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Pallas - The Dreams Of Men CD (album) cover





4.00 | 253 ratings

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4 stars The much anticipated follow up to The Cross and The Crucible, creatively this album is similar to its predecessor with plenty of bombast interspersed with quiet passages, which makes for some really dramatic moments. I feel the song construction is better than the previous album and the recording quality is of a much higher standard. It is obvious a lot of time has gone into how the album sounds.

The Bringer of Dreams starts things off; this is a song about your dreams (read nightmares). There is a quiet beginning, the restful period just after you fall asleep; the music becomes more urgent before erupting in true Pallas fashion with bass and drums blazing. In the quieter middle section they use a ticking clock, a bit cliché but still pretty effective. The full band comes back in soon after, with guitar and keyboard interplay surging to a thrilling conclusion. Lyrically the song is very strong also. Stunning opener.

Ghostdancers is a poignant epic about Scottish settlers leaving their native country and starting a new life in America. The song is more accessible and the melodies and orchestration are superb.

Warriors and To Close To the Sun are good songs but less effective, although the latter has some stunning interplay.

The best of the shorter songs is Mr Wolfe an up-tempo rocker with lots to say about unscrupulous companies. North and South is a filler, great playing but still a filler. I didn't like Messiah much, I found the chorus irritating.

Invincible is the most challenging track on the album, a four part epic with intricate changes, driving bass lines and impressive solos. The lyrics are suitably dark ranging from the individual's fight against the machine (read the rat race); "It's my life and you can't have it"; to the young couple's plans for the future which are ultimately unfulfilled. However, the song ends in triumphant style where the individual reasserts himself. "I am invincible." Lyrically and musically this is Pallas's best song ever.

The last Angel is another epic, but slightly more accessible. Guitar and keyboard solos abound and Reed's singing has plenty of power. They use a real life opera singer to devastating affect in the last section where the music builds to an epic conclusion. It's a pity the song is slightly overproduced at the end.

I've been listening to this album for about five months now, I have to say I find it less compelling than I did after five weeks of listening, if I reviewed it then it would have been five stars. It's still an essential Pallas release though.

Positives, the playing is top notch and full of feeling. Its Mathewson's guitar work in particular that makes the disc special. The bass and drum sounds are also exceptional making for plenty of "goosebump" moments.

Negatives, I found that in some passages the vocals were too down in the mix (again) and you can't hear them properly. As with the previous album there isn't a great deal of variety, six of the nine songs are epics. Some variation in style would have been welcome.

On the whole a good album but not as good as Beat the Drum, and by the way you have to play it LOUD.

jimpetrie2000 | 4/5 |


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