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THE DREAMS OF MEN

Pallas

Neo-Prog


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Pallas The Dreams Of Men album cover
4.01 | 205 ratings | 31 reviews | 31% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection


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Studio Album, released in 2005

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. The Bringer Of Dreams (9:50)
2. Warriors (7:15)
3. Ghostdancers (7:30)
4. Too Close To The Sun (11:34)
5. Messiah (4:57)
6. Northern Star (4:01)
7. Mr. Wolfe (5:48)
8. Invincible (10:45)
9. The Last Angel (11:28)

Total Time: 73:08

Lyrics

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Music tabs (tablatures)

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Line-up / Musicians

- Ronnie Brown / keyboards
- Colin Fraser / drums
- Niall Mathewson / guitars
- Graeme Murray / bass, vocals
- Alan Reed / vocals

Guest musicians:
- Pandy Arthur / vocal (9)
- Paul Anderson / Fiddle (1 & 3)
- Karen Raitt / vocals (5)
- Lisa Paterson / vocals (5)

Releases information

CD InsideOut Music IOMCD 230 (2005)

Thanks to ProgLucky for the addition
and to ProgLucky for the last updates
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The Dreams of MenThe Dreams of Men
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Audio CD$10.88
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PALLAS The Dreams Of Men ratings distribution


4.01
(205 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(31%)
31%
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(35%)
35%
Good, but non-essential (26%)
26%
Collectors/fans only (6%)
6%
Poor. Only for completionists (2%)
2%

PALLAS The Dreams Of Men reviews


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Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by ProgLucky
FORUM & SITE ADMIN GROUP The Founder of Progarchives.com
5 stars Four years have passed since "The Cross & The Crucible" and PALLAS have now completed their new opus "The Dreams of Men". A concept album about, quite literally, a lot of dreams of mankind: "the quest of true love or a better life, the striving for power, fortune, or bravery." Prog rock with gripping melodies, delicate details, surprising twists and turns, and well stuctured arrangements are the trademarks of those guys. It's a varied, complex, but most of all an entertaining album, and for a few, maybe a masterpiece. As to be expected, of the same high standard as the best of their work. «The Dreams Of Men » is in my opinion one of the best PALLAS songs ever be written - it changes direction then peaks well at the end.

My highlights are: "Bringer Of Dreams" (ten minute opener), "Ghost Dancers" (with celtic sounding violins), "Too Close To The Sun" (with flutes, celtic harp and the indulging harmony vocals accompanied by a wonderful FLOYD-like guitar solo) and "The Last Angel" (finally accompanied by celestial singing).

CONCLUSION: Excellent new opus from the legendary Scottish progressive rock band.

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Send comments to ProgLucky (BETA) | Report this review (#51181) | Review Permalink
Posted Monday, October 10, 2005

Review by Fishy
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars Wow, this sounds big !!!No expenses have been spared. Just take a look at the marvellous artwork and luxury booklet but most of all listen to the music. Although the arrangements of their previous effort were impressive I didn't discover any memorable tracks or melodies. Fortunately this is not the case on "The Dreams of men". Again, the arrangements are a bit overblown and for a moment I feared this was another ambitious project that would go down under its own weight but think nothing of it. "The bringer of dreams" starts slowly but then builds up the atmosphere quite nicely. The up- tempo "Warriors" brings out the power of the guitars and atmospheric keys. The accessible chorus is reminiscent to albums like "The knightmoves" or "the wedge" but the composition is more complicated. A great track. On "Ghostdancers" the lyric is about Indians but it sounds like a real anthem ; the pathos reaches the critical level on this track. "Too close to the sun is the progressive highlight of this album, majestic atmospheres full of excellent melodies especially in the keyboard parts. "Messiah" is the first resting point. Clearly based on enjoyable guitar hooks, rhythms rule here. You'll like the catchy vocal melody from the first spin. This remarkable track has a staccato rhythm patterns, eastern influences and some exotic percussion as well. It holds some similarities with Saga for the rhythms and Pink Floyd for the sound of the guitars and the backing vocals. This would make a nice single. On the instrumental "Northern star" The sounds is coming damn close to new age with a gentle Steve Howe like guitar on the fore. This should prepare you for the dazzling Mr wolfe, a hell of a song which includes exciting keyboardlines and yelling guitar solo's hidden in the bass licks. This unpredictable track could easily be my favourite. Both on this track and the next epic "invincible" you start to notice the atmosphere is getting darker by the minute. "Invincible" is more prog metal than neo-prog due to the rough sounding guitars. Also the lyrics become even more intriguing especially when Alan Reeds whispers "It's my life and you can't have it, I will not fall, I will not break, I will make no compromise for anyone at all" . Well..this sounds more like it, keep up the good work guys ! Be you contrary self.

