Sjak : Pandora’s Box is a Dutch female fronted symphonic metal band from the Noord-Brabant region, which was founded in 2014 and consists of guitar player Sebastiaan Pongers, female bass player Regine Lotstra, keyboard player Desmond Robberegt, drummer Patrick Sacre and female vocalist Maaike Rijk. The musicians on duty have meanwhile gathered the necessary experience in a number of previous bands and that is certainly noticeable while listening to this four track debut demo. The songs that are to be found on this ‘Prometheus Promise’ clearly show that the band is very capable of writing great songs which are also properly performed.
Opening track ‘Shattered’ starts with a spoken intro, but soon this turns into a lovely heavy song in which the nice guitar riffs, the melodic keyboards, the catchy chorus and the powerful voice of Maaike stand out in a positive way. The tempo is decreased quite a lot on the power ballad ‘Ephemeral Ethernity’, which provides female singer Maaike the opportunity to display her vocal capabilities while only being accompanied by a piano and some light percussion and she grabs this opportunity with both hands. The melodic guitar solo is the starting point for a more intense end piece, which makes this varied track in my opinion the best that ‘Prometheus Promise’ has to offer. That isn’t to say that the last two tunes of this EP, being the title track and ‘Final Chapter’ (for which a lyric video is made), aren’t worthwhile checking out. On the contrary, both songs are duly executed symphonic metal tracks with the necessary tempo changes, fine orchestration, lovely musicianship and great vocals and that’s exactly what you expect from the better bands in this genre.
Of course there are still some improvements to be made, but the framework is solid as a rock. The grunt vocals of guitar player Sebastiaan Pongers could have been placed more prominently in the mix and that also accounts for the drums, which would have sounded a bit more powerful then. These are however just details, because as a whole this professionally shaped debut demo clearly indicates that Pandora’s Key has the necessary talent and potential. The variety between heavy and more subdued songs on ‘Prometheus Promise’ has been a very enjoyable experience for me and therefore I’m quite curious how this outfit will develop themselves further in the future.