. Clearly the most memorable track on the CD is the title track, “Return to reality”, this is an instant classic beginning with the opening swirling keyboards and the track doesn’t let up in quality the rest of the way. “Hymn to the fifth element” and “Miracle” are very good tracks and “Flying over the clouds” is an interesting instrumental. Although these previous several tracks have been very good, the CD’s quality increases with “Blazing fire” and “Warrior lost in time” results in another excellent track. The final track, “Land of dreams” is an excellent slow track the closes the CD in a relaxing and very high quality way.

'Return to reality' is a very strong return for a band that lost 60% of its members after the band’s debut CD. There are some bands, including in the Italian metal genre, who are a little better songwriters, but Pandaemonium clearly has found a niche with a sound that is instantly recognizable despite being part of a very popular genre. While they don’t bother me, Reda’s vocals can still be a little high for some people. He has reduced the number of extremely high notes on this CD, but his high notes can still surpass those of Andre Matos and other high voiced screechers. This is a very good CD and a band that doesn’t need to change anything in the future other than continuing to try for better and better songs – and, of course, getting their next CD out in less time than we had to wait for this one.




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