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Pallas

Neo-Prog


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Pallas XXV album cover
3.31 | 106 ratings | 15 reviews | 16% 5 stars

Good, but non-essential


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Studio Album, released in 2011

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Falling Down (7:29)
2. Crash And Burn (5:28)
3. Something In The Deep (6:50)
4. Monster (6:21)
5. The Alien Messiah (6:50)
6. XXV [Part 1: Twenty Five Good Honest Men] (6:08)
7. Young God (5:18)
8. Sacrifice (4:22)
9. Blackwood (2:02)
10. Violet Sky (5:07)
11. XXV [Part 2: The Unmakers Awake] (6:00)


Total time 61:55

Lyrics

Search PALLAS XXV lyrics

Music tabs (tablatures)

Search PALLAS XXV tabs

Line-up / Musicians

- Paul Mackie / vocals
- Graeme Murray / bass, vocals
- Niall Mathewson / guitar
- Ronnie Brown / keyboards, vocals
- Colin Fraser / drums, vocals

Releases information

CD Mascot Records // Music Theories Recordings (2011)
A Special edition of the release includes a DVD featuring numbers filmed during the bands stunning Sentinel/XXV show closing performance at The Night of the Prog festival at Loreley in 2010.

Thanks to ProgLucky for the addition
and to Cesar Inca for the last updates
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Buy PALLAS XXV Music


The Dreams of MenThe Dreams of Men
Inside Out 2005
Audio CD$13.49
$16.98 (used)
xxvxxv
Limited Edition
Mascot Records 2011
Audio CD$7.64
$4.29 (used)
Pallas: The Blinding DarknessPallas: The Blinding Darkness
Inside Out U.S. 2004
DVD$22.99
$5.48 (used)
The Cross & The CrucibleThe Cross & The Crucible
Inside Out U.S. 2001
Audio CD$195.99
$8.76 (used)
Arrive AliveArrive Alive
Inside Out U.S. 2004
Audio CD$11.00
$8.79 (used)
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PALLAS XXV ratings distribution


3.31
(106 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(16%)
16%
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(36%)
36%
Good, but non-essential (34%)
34%
Collectors/fans only (13%)
13%
Poor. Only for completionists (1%)
1%

PALLAS XXV reviews


Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by lazland
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars Well, the return of a band who, alongside Marillion and IQ, were the archetypal neo-prog band in the UK prog revival of the 1980's. This is, of course, the follow up to the acclaimed concept album, The Sentinel, released in 1984, and is a story which the band have threatened/promised (delete according to your tastes) to return to for years now. The album has received some critical acclaim in the music press, but, surprisingly, little notice really on this site. The question, of course, is whether it deserves the praise heaped upon it.

I think that the answer is yes. This is a brave album, one that holds the listener's attention throughout, and also is absolutely nothing like any of the stereotypical neo prog that the band and others in the sub genre are so often accused of. If anything, much of this is a glorious heavy prog album, with some thunderous and pulsating riffs, interspersed with some delicate passages. The playing is excellent throughout.

The opener, Falling Down, spends seven and a half minutes grabbing you by the balls, and squeezing extremely tightly. It features some exceptional rhythm work, and new vocalist, Paul Mackie, at once, renders all memories of his illustrious predecessors into the distant past. His is a fantastic debut.

As with all of the best concept albums, it is pointless entering into a discussion of individual tracks, because this album needs to be appreciated as a coherent whole. I'll get around to reviewing the original story soon, but I really do think that this, released 25 years later (hence the title), forms far more of a seamless work of music and story. The original was basically an album of two halves, with much of the first side attempting to gain commercial success. In 2011, no such constraints hold the band back. In addition, the advent of digital technology certainly improves the effects essential to such a story.

Amongst the heavy, pounding tracks, there are some moments of quite beautiful contemplation. Something In The Deep is the first such moment, and is a very understated piece of music, with a great symphonic passage, that grows upon you with each listen. In fact, that could be a good summary for the album as a whole.

This is an album of contrasting moods. At turns very heavy, symphonic, classic neo, and, at times, almost post indie, I really like this album. Certainly people who downloaded the excellent Monster, which is a great commercial track that deserves hit single status, for free at the end of last year should, in my opinion, now go the full hog and go to their usual music supplier and get the full work. This is a truly progressive album, in that Pallas have made a conscious effort to move their sound and ideas forward, rather than taking the easy option of remaining stuck in the past. The two part XXV title track is as good an example of pomp prog I have heard in many a year.

Four stars for this. There will probably better contenders for album of 2011 as the year progresses, but I would be staggered if this wasn't in my personal top five.

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Send comments to lazland (BETA) | Report this review (#406595) | Review Permalink
Posted Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Review by SouthSideoftheSky
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR 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.

