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Pallas - Beat The Drum CD (album) cover

BEAT THE DRUM

Pallas

 

Neo-Prog

3.66 | 117 ratings

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Gatot
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
5 stars The cover reminds me to Manfred Mann's Earth band "The Roaring Silence" album. Well, similar cover but different meaning, I guess. For sure, it's a different kind of music.

This is an amazing album. Beautifully composed and perfectly delivered by the band! Let me tell you why, track by track, because it deserves detailed review.

CALL TO ARMS kicks off the album in a straight forward medium beat rock music with relatively thin guitar riffs. The keyboard sound is positioned to accentuate the music, played in a spacey mood. This track has a nice transition when the music enters a slower tempo right before the interlude part that explores electric guitar. The first spin of this track, it didn't impress me at all but it grew slowly until I really love it now. Alan reed's voice is nice and mixed thinly in this album. "So get up and fight! Come on fight!" - what an uplifting words.

BEAT THE DRUM is really THE thing. Yup, is the THING that really BLEW me the first time I listened to it. So melodic opening with soft keyboard work and simple piano touch. And .. when Reed's vocal enter the scene . OH BOY . I cannot bear it anymore . the melody really qualifies to make a human cry! I'm not joking my friend ., seriously .. the intro part of this track is amazingly great!! Well, it's just the music, but if you listen to the lyrics .. it makes the situation even worse .so sad .. it's about change. Nothing constant but the change itself, my friend. Genesis even told us in "Firth of Fifth" .."the river of constant change!" Remember it hah? I'm so sad with the lyrics of this track "He spent his life making weapons of war. Times have changed - they don't need him no more. Beat the drum." Feel so sorry for him, but war serves no good at all for humankind. Let's stop the war. Beat the drum! Yeah . After melodic intro then the music comes into play where all instruments play together and it flows naturally in an upbeat tempo. It has a very atmospheric nuance with dazzling bass guitar work by Graeme Murray with his Rickenbacker 4001. I really love Murray's bass playing, so dynamic and wonderful! The keyboard part by Ronnie Brown is also excellent. The inclusion of percussion / drum as an accentuation of "Beat the Drum" credo has enriched the track. All in all, this track really makes the album worth- collecting! Just buy the CD! You won't regret. Satisfaction guaranteed.

Third track "HIDE & SEEK" opens with a soft guitar fills and low voice of Reed in relatively slow tempo. The exploration of keyboard sound is excellent. The track then flows naturally to a typical neo-prog rock upbeat music. The electric guitar solo in the middle of the track by Niall Mathewson is stunning especially when it is then combined by great keyboard work at the background. Not to miss is the Rickenbackering by Murray - excellent!

The mood then moves to a more theatrical nature with the opening of fourth track "INSOMNIAC". It reminds me to the band early work with previous vocalist Euan Lowson performing "The Ripper". But this track is much better. Having explored significantly in theatrical mood, the music then enters in a more continuous form with a high tone voice of Alan Reed. The solo keyboard and drum works are cool. The keyboard part reminds me to TONY BANKS work in Genesis. This track ends up with an excellent narration.

"ALL OR NOTHING" starts with an atmospheric keyboard played softly. Oops! Suddenly the music enters in an upbeat tempo with an excellent combination of keyboard (producing a sound like vibes; very nice!), bass, drums and voice. The music is continuous and composed nicely. The melody is very uplifting and will definitely cheer you up. It's a kind of music to elevate your emotion. When Niall mathewson takes the lead during interlude with his electric guitar, you can taste a rocking mood really! It is then followed by keyboard work. Excellent track!

Sixth track, "SPIRITS", I think, is destined to give a break to the listeners with a slow tempo composition. The opening part seems typical slow track but when it reaches approximately minute 2:20 the melody turns to be very touchy especially with the Hackettian guitar style. Oh boy .what this band is doing? They are so creative in creating memorable and touchy melodies! The music rises to high and reaches the point where it seems like a MIKE OLDFIELD's music. It's really cool.

Well, it's time to rock again! The seventh track, "MAN OF PRINCIPLE", is really a straight forward rock with some neo prog touch and a bit flavor of SAGA music. The bass line in some segments seem repeated but overall it does not harm the beauty of this track. This track would probably suit as an encore track in PALLAS concert. It's kind like PALLAS' "Roundabout" (Yes), I would say. But hold on .. at roughly minute 4:00 the music changes its tempo nicely and returns to the main tagline.

"GHOSTS" starts with a nice and harmonious panpipe works accompanied by mellotron- like keyboard sound. It is then combined with Alan Reed's voice performed in a theatrical mood. Alan Reed moves slowly to a higher tone and followed by the music with a faster tempo and great bass line and guitar howling sound. The music then moves in much more complex structure exploring keyboards, guitars, drums and bass. This is another excellent track that becomes my all-time favorite.

Watch-out your eyes! Cause the band brings you again to another sad song "BLOOD & ROSES"! Opened with a simple solo piano and melodic voice line that might crunch your heart and makes tears in your eyes. Beware! Yeap. I'm right. This song has a very touchy melody, especially when Reed sings "I will follow you down. I will follow you down into a deep deep sleep". Oh my God! What a great melody this band has created! Even when the full music comes into play, there is still a sad nuance.

Tenth track "WILDERNESS YEARS" opens with a kind of triangle sound (that reminds me to the intro of "Circus of Heaven" of YES Tormato album), followed by keyboard. The music then flow in a moderate tempo with, still, great melody. If don't make a long comment about this track it does not mean this track is not excellent. IT IS.

The concluding track "FRAGMENTS OF THE SUN" starts with a bit of Beat The Drum melody performed in a spacey keyboard sound to replace voice line and then the music flows naturally when the drum stools entering the scene. The music is really atmospheric with a touch of GILMOUR in guitar style and bass pedal sound. The keyboard is mostly used as background music accompanying theatrical voice of Alan Reed. This concluding track is well positioned to close the album as it serves like - in a way - a reprise of the overall album.

FRIENDS . what would you do if you find an album with no less enjoyable track? I need you advise, really, because I don't want you to blame as being too na´ve in giving a final rating. But honestly, before I got your advise I would give my overall vote about this album that you might have guessed really well. Yup! It's a full round 5 / 5 rating! This album has a tight structure, strong and solid songwriting, top notch performance and excellent production. It's a HIGHLY RECOMMENDED album. GW, Indonesia.

Gatot | 5/5 |

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