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Koos J. Thönissen's Cryptic Nature: Pandor

Having been the bassist in numerous aspiring bands, Koos J. Thönissen decided it was time to strike out on his own. Not only has this man crafted a lengthy rock opera, but also a multi-cast, narration led fantasy piece where a dragon is brutally orphaned at birth and rescued by a unicorn, before starting the long journey for retribution. The ethos here being that if you're going to record an album, then you might as well record the grandest, most challenging type of album imaginable.

Thönissen not only wrote all the songs on Pandor, he performed the bulk of the instruments as well, with only one lead guitar part and flute contributions coming from outside collaborators. Vocally things are much more of a team effort, Huw Lloyd-Jones (ex-Also Eden) the best known of six. Ranging from symphonic, power and occasional extreme metal, to atmospheric mood pieces, the idea appears to be – and quite rightly – to illustrate the mood and tone of the story as it plays out. However, as it does it becomes all too apparent why these sort of albums tend to be handled by musicians of vast experience who have the clout, knowledge and budget to back it up with a stellar cast. Unfortunately Thönnisen struggles on every count, the musical ideas over long and obvious, while, rather unforgivably, some of the vocal melodies and pitching simply don't come up to scratch. Emmelie van Duerzen and Jacqueline van Elsbergen coming off worst when they are asked to recount vocal ideas that simply don't fit their surrounds. Particularly guilty are the awful multi-part vocals on "The Meeting", while the gang voices on "Certamen Ultimus" aren't even perfectly in time with each other. Add in that the growls during "Gol Matoo Meteorite Impact", that represent our underground dwelling baddies, sound like Gene Simmons arguing over a bad phone connection and it all begins to become rather tough going.

With programmed drums sucking the life from uninspired riffs and keyboard lines, there really is no respite as a cluttered production and overbearing mix compound the ever increasing issues. When you factor in that the story itself is hardly ground breaking stuff, there really are few reasons to get excited about what is a decidedly under par offering.

Track Listing
1. A Dragon's Tale
2. Regnum Draconis
3. Aenoor
4. Glynyd
5. Gol Matoo - Meteorite Impact
6. Ael Hathor
7. Ieeryah
8. Pandor's Adoption
9. The Meeting
10. Tayla's Teachings
11. The Prophecy - Tayla's Mission
12. Consulting Serna
13. Certamen Ultimus
14. Salus Orbis

Added: March 17th 2018
Reviewer: Steven Reid
Related Link: Pandor @ bandcamp
Hits: 785
Language: english

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