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Send comments to SouthSideoftheSky (BETA) | Report this review (#410603) | Review Permalink
Posted Thursday, March 03, 2011

Review by Tarcisio Moura
PROG REVIEWER
2 stars Well, this album caught me quite by surprise. Pallas always had an edgier sound than most of the so called neo prog bands that appeared in the early 80´s, but XXV (which I heard is supposed to be a kind of sequel to their offical debut, 1984´s The Sentinel) is definitly more a hard rock album than anyrhing else. Not that that per se is bad. Several prog metal CDs are on my top twenty prog records of all time. But this is surely too different, and not quite as inspired as what this group have been making since their excellent come back Beat The Drum.

Longtime singer Alan Reed is gone now. I sorely miss him here. But it seems that, no matter how good and important for the band he was in the past, he couldn´t save this album. The songs are simply too simple, too heavy and not all that great. Sure, nothing here is truly bad, but totally uncharacteristic. The instrumentation is excelent as ever (specially Graeme Murray´s bass runs and Niall Mathewson´s guitar solos), although Ronnie Brown´s keyboards are a bit subdue here. New singer Paul Mackie is good, but he needs time to adjust just yet.

Pallas never did two albums that sounded the same, but clearly, this one is weaker than all they had put out since their triumphant come back in 1998. And indeed, I may be waiting too much since they did so great job with The Cross And The Crucible and The Dreams Of Men. Still, XXV is a bit too bland for my taste. XXV is a hard rock album with some prog bits here and there. The story is ok, the songs are ok, the new vocalist is ok. Such a pity they have done much better so many times before.

I want to believe that this is just a transitional period and that the band will rise above and find their feet again.

Rating: somewhere between 2 and 2.5 stars.

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Send comments to Tarcisio Moura (BETA) | Report this review (#414090) | Review Permalink
Posted Thursday, March 10, 2011

Review by Easy Livin
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
4 stars In the year 25... thousand

The sacking of lead singer Alan Reed after he had collaborated on the writing but just before the recording of this album, appears to have surprised him as much as it did the rest of us. It would be inappropriate for me to presume to comment on the rights and wrongs of his dismissal, all I can do here is recognise his immense contribution to some wonderful albums over the years. Reed's replacement Paul Mackie therefore makes his album début for the band on this their sixth studio album.

Conceived as a follow up the the band's first studio album "The sentinel" (which was released just before the arrival of Reed), the title is not actually intended to reflect the gap between the release of the albums, which is in fact 27 years. Admittedly, it was probably around 25 years after the release of "The sentinel" that the decision to release a part 2 was taken, but the "Twenty five" nomenclature refers to the setting of the album (25,000 years in the future), the number of leaders who then run planet Earth, etc. The album's concept is that of said planet's obsession with technology over civilisation.

According to the band, the superb opening track "Falling Down" forms the bridge between "The sentinel" and this album, by borrowing melodic themes from that album. The track pre-dates the others on the album, as it was developed live in recent years, this version being slightly different though to that in the live set. The track literally takes off as soaring synths and scything guitar riffs pound out the opening theme. Mackie's vocals are impressive, although for my money they are not quite up the the standard of his predecessor (with apologies for the inevitable but necessary comparisons). There are all the tenets of good neo-prog in this fine opener, including some impressive guitar and keyboards from Niall Mathewson and Ronnie Brown respectively.

"Crash and burn" finds our superiors visiting from planet Atlantean coming up with an amazingly simple way of ridding our world of its leaders in a chaotic melting pot of quasi- improvised, controlled noise. "Something In The Deep" softens things completely, with ambient synth sounds ebbing and flowing as the sentinel sent from Atlantean sends his craft deep into the ocean to rendezvous with a waiting machine. The distorted vocals which are a feature of the track sound mechanical yet emotional. As the piece concludes, a delightful orchestrated section develops.

"Monster" reminds me of Arena, and in particular their "Contagion" album. This plodding piece of power prog at first sounds like one of the album's most accessible tracks (and indeed was released as an internet single), but in reality it requires a number of plays before it actually reveals itself. Lyrically, "The Alien Messiah" seems like an extract from the Who's "Tommy", as the sentinel presents himself to an admiring crowd in Egypt. There is something of a theatrical/musical feel to the track, indeed while listening to the song my thoughts drifted to Clive Nolan's "She" project, which ironically starred one Alan Reed.

"XXV [Part 1: Twenty Five Good Honest Men]" finds the sentinel trying desperately to find a small group (yes 25!) of good humans to assume the leadership of the planet, or else... Once again, I am reminded of Arena's "Contagion", in particular its final track "Resurrection", this piece having the same power and majesty. The sentinel's frustrations with our (humanity's) lack of vision continues in "Young God", another heavy song with some find lead guitar at its core. "Sacrifice" sees the humans finally beginning to realise they they are in a war of the worlds situation, with the odds stacked against them. The track itself is probably the most straightforward on the album, both musically and lyrically. The basic rock song on which it is constructed does however hold within it a fine instrumental core.