The sound of this record is vintage Pallas including the dated sounds of the keyboards but I can imagine even this will be enjoyed by some and forgiven by others for the adding of many new sounds. Anyway all instruments are played virtuoso than ever before on a Pallas record. This album adds nothing to their familiar sound but the tracks are very well conceived containing many quiet passages in between many broad sounding moments. I wished they extended both kind of excerpts which would give the opportunity for melodies to develop further on like on the marvellous closing section of "invinsible" Here, the playing of Niall Mathewson gives me shivers. On "The last angel" you'll find another fine example of what could have been. Here the heavenly melodies are improved by an opera vocalist.

The arrangements are massive, especially in the first part of the record where it tends to be too pompous. For me, the only minor point is the voice of Alan Reed. Clearly, it has been eroded by time. Even though I always liked his voice, there's just little melody to his words in some moments. On other moments it has become too thin. The massive wall of sound is constructed by a lot of different instruments like violins, harpe, fiddle, twelve string guitars, .. the orchestral sounds are keyboards but you wouldn't say, it sounds pretty majestic. Really, the sound production of this album is awesome.

I admit, I've been enjoying this old fashioned record shamelessly. An excellent addition to the Pallas catalogue. Don't miss it !!!!

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Send comments to Fishy (BETA) | Report this review (#54663) | Review Permalink
Posted Friday, November 04, 2005

Review by Menswear
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars The evolution of a genre.

If one type of prog has gained in success and renown, it's the Néo type. With super albums like The Visitor (arena), Subterrenea (iq), Between Sunsets (satellite), Marbles (marillion) and Believe (pendragon), who would denied the potential of the formula?

The albums named before are more on the mellow side, but since 3 years we assist at an increasing musical hardening of the Néo genre: Contagion and Pepper's Ghost (arena), Dark Matter (iq), Man Made Machine (carptree) and Evening Games (satellite)...and now probably the most promising néo album of 2005 : the new Pallas.

This was my first attempt with Pallas. I read somewhere they were different with their celtic sound, huge choir effects and more edged guitars. Well, I'm certainly not disappoint but the heavyest band in Néo is still Arena. The keyboards are indeed very 80's so songs like Too Close to the Sun stays light as a feather. Personnal taste but I do prefer the darker, modern side of the Korg Triton as Clive Nolan of Arena does it so well.

It's true, Pallas do sound a tad different. I especially like the almost constant presence of a loud and complex Rickenbaker bass line. The fiddle is certainly a nice touch, giving 'feeling' to the already emotion packed songs. Some crunchy guitars (in a rather small amount) are giving a younger feel to band that's not getting any younger (like in Messiah and Bringer of Dreams).

The lyrics are well thought, many times refering to biblical and spiritual subjects. A touchy and strange commercial subject that we ecountered in 2003 with Glass Hammer's Lex Rex. If your faith is tingling, give it a try.

It's not the album I was expecting, but in the same time I'm pleasently surprised. Some songs have such pretty and intense orchestration that I'm forgiving the band immediately. There's a strong desire in every song to please the fan and listener; we sense a lot of thinking to give the song a personnal soul.

It sounds enormous, it feels great in headphones or in the car and some songs are just fun at headbanging to. It also feels fresher and crispier than Cross and the Crucible. Also a good improvement in songwriting and they've get rid of most of the pastoral, churchish feeling.

Man, 2005's been a great year after all!

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Send comments to Menswear (BETA) | Report this review (#61659) | Review Permalink
Posted Sunday, December 25, 2005

Review by erik neuteboom
PROG REVIEWER
5 stars Once I witnessed a Pallas gig in the mid-Eighties, what a mindblowing progrock, so delicious bombastic and loaded with the Mighty Tron sound! After the album The Sentinel the band quickly turned into a kind of hardrock formation, not really my cup of tea and I said goodbey to Pallas. A few years ago I witnessed again a Pallas gig, it was their The Cross & The Crucible tour and I traced some magic of the early years. The special edition The Blinding Darkness (2-CD/1DVD box-set) blew me away and was I was again a Pallas aficionado!

