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Pallas - The Sentinel CD (album) cover





3.49 | 212 ratings

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Special Collaborator
Post/Math Rock Team
4 stars The first studio album from this Scottish Neo-Prog band, they had previously released a live album called Arrive Alive. This album was produced by Eddie Offord and there was some controversy about his involvement. Being big fans of Yes and ELP, the members of Pallas were grateful for the oppurtunity to work with Offord. Apparently, they did not like his results and had the album remixed. The lyrics make allusions to the then current Cold War, but also make references to Atlantis; a large part of the album is made up of the 'Atlantis Suite.' These guys formed in 1976 and, at least on this album, they have a far more original sound than other Neo-Prog bands of the time.

This is the only Pallas album I have yet heard but I am impressed. The songs here are much more enjoyable to me than anything I have yet heard from Marillion or IQ. There is not a huge 1970s influence on this album. Instead of a big Genesis influence, I hear Saga. The more commercial and mainstream sounding songs are near the start. The proggiest moments are actually quite proggy sounding. Theoretically, Pallas should be considered 1980s Symphonic Prog. At least on The Sentinel.

"Shock Treatment" is a good opener. Reminds me of Saga. Nice bass tone and synth sounds. Very '80s guitar solo. "Cut + Run" has a New Wave/post-punk feel to it with more of a 'proggy' chorus and instrumental parts. In the middle is a spoken word part followed by cool synth playing that reminds me of old 8-bit Nintendo games. Ends on a symphonic prog note. "Arrive Alive" is the most commercial (and dated) song on the album. Sounds like something the record company forced the band to put on here.

You can listen to "Rise And Fall (Part One)" here on PA. This is the first great moment on the album. This song also reminds me of Saga. I like the flute-like synth sound. Another spoken word part near the end. This song segues into "East West" which is more of a ballad. Nice synthetic choirs and guitar solo at the end. "March On Atlantis" begins segued from "East West." Starts off atmospheric with a little military drumming. Around 2 minutes things pick up and we hear some great synthetic choirs. Sounds like some bass pedals too. This instrumental section is one of the best parts of The Sentinel. Later goes into piano ballad mode.

"Rise And Fall (Part Two)" starts off with some random piano, atmospheric sounds and synthetic bells. Later some chorused guitar sets the mood for another spoken word part. Ends more symphonic prog and fades out. "Heart Attack" is one of the longest songs here but it doesn't get too interesting until the end when it starts to sound like '70s Genesis. "Atlantis" has a great bass tone and synthetic choir vocals. The drumming at the beginning is good. Very Genesis sounding lead synth playing. Reminds me of Saga yet again. More spoken word. Some good harmony vocals near the end.

I love the slow-paced main groove they get into during "Ark Of Infinity," with the vocals mimicing the music. Goes into a faster paced section with Rutherford like bass playing. Gets more atmospheric later. Ends with the unison vocal/music groove. Overall, I'm surprised how much I liked this album. I knew there had to be a Neo album out there I could give at least 4 stars too. This is it.

zravkapt | 4/5 |


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