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Pallas - The Cross And The Crucible CD (album) cover





3.52 | 178 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
3 stars Duality between the hurt and the love.

One thing is sure, Pallas is definitely concerned by the Church, and the history of religions and their impact on the world of today. As was the theme of Dreams of Men, the album The Cross and the Crucible talks about the possibility of men to love and kill, to create and destroy at the same time, with the same intentions. Many themes of the Bible are stated, as well as the Church itself and the Crusades, and in the title song they put more emphasis on the carnage by acting how these wars could've sound like. A true calling to reflexion and sensibility is showing in this fine record.

Without calling it 'Christian Rock' per se, with their last 2 or 3 albums Pallas is stepping more and more in this strange category, as well as Neal Morse did. Scotland being their homeland, the ghost of the good ol' glory dayz of Marillion is often showing, but not overwhelming the package. Thanks a lot, the other main influence (at least on one bit) is Pink Floyd, The Wall period. This is néo-prog, so the mood is relatively soft so don't seek heavy guitars or keyboard extravaganza, just plain but gripping and emotionnal music. One thing I like is the Rickenbaker bass sound put in front, so the songs have a bit more beat than Marillion for instance. The other strenght of this record is that they tried to set a pastoral, clergical mood, with success is you ask me. The choirs and gregorian chants are adding a good amount of credibility to the sound and originality to a somewhat worn band.

I really wished this would've take another direction like a heavier one, but the whole plot is crying over a lost cause: bloodshed and destruction about faith and devotion. Despite the negative theme, some songs are actually very varied and progressive (Midas Touch, The Cross and the Crucible) some other are just soothing and relaxing to sing along (Who's to Blame). Fans of long, sad guitar solos (a la Gilmour), pastoral and churchish atmospheres (like Era or Enigma) and satisfying keyboard textures will like Pallas and therefore will class them in a higher league than the latest Marillion.

Who thought Christian Rock would sound that good?

Menswear | 3/5 |


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