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Pallas The Blinding Darkness album cover
4.30 | 61 ratings | 6 reviews | 43% 5 stars

Essential: a masterpiece of
progressive rock music

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Live, released in 2003

Songs / Tracks Listing

Disc 1: 73:41
1. The cross and the crucible (9:05)
2. For the greater glory (7:44)
3. Who's to blame? (4:48)
4. The executioner / Rat Racing (11:05)
5. Crown of thorns (10:14)
6. Beat the drum (8:59)
7. Blood and roses (5:54)
8. The blinding darkness (6:14)
9. Towers of Babble (9:38)

Disc 2: 61:02
1. Midas touch (9:54)
2. Celebration! (10:27)
3. Atlantis Suite (22:22)
i) Rise and Fall part 1 (6:10)
ii) East west (5:02)
iii) March on Atlantis (3:14)
iv) Atlantis (8:06)
4. Cut and run (Euan Lowson) (5:33)
5. The ripper (Euan Lowson) (12:46)

Total Time: 134:43

Line-up / Musicians

- Alan Reed / vocals, guitar
- Graeme Murray / bass, backing vocals
- Niall Mathewson / guitar
- Ronnie Brown / keyboards
- Colin Fraser / drums
- Euan Lowson / vocals

Releases information

2CD InsideOutMusic IOMCD134 (2003) Germany

Thanks to ProgLucky for the addition
and to Grendelbox for the last updates
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PALLAS The Blinding Darkness ratings distribution

(61 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(43%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(30%)
Good, but non-essential (21%)
Collectors/fans only (2%)
Poor. Only for completionists (5%)

PALLAS The Blinding Darkness reviews

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

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Gatot
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator

If you love neo progressive rock and live set, you should not miss this double CD. It has all components of typical neo prog music: melodic, some-time mellow and poppy, simple structure and compositions but it has changing tempos as well. I knew the band long time when Marillion was born, and I did not pay attention to the band with its album "Sentinel". At that time I was so amazed with Marillion so that I did not really follow the band. What I ever knew was that the band had a long vacuum period of more than 10 years. And this live set features the band's coverage of its history with two different lead singers performing their own era. The later era with Alan Reed while the earlier one with Euan Lowson.

All tracks were performed excellently in lively atmosphere. The live set starts off with the last album title track "The Cross & the Crucible" (9:05) with an atmospheric, followed with inventive and thick bass lines by Graeme Murray (band leader). Combined with keyboard in symphonic style and guitar work, it creates unique and atmospheric sound of Pallas. Alan Reed enters his thin voice line beautifully. The music is accessible to majority of listeners as it flows smoothly with nice melody. There is a choir break in the middle of the song that helps uplift the mood. Guitar solo by Niall Mathewson is also stunning. It's my all-time favorite Pallas track. It continues to second track "For the Greater Glory" (7:44) which has a poppy opening in symphonic nuance. Fortunately, the track progresses into more complex arrangement with interesting melody and solos. Right after the interlude part, there is a nice percussive music that enriches the song. Still with the same album, the live set continues with a nice "Who's to Blame?" (4:48) song with excellent acoustic guitar and great vocal melody.

The band also performs songs from older album like "The Executioner / Rat Racing" (11:05) from The Wedge album. This two-in-one track is performed excellently by the band. It then continues with even older album Arrive Alive with "Crown of Thorns" (10:14). Am amazed with the fact that Alan Reed who is not the original lead vocalist (Euan Lowson) can bring his performance much better than the original version.

Oh man .. when the track reaches number 6 "Beat the Drum" I can not let my mouth shut while listening to this CD and sing along with this wonderfully composed song. "There is a place that has no name. No sound of laughter - no children playing. It's not on a map, but it's there just the same. The place that built the toys for the nuclear game" .. oh man . what a killing melody! So melodic opening with soft keyboard work and simple piano touch. I cannot bear it anymore . the melody really qualifies to make a human cry! I'm not joking my friend ., seriously .. the intro part of this track is amazingly great!! Well, it's just the music, but if you listen to the lyrics .. it makes the situation even worse .so sad .. it's about change. Nothing constant but the change itself. I'm so sad with the lyrics of this track that tells us "He spent his life making weapons of war. Times have changed - they don't need him no more. Beat the drum." Feel so sorry for him, but war serves no good at all for humankind. Let's stop the war. Beat the drum! Yeah . After melodic intro then the music comes into play where all instruments play together and it flows naturally in an upbeat tempo. It has a very atmospheric nuance with dazzling bass guitar work by Graeme Murray with his Rickenbecker 4001. I really love Murray's bass playing, so dynamic and wonderful! The keyboard part by Ronnie Brown is also excellent. The inclusion of percussion / drum as an accentuation of "Beat the Drum" credo has enriched the track. All in all, this track really makes this live album worth- collecting!