The brief "Blackwood" is intended as a prelude to the following "Violet sky" This beautifully emotive piece takes us by surprise by featuring a female lead (vocalised) vocal by guest Melissa Allan. As we move seamlessly into "Violet sky", Mackie's vocals come into their own. This gentle, highly moving piece offers a breathing space in terms of the story and in the generally full on nature of the music. The closing track, "XXV [Part 2: The Unmakers Awake]" offers an appropriately anthemic conclusion to the album, while leaving the way open for a further chapter in the story.

In all, a fine comeback album from Pallas, who prove that they have lost none of their ambitions. The tracks are of a consistently superior standard. I have to confess that I do miss the fine vocals of Reed, but if the choice is for the band to continue without him or not at all, then the former is by far preferable. Recommended.

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Send comments to Easy Livin (BETA) | Report this review (#440517) | Review Permalink
Posted Friday, April 29, 2011

Review by Gatot
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars This album has been with me for quite a long time but I still keep it on hold for review for some reasons which one of them is to get to know better about the music. I have been a fan of this band since I had 'The Sentinel' at the first time and later I loved their 'The Wedge' album. To me personally, the music of Pallas fits my taste really well and there are two things that characterize their music. First is the vocal style of Alan Reed that is so peculiar and had blended nicely with the music of Pallas. I was actually bit disappointed with Alan when I saw their DVD for the 'Blinding ...' where his stage performance was so standard. But later I got used to it and I started to accept him the way he was. His voice style has truly represented the music of Pallas. The second is Graeme Murray's typical Rickenbaker bassguitar style that is so unique and becoming excellent part of Pallas music. I also like his stage act during their live performance.

So ..when I got this album I was bit disappointed hearing one of the characters in Pallas music had lost with the departure of Alan Reed. It's so sad seeing Alan go especially when I followed through the separation process that seemed not making Alan happy with the situation. However, I fully understand the reasons put forward by the rest of the band members that let him go for reasons of not fully participated with the making of this album. Well, I don't want to discuss about the matter because i think the band knows much better than me. But I was quite sad because I do not have Alan Reed unique voice here with XXV album. Fortunately, it did not take quite long for me to adapt with the new singer whom I think his voice is excellent too. It grew on me and finally I could accept his voice being part of NEW Pallas music. Lucky that I still have the dominant bassguitar work by Graeme Murray.

An Excellent Concept Album

Overall, I really enjoy this album in its entirety. In fact, I have been playing this album in its entirety more than 15 spins already. I have always played them full one length album because I could not afford to stop the music as it flows beautifully fro start to end. On thing surprising is the fact that the music is in a way getting harder with some metal style at the beginning of the album. The opening track "Falling Down" (7:29) is really a great opener with relatively fast tempo that reminds me to metal music especially on the speed of the bass drum work. I love this opening track. It follows nicely into the second track "Crash And Burn" (5:28) in similar style like the opening track. Unfortunately the music style dramatically changes into a mellow track ""Something In The Deep" (6:50) which I think is actually to early to enter as the first two opener are truly a rocker each. It's like an abrupt change into quiet music. The track itself is not bad at all; in fact I enjoy the track especially with its string arrangement.

"Monster" (6:21) brings the music into neo-prog music with excellent melody and stunning guitar solo. "The Alien Messiah" (6:50) starts in an ambient mode followed with nice neo- prog music using excellent guitar riffs combined with powerful basslines and nice keyboard work. "XXV [Part 1: Twenty Five Good Honest Men]" (6:08) brings the music back to the origin of Pallas music with opening part that represents an ambient nuance followed with nice narrative-like vocal work. As the music flows, it brings with it a nice melody. I can see now the quality of the new lead singer as he can play his role nicely in this nice song. I like the way he sing in this lyrical verse "I am not God, I am just the man....". Well ....this is the part of music that makes me like neo-prog especially during this segment where Paul Mackie sings while the music is playing symphonic style at background. Excellent!

"Young God" (5:18) brings the music back into metal-like style with tight bass lines. It grows even faster with the next "Sacrifice" (4:22) where I love the guitar work and the vocal. It's more of hard rock music than a neo-prog one ...but it's still really nice. The guitar solo part at the end of the track is really nice. "Blackwood" (2:02) serves as transition piece to the very nice and very melodic and mellow "Violet Sky" (5:07) which tells about the end of the day. It's a sad song and it's really wonderful. Even though at the end of the world it's useless to stay at the top of the hill because everything will be totally vanished according to The Koran. "What would you do if this is the end of the world?" Wow! What a nice voice, Mackie! The album conclude nicely with "XXV [Part 2: The Unmakers Awake]" (6:00).