The sound on the nine compositions on this album is in the vein of the The Sentinel-era: often slow and bombastic, lots of Mellotrons, Moog Taurus bass pedals, fiery electric guitar and a powerful and propulsive rhythm-section, especially the Rickenbacker bass guitar from Graeme Murray sounds great and very distinctive, like the inspired vocals from Alan Reed. The most captivating element from the Pallas progrock is the tension between the bombastic pieces and the more mellow interludes, every moment you await to be overblown by sumptuous eruptions featuring majestic Mellotron floods, heavy Moog Taurus bass pedals and fiery electric guitar. Some tracks also contain a church-organ sound but in general the focus is on the splendid electric guitar work, what a outstanding soli, from sensitive to fiery, biting and howling!

To me this album sounds more mature and captivating than their classic The Sentinel, THIS IS A FUTURE CLASSIC!!

By the way, the 2-CD special edition contains on CD-2 no less than 15 interesting re-mixed versions, a jam and outtakes from their latest studio-album, that one is on CD-1.

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Send comments to erik neuteboom (BETA) | Report this review (#62412) | Review Permalink
Posted Friday, December 30, 2005

Review by E-Dub
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
5 stars When I began REALLY getting into prog, people always suggested Pallas. I ordered The Cross And The Crucible and was truly blown away by it. So, when I heard that a follow up was quickly approaching, I would think, "How are they going to top The Cross?" Asked and answered!

The first go around didn't really hit me; however, subsesquent spins started to really make an impact and was convinced that The Dreams Of Men matched and surpassed it's predecessor. I'm really impressed by emotional singers (Hogarth of Marillion is my favorite), and Alan Reed expels all energies in the studio on this one.

The first track that really hits me is "Warriors", which (from what I can surmise) is an open letter resulting from 9/11 to suicide killers. Reed just pours out his soul while the rest of the band just slashes through the song. Brilliant!

Then there's the softer side of Pallas. "Northern Star" is an instrumental that is very hypnotic. I'm not sure if it's simply an album filler, but it's a nice little section until it gives way to the sinister "Mr. Wolfe". The album ends with "The Last Angel", wich is 11 minutes of shear beauty, puncuated by opera singer Pandy Arthur bringing the song (and the disc) to a conclusion.

The musicianship seems to be a bit bolder on Dreams than on Cross. Most notably is drummer Colin Fraser. I'll have to go back and listen, but I don't recall his drumming really making a statement like it does on Dreams.

Overall, this was in the top 5 discs I bought last year. Pallas really outdid themselves on this disc. Very much worth the money!

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Send comments to E-Dub (BETA) | Report this review (#71056) | Review Permalink
Posted Friday, March 03, 2006

Review by Prog-jester
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars I have Arrive Alive and gonna have The Sentinel soon.This one I got by chance.I listened to Cross and Crucible along with Beat the Drum and I've found them a bit boring.But this one is nice!!!Anyway,the vocalist is weak and the music itself quite unoriginal,but there are few nice tracks - I really like the opening one(Bringer of Dreams) and Invincible.Warriors and Ghostdancers follows,along with The Last Angel and Messiah (nice track,but the lyrics of that one along with Mr.Wolfe's lyrics remind me of Born Brilliant by IQ...IQ is better anyway :-) ).A mid-part of the CD is a bit boring(ambient instrumental,ordinary Mr.Wolfe and Too Close...ah,the most irritating track for me;only mid-part here is nice).Sometimes the whole band sounds very prog-metal- related(as I've noticed,a great deal of famous mainstream prog-bands nowadays are trying to be "heavy" :-) ). Nothing wrong,but everything is too ordinary.Better than Arena (and even Pendragon sometimes),but not the IQ/Collage level for me.Good ,but non-essential

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Send comments to Prog-jester (BETA) | Report this review (#71222) | Review Permalink
Posted Monday, March 06, 2006

Review by progaeopteryx
PROG REVIEWER
5 stars Well, well, well, what have we here? This release took me completely off guard. I had read other reviews on Prog Archives suggesting this was a fantastic release, but knowing all the other less-than-satisfying releases by Pallas, I was hesitant to purchase this. I wasn't even that impressed with The Sentinel, which many consider to be the best thing Pallas ever made. The Dreams of Men is really amazing, and maybe that's because I began listening to this with low expectations. Nonetheless, after repeated listens, it just got better and better to the point that I was regularly listening to this several times a week.

