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Pallas - XXV CD (album) cover





3.26 | 141 ratings

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Symphonic Team
2 stars This album is quite a monster - and I do not mean that in a positive sense!

After having returned to the music business after a long hiatus, Pallas returned in 1998 with the excellent Beat The Drum album which was followed by the masterpiece that was The Cross And The Crucible and after that another quite good one in The Dreams Of Men. In the light of this strong trio of albums, XXV must be seen as a disappointment. Advertised as the sequel to the band's classic 1984 album The Sentinel, XXV is actually quite different musically from that album as well as from anything else the band has done before. The sound is a lot heavier than on previous Pallas releases and while I am certainly not an enemy of heavy music, this is not really convincing to these ears. Some parts actually remind me of the final album by Black Sabbath (Forbidden, released in 1995). It is clear that they wanted this album to be a dark affair, but they somehow fail to deliver in musical terms the gloom that is promised by the album's concept which involves the end of the world. The concept of the album actually sometimes appears a bit silly!

There is at least one thing that the present album has in common with The Sentinel and that is the absence of singer Alan Reed. Listening to this album, it becomes clear that Reed was indeed an essential part of the band's sound. But even so I don't think that Reed would actually have been able to help these songs up. The problem is thus not just that this is not really recognizable as Pallas, it is a more serious problem that the compositions are not particularly memorable. There are some good parts for sure, but there is simply nothing here that comes close to the standards set by previous Pallas albums. A song like Monster - that was actually released as a single before the album was released - is really a very simple and quite banal piece both musically and lyrically.

Considered as a Pallas release then, XXV is the weakest ever in my opinion and certainly the least good one since 1986's The Wedge. However, evaluated on its own merits, XXV is a decent and fairly agreeable album nonetheless. It is surely worth a listen or two for those with a special interest, but it is hardly an album to get back to again and again. It is certainly not recommended for all.

SouthSideoftheSky | 2/5 |


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