Forgotten Gems: Panndora-Heretic's Box
If anyone has noticed, which would naturally mean that my hit count had gone from zero to one or more LOL, I'm actually covering this Brazilian act's catalog backwards. Having reviewed the band's 2012, 3-track EP, "Behind the Crime", earlier this month (link below) I'm now turning my attention to this LP which, in addition to being another self-produced/self-released affair, is the band's sophomore output. Whew, now that we have all of that out of the way let's crack open "The Heretic's Box" and take a look inside. As noted on my previous review of Panndora, which is worth reading if you're interested in the back-story of this all female heavy metal group, these fine ladies are another example of retro-metal worship in all it's glorious colors! The difference with Panndora is that, unlike the bulk of retro-metal bands these days, their sound is more natural and free-flowing. In a way I'd compare them to Ladybeast and The Sign Of the Jackal in that these heavy metal ladies don't try to copy their heroes, but instead take their influences and, in a case of practice makes perfect, rock the living daylights out of them! It's as though Panndora actually know what they like (in this case it's everything from Doro/Warlock to Iron Maiden) and yet they fully understand that being a carbon-copy of those acts is just not cool. How I do wish that more new, up and coming, traditional metal bands would follow suite. While we all love the greats (Iron Maiden, Judas Priest, Saxon, etc.) do we really need 1,000 new bands sounding exactly like them? Even if it's played in sincere fashion it still sucks the air out of an enthusiasm that I might have for one of my favorite genres. Thankfully Panndora really don't sound just like band A, B or C even when they end up covering a particular artist. On this sophomore release the band choose Running Wild as their subject choice and they pull it off admirably. Mark that one down as another influence although fans seeking female-fronted metal should realize that these fine ladies are more of a combination of 80's heavy metal and the N.W.O.B.H.M. scene. It's just too bad that more people haven't taken notice of the talent level presented here, let alone the marketability of this group, as Panndora could prove to much more then this hand-drawn album art might imply.