Genre/Influences: EBM, Body-Pop.
Format: Digital, CD.
Background/Info: Stephan Tesch (former Paranoid) and Martin Bodewell (Orange Sector) earlier this year released the impressive “Crush”-EP. They’re now unleashing Pandoria’s debut album featuring ten songs plus two remixes.
Content: Pandoria, which is an anagram of Paranoid, clearly sounds as the resurrection of Paranoid, but with another singer. “Clean” clearly reminds us of the icy EBM of the 90s Paranoid sound. The bass lines, cadence and arrangements are bringing real good souvenirs alive. “Crush” remains ‘the’ song of the resurrection, but also the start of a new and hopefully successful start. Martin Bodewell sings a ‘softer’ way than on Orange Sector although a few songs are expressing rage. The main difference with Paranoid is that the songs are more ‘poppy’-like. It sounds like catchy and accessible EBM symbolized by “Crush”. The album comes to an end with a “Single Version” of “Crush” and a remix by Rob Dust.
+ + + : “Crush” remains a phenomenal song; great EBM vibes mixed with a carrying chorus. It still is the best cut of the work, but “Clean” has much more to offer. “Natural” sounds harsher and I also have to mention “What Is Love”. Both songs could be potential singles. Next to the ‘hard’ side I also enjoyed listening to the catchier side reaching its top with “Chain Around My Heart”. The remix of “Crush” by Rob Dust is a bit more Trance-driven, but an excellent way to conclude this great EBM piece.
– – – : My expectations were maybe too high after the “Crush”-EP; I expected more songs from similar level, but none is really better. Anyway, no reason to complain.
Conclusion: No doubt about it, “Clean” is one of the best EBM productions from 2020. Pandoria is a band you have to discover!
Best songs: “Crush”, “What Is Love”, “Natural”, “Déjà Vu”, “Clean”, “Chain Around My Heart”, “Crush – Rob Dust Remix”.
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