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Pallas - The Blinding Darkness CD (album) cover





4.63 | 48 ratings

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5 stars This is Pallas's first DVD, recorded in The Netherlands in September 2002. The set list features material from their recent album The Cross and the Crucible with a selection of tracks from earlier albums. You get over two hours of music (135 minutes) plus additional features. The sound and picture quality are both superb as is the camerawork. The DVD perfectly captures the majesty and excitement of a Pallas concert.

The band are in the groove from the off with a powerful performance of The Cross and the Crucible. This sets up the rest of the concert nicely. Next is For the Greater Glory and this comes off a lot better than on the CD. The song has a lot to say, especially about the horrors of the First World War. Reed gives a passionate delivery with the lyrics and the whistling during the midsection adds a delicate poignancy before the music erupts as they go "over the top". Truly awesome, I get goosebumps every time I listen to this song.

The set moves to a section which highlights earlier material from their career. The Executioner doesn't quite have the air of mystery of the original but Rat Racing has plenty of punch. Crown of Thorns is the highlight of the early part of the show with Niall Matthewson injecting a lot of emotion into his performance.

We have two songs from Beat the Drum which are also well done. The main set finishes with four more songs from The Cross and The Crucible. Celebration benefits from the live setting as it comes across with so much more power and is truly uplifting.

The other highlight of the show is a rendition of the Atlantis Suite, this is the shortened version also showcased on the Live Our Lives CD. This is much, much better that the "as originally intended" version of the Suite featured on The Sentinel CD. With the live setting, there is much to savour in the 23 minute length. From the crashing chords at the start through some superb singing from both Alan Reed and Graeme Murray, superb guitar playing from Matthewson during the passionate East West section to the majestic ending.

The remainder if the encore features original vocalist Euan Lowson on two songs. These are darker in tone due in part to Lowson's intense delivery. The Ripper is wonderfully OTT with Lowson donning a white all in one boiler suite and blue mask, very reminiscent of Peter Gabriel in early Genesis. The band hadn't performed the song live after Lowson's departure. It's all wonderfully grotesque and proves a fitting end to a superb performance.

If I had a quibble it's they play too many songs from the recent CD (7 out of 9) and these are all played one after another and as they appear on the CD. In my opinion they should have done one less and interspersed them more throughout the show.

The additional features are a mixed bag, there are two photo galleries, one pre show the other during they show. These are largely forgettable. From the Centaur's Mouth is much better, it features interviews with all the members where they talk about themselves and the band. This is quite insightful. A minor complaint - it's too short. The other item is a piece on Euan Lowson who was coaxed out of retirement to sing on a couple of tracks.

To sum up this is an excellent package, the show is an absolute stormer, the playing is really tight and the instrumental performances are exceptional. A special mention to Murray who plays a mean bass guitar, punches the bass pedals with gusto and sings to boot.

Anyone who enjoys Pallas music this is a must have purchase.

jimpetrie2000 | 5/5 |


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