I think the neo-prog lovers would love this album like I do. Thanks Pallas for making such a wonderful music like this one. Overall, this album is a 4+ rating; it's an execlennt addition to any prog music collection. Keep on proggin' ...!!!

Peace on earth and mercy mild - GW

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Send comments to Gatot (BETA) | Report this review (#512758) | Review Permalink
Posted Thursday, September 01, 2011

Review by Menswear
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars Aging with class.

Remember your uncle who patronizes you with phrases like: 'In my days, cars were sturdy..In my days, kids were polite...' ? He's finding tough to age and remembers the past with nostalgia. Well, we cannot accuse Pallas of being like that. I'm not saying that they revolutionize the genre, but they do walk the walk musically.

Finally, Pallas reached the venerable stage of 'prog veterans' BUT they also learned to play well enough to create a sound that rivalize with youngsters. Funny. Because young bands are targetting the Old School and the older ones are trying to catch the train again. Well, with this album they succeeded at it, without sounding too corny (I'm looking to you Arena) or to re- create faded magic (Thick as a Brick 2). They definitely can play (steroids rage guitar solos and double bass drums) and neat-O keyboard licks.

To me Pallas still have gasoline in the reservoir. Do I like them? I think so. Would I run 5 miles into the slush to give them a high five? No.

3 stars is enough.

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Send comments to Menswear (BETA) | Report this review (#812529) | Review Permalink
Posted Thursday, August 30, 2012

Latest members reviews

3 stars Welcome to the end of the world. Though I haven't read the official version, the story I gather from the lyrics and from passing mention in other reviews is that this is a concept album about the Atlantians or some other advanced race coming to give us one last chance at making an ideal world ... (read more)

Report this review (#823246) | Posted by FragileKings | Tuesday, September 18, 2012 | Review Permanlink

4 stars I know it's been a while since XXV was released, but after seeing Pallas perform at High Voltage I've finally got around to writing something! 'Falling Down' - What a great opener, both live and on the album. Killer drums and keyboard themes that remind you of The Sentinel, without repeating ... (read more)

Report this review (#508993) | Posted by robert45 | Thursday, August 25, 2011 | Review Permanlink

4 stars Well, it's been a long time in the making....A continuation of the Sentinel, Atlantean mythology given the old sci-fi makeover...all excellent stuff for a theme of a symphonic prog-rock epic. This is a solid 4 star effort, it has excellence in production, the required musical complexity and soa ... (read more)

Report this review (#415746) | Posted by M27Barney | Monday, March 14, 2011 | Review Permanlink

3 stars Well. Not what I expected. When I listened to the promoted Monster !I was very worried about the quality of the other songs¡. Fortunately(but not very much so) other songs are better and more in the accustom Pallas vein. But Pallas without Allan Reed has lost a lot. This new singe ... (read more)

Report this review (#412781) | Posted by robbob | Tuesday, March 08, 2011 | Review Permanlink

3 stars Let's go back to 'The Sentinel'. Pretty much all of it is lost on my 'Prog' ears, but then you come across 'East west'... Now, 'East West' is utterly fantastic, one of the finest Prog tracks of all time (in my eyes, at least), so when I heard that 'The Sentinel' theme was to be continued in P ... (read more)

Report this review (#402191) | Posted by sussexbowler | Thursday, February 17, 2011 | Review Permanlink

2 stars A certain maturity can work wonders for prog musicians; it gives the music more gravitas, more coherence, more .. well .. believability. But .. and it's a silicon-enhanced denim-clad 'but' with the word "Angel Knickers" picked out in sequins across its generous width and a bit of thong peaking o ... (read more)

Report this review (#397539) | Posted by moochie | Thursday, February 10, 2011 | Review Permanlink

3 stars Pallas are a classic neo-prog band from the '80s. They were one of the founders of the genre along with such bands as Marillion, Pendragon and IQ. Their first full-length album, The Sentinel, is regarded by many as a masterpiece of the genre. This new album, titled XXV, is actually a sequel to th ... (read more)

Report this review (#396780) | Posted by natewait | Tuesday, February 08, 2011 | Review Permanlink

5 stars It is nice to know that some of the best things in life still can take a little longer to materialise. In the case of Pallas, we are talking over 25 years which is the span of time it has taken to record and release the official follow-up to their debut album The Sentinel. Record company po ... (read more)

Report this review (#396777) | Posted by Alison Henderson | Tuesday, February 08, 2011 | Review Permanlink

2 stars So my view on Pallas' recorded output before XXV. The Sentinel - Brilliant, a landmark of prog. ***** The Wedge - Very disappointing * Beat The Drum - Nice comeback *** The Cross & Crucible - Great stuff **** The Dreams of Men - Can't get into most of it ** So what of XXV? Well I decided to ... (read more)

Report this review (#394697) | Posted by gingernut | Saturday, February 05, 2011 | Review Permanlink

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