The first track, The Bringer of Dreams, starts off on the right foot with a lovely symphonic beginning with soft keys and then builds up into a powerful guitar riff backdropped with a majestic and melodic keys. Occasionally the vocals are overwhelmed by the instruments, but it's not anything serious to distract from this powerful start. It sometimes reminds me of Arena and has some nice guitar work. The second track, Warriors, starts off with a riff very much like something off of Yes' Relayer and has, like Relayer, has an energetic delivery. Here, too, Alan Reed's vocals seem to be overwhelmed by the instruments. Ghostdancers is about the stealing of native American lands by European colonists. It's an emotional and powerful piece with great guitar work, starting off with sad violins (a nice touch). The 11+ minute Too Close to the Sun has some great keyboard work from Ronnie Brown, showing strong Banks/Nolan influences and Niall Mathewson delivers a strong Gilmouresque guitar solo. An amazing song!

The fifth track, Messiah, has a really nice and catchy bass and guitar riff with another stunning solo from Mathewson at the end. Northern Star slows things down a bit with a soft guitar instrumental and lush keys in the background. It's a pleasant and dreamy interlude. Mr. Wolfe starts off with some Emersonian-style piano, then kicks into high gear with a wonderful bass riff from Graeme Murray. Another great song! This is followed by Invincible, both powerful and emotional. To conclude the album is The Last Angel. Although this final piece lacks the energy of the previous tracks, it certainly makes up for it with it's strongly majestic feel and the beautiful angelic vocals of guest singer Pandy Arthur.

This one really blew me away and it totally surprised me because I had not been impressed at all with everything Pallas had done prior to this. The only weakness I can spot is that Alan Reed's vocals on the first two tracks are occasionally overwhelmed in the mix by the instruments. For me, with how good everything else is on The Dreams of men, that's a very minor setback that becomes unnoticeable by the time you make it midway through the disc. This is truly the best Pallas release, miles (or kilometers if you like) ahead of anything they had done previously. In my opinion, this is also one of the best neo-progressive releases ever, comparable not in style, but in greatness to Marillion's Script for a Jester's Tear, IQ's Ever, or Arena's The Visitor. A masterpiece and future classic, well deserving of five stars!

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Send comments to progaeopteryx (BETA) | Report this review (#72428) | Review Permalink
Posted Monday, March 20, 2006

Review by Gatot
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
5 stars A True Masterpiece of Neo Prog Music

This CD has been with me for three solid weeks and I did not want to write any review with respect to this latest album by one of most respected neo prog bands in the world as I wanted to have a fair opinion after I have listened to it for at least 5 spins. Oh yes, at first spin it blew me away but I did not really want to jeopardize this review with any hallo effects as result of my last listening space where heavy side of rock music dominated my listening pleasure. By the time I received this CD, I was listening to bands like Angra, Shaman, etc. which brought my attention to heavy music. The experience with "The Dreams of Men" functioned like a neutralizer of the heavy side of rock music. So I needed sometime to get right landing and give my fair opinion about this album. In the process of getting here with this review, I bombarded myself with the kinds of Marillion, IQ, Pendragon and Arena. The latter I have penned my review of its "Smoke and Mirrors" DVD review at this site.

As far as "The Dreams of Men" concern I was quite sure at first spin that this album would definitely fall into a category of four stars rating. But I needed further scrutiny (ehem .. like an auditor!) to firm myself on whether or not to give a five stars opinion of this album. The result - as you know it atop that I concluded my opinion with full five stars rating without any remark on shortcomings! Oh yeszz, this is one of masterpiece in neo prog music that other bands in this box should follow this album. This is what I think a perfect marriage between symphonic and orchestrated music with key characteristic of neo prog music: strong and memorable melody! How can you bet your life with these gentlemen from PALLAS??? This is definitely a powerful album that combines great melodies, excellent musicianship, symphonic styles and richness of textures into one tight and cohesive composition! As far as my ears and my heart concern, I am NOT able to identify any lacking this album has. Everything is so damn perfect, my friend!