"Blood and Roses" (5:54) is also a wonderful track. When it reaches "The Blinding Darkness" (6:14) my pulse is running very rapidly. The opening part is truly very uplifting especially on the combination of solid bass lines, keyboard and drum beats has created wonderful music harmony. Alan Reed's voice enters beautifully with first verse: "Geometric mountains rise in a biblical sky. They measure the miles to the moon. The Dogon chart invisible stars in the African night. A beacon flashes on .". Yeah, it's another great track of this live set - and no wonder that it has been named after this song title. The main attraction point of this track is its simplicity - in terms of structure - great musical harmony and powerful melody. "Towers of Babble" (9:38) is another great track performed flawlessly.

Other tracks are also performed excellently: "Midas Touch", "Celebration!", "Atlantis Suite" (from The Sentinel), and guest appearance of the band's previous lead vocalist Euan Lowson performing "Cut and Run" and "The Ripper".

Overall, it's a highly recommended live album of neo progressive rock vein. If you love neo progressive, you must have this CD set or the DVD. It's a masterpiece. The sonic quality of the CD is top notch! Keep on proggin' ..!

Progressively yours, GW

Review by friso
5 stars Well, consider me a fan. I had owned their debut on a vinyl for years, but it never really clicked with me. This live from 2003 album does. Pallas hadn't even released its highest rated record 'Dreams of Men' yet. Along with Arena's brilliant 'Live & Life' and Kayak's 'Live 2019' this live album by Pallas must be one of my favorite neo-prog live albums. The band sounds thick, magical - almost otherworldly on this impressive double cd. Furthermore, the band has its own place in the neo-progressive genre. Whereas Marillion is more sentimental and lyrical and IQ more sci-fi and abstract, Pallas sounds a bit more gothic and mysterious. The Rickenbacker bass is punchy, the drums are energetic - almost fierce - and the twin guitars create thick staccato riffs that remind a bit of Arena's style on the 'Contagion' album. The lead guitar remind me of Steve Rothery on the 'Clutching at Straws' album, with those wild vibrato's and intense fast runs. The symphonic sounds by keyboardist Ronnie Brown are the most thick I've ever heard on a live album. The vocals of guitarist Alan Reed are emotive and a bit fragile, but his choice of melodies is very strong throughout. He has that ability to instantly grab the listener (not unlike Fish), like he does on the intimate verses of 'For The Greater Glory'. I never heard any of these songs on the first cd before and I'm surprised by how spot on they all are. Perhaps they aren't that much more sophisticated than songs of other bands of the genre, but they just work and sound so amazing. In the end it all comes down to effective songwriting, dosing and the effective use of dynamics. For instance; you'll hear the band getting the most out of a relatively simple folk-infused song like 'Who's to Blame?'. The crowd is obviously enjoying this concert a lot as well and their enthusiastic reaction adds to the festive feel of this great live album. On the second cd the band returns to some of its earliest work with the Atlantis suite, and I don't think those pieces will ever become a favorite of mine. Which leaves me with still more than 100 minutes of progressive bliss - more than enough to warrant a five star rating and the warmest of recommendations.

Latest members reviews

4 stars A superb live outing from Pallas. Could be marketed as Greatest Hits. Vol.1 (1 because it was prior to the great Dreams of Men album), because it contains all the essential songs plus more in a form not too far away from studio versions, but delivered with energy and a better, louder production. ... (read more)

Report this review (#1327936) | Posted by Progrussia | Tuesday, December 23, 2014 | Review Permanlink

4 stars This album is a key addition to your collection if you like energetic, mood elevating power-progrock or if you are just a follower of PALLAS. It's live and showcases the best of what Pallas has to offer and shows how talented the band really is without the benefit of studio tricks. It's based o ... (read more)

Report this review (#36228) | Posted by Trafficdogg | Saturday, June 11, 2005 | Review Permanlink

4 stars I`ve been following this group since their debut with "Arrive alive" back in 81 and i am pleased to hear that they still have the same energy,they still rock! Hearing them reminds me most of Marillion,the way they build up a song from quiet parts with vocals to bombastic rock with crying guitar ... (read more)

Report this review (#22578) | Posted by | Saturday, January 22, 2005 | Review Permanlink

4 stars Very good live recording of this excellent Scottish neo-prog group. Pallas is in terrific form here. I would have given this 5 stars, except for ending the concert with Euan Lowson on lead vocals(last 2 tracks) instead of current lead vocalist Alan Reed....just my opinion of course. Definitely an ou ... (read more)

Report this review (#22577) | Posted by | Thursday, January 1, 2004 | Review Permanlink

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