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On disc: Pangea

Retrospectacular - Claudia Ehrhardt - 8 stars


(Lion Music - 2010)

In the mid- / late-90's Pangea released 2 albums, first in Japan and Southeast Asia, then in 1997 in Europe. The trio started recording their 3rd album, but due to an economic crisis in Japan they couldn't sell it. Then the studio where they recorded was closed and some music was lost forever. The drum, percussion and vocal tracks survived, but left the band wondering how to continue. In 2004 Torben Lysholm left the band to produce bands like Acacia Avenue and Section A. The others tried to find a replacement, but at the end they called it quits in 2008. Awhile later the trio got together again and decided to finish their 3rd album. That's the story so far...
The trio kicks off with Time's Up, a song which reminds me of early Extreme... But they don't have the liveliness Extreme had back then. With Hold Your Fire they present a melodic rocker with great guitar play and expressive vocals of Torben Lysholm. At Right Between The Eyes the funky groove once again make you think of Extreme, but it's okay, coz Pangea aren't copycats. This one is pure fun. At the following Blindfold they melt 80's hard rock with the Extreme-ish sounds. At Little By Little they wove in some Oriental sounds, but the rocker has more to offer! The catchy tune will soon make you sing along! Shot is a bit Bad English-like, less bombastic... A balladesque rocker. Quite heavy is TNT which also offers a 70's Hammond sound, but again there is the Extreme flair... The opening of 2 AM is like a heavy rock version of Asia... And so they had me right from the start. I confess, I love Asia. Towards the end the song has a Whitesnake-ish sound... bluesy hard rock. The closer is called It's Too Late, a kind of stripped down up-tempo rocker.
Okay, Pangea don't offer innovative sounds, but you like early Extreme, then you really should check out Pangea! If you a lover of melodic metal and like it a bit funky, then Retrospctacular will be what you are looking for! The album is well done, but probably a few years too late... But as everything goes in circles, it might be spearhead release of the new wave of 80's melodic metal...

8 stars

Claudia Ehrhardt


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