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Pallas - The Sentinel CD (album) cover





3.49 | 225 ratings

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3 stars This was one of the few albums to interest me in the notoriously dull and boring eighties music scene. Along with "Script" by Marillion, this kept the prog scene somewhat alive, although things were to get worse before they got better in the succeeding years. I now own the remastered cd of "The Sentinel", which has three extra tracks. These tracks are in no way fillers however. They are all part of the "Sentinel" concept, although they were omitted from the original vinyl. The running order is also different from the original, as that opened with "Arrive Alive", then called "Eyes In The Night". "Shock Treatment" opened side two of the old disc. Anyway, the music is rather fine on this cd. There are strong vocal performances from Euan Lowson; sadly he left the band after this. There are also some nice backing vocals here, especially on "Shock Treatment". The first three tracks are not related to the "Sentinel" concept, but stand alone, and are all fine prog tracks. "Cut And Run" especially has some nice prog elements. What stands out on this album is the dominance of the keyboards. Although eighties influenced, they sound clear and warm, and haven't really dated. The guitar work is more to the background, with the occasional flourish bought to the fore. This works far better for me than the droves of pseudo heavy metal guitar driven tracks that blight a lot of modern prog albums. The rest of the album, after the first three pieces, all belong to the "Sentinel" concept. The three bonus songs, "Eastwest", "March On Atlantis" and "Heart Attack", all fit in well with the original tracks and the whole suite provides a nice landscape of sound, with the instruments nicely balanced. The drums at times sound a bit dated, and the lyrics are predictable, along the lines of "East fights west but peace must win out". (Never heard that one before!) Over all though, this is a fine album. I can't really compare them to any other band. They are different to their contemporaries, eg: Marillion, Pendragon and IQ, and don't sound like the great old bands either. Nevertheless, this is an excellent debut and should be heard. Unfortunately, the band went rather downhill after this (judging from the awful "Beat The Drum". See my review for that. Not prog at all, or at least not original.) but this is worth more than a listen. A nice cover too, which could almost have come off a Yes album!
chessman | 3/5 |


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