The Bringer Of Dreams (9:50) kicks off the album with an ambient mood through an exploration of Ronnie Brown's keyboard work augmented with orchestrated music from a string chamber. This relatively long intro sets the overall tone of the album and especially for this opening track. I can feel myself being in the movie theater with this so cool instrumentation of keyboard and violin sounds augmented nicely with guitar fills by Niall Mathewson. When the all instrument music enters at the same time at approx 2:46 minute, it blasts a strong message of symphonic music followed with powerful vocal entrance of Alan Reed (backed wonderfully with string music) - oh my God .. this is really GREAT! This song represents my philosophy that "music is emotion" as each melody / segment of this song really touches my emotion and it stirs it up to the utmost emotional level. Niall Mathewson gives his rocking guitar fills stunningly combined with Ronnie Brown's keyboard solo which creates the music in a perfect harmony. Despite great harmonies, this song offers an extreme combination of high and low tides through the vocal delivery of Alan Reed. Oh, I cannot say any further to describe how wonderful this composition is. You must experience it yourself!

Warriors (7:15) continues the music extravaganza with much more upbeat and faster tempo as compared to opening track. The composition is simpler than previous track but this one gives power to PALLAS' music through an excellent combination of guitar and Graeme Murray's walking Rickenbaker bass guitar work. What's so powerful about this track is the vocal harmony as well as rocking guitar fills and solos provided by Niall Mathewson. I can sense that at this album Niall's guitar roles are bigger and he provides a lot of interesting and memorable guitar fills and solos. It's a pity if you claim yourself as a Marillion (or neo prog) music lover if you don't enjoy this song. In away this song partly reminds me to the band's "Beat The Drum" title track of previous album.

Ghostdancers (7:30) is a slow neo prog tune with excellent melody throughout the song. It starts beautifully with mellow vocal of Alan Reed augmented with violin / cellos at background. It flows naturally with simple yet memorable melody when lyrical part says: "We're sailing to America on a ship of dreams .". This song is accessible to many ears, I think.

Too Close To The Sun (11:34) starts ambient with long sustain keyboard and tiny drumming. It then enters full music in symphonic mode demonstrating excellent combination of keyboards, drums and tight bass lines. Keyboard seems to dominate the rhythm section at the beginning part, with some guitar fills inserted during transition. The music embarks into heavier sound right after vocal break at approx minute 3:45 with keyboard solo reminiscent of ELP, in its simpler form. The altar sound still provides a symphonic nature of the music. The acoustic guitar musical break at the middle of the track gives stronger composition especially when it's continued with guitar solo in the vein of neo prog style. It's really cool!

Messiah (4:57) brings the music back into an upbeat style with bass guitar gives its entrance at the opening part and serves as beat keeper. Later, band continues the role as beat keeper while bass guitar maintains its service as well. Keyboard plays altar role to give symphonic nuance of the song. Niall gives his rocking guitar solo in the middle of this song.

Northern Star (4:01) to me is something that serves as a bridge connecting Messiah to next track Mr. Wolfe. This track sounds like a combination of guitar fills and soft keyboard work at the background. Stand alone, this is for me not an interesting track to enjoy but when it's seen from the perspective of the whole album this song seems like a musical break.

Mr. Wolfe (5:48) is a wonderful track that starts with piano solo followed with full music that explores church organ sound. Graeme Murray provides his Rickenbaker shots nicely at this track - it serves like a rhythm section of the song. I bet you that you would love this song if you listen to it. It's an excellent composition with various music breaks augmented with keyboard sounds and effects. Each musician contributes their parts excellently. I like the keyboard solo part with energetic rhythm section. It reminds me to Rick Wakeman music. Guitar solo continues the music interlude nicely.

WOW! The band really wants to bring their glory early days album "The Sentinel" into the new music of PALLAS in Invincible (10:45)!. Why? Because the rhythm section / riffs of this song is in the vein of The Sentinel style. It's really cool! Of course at this album version, the composition is tighter as the musicianship of the members have increased significantly.

The album concludes beautifully with The Last Angel (11:28) through vocal work at the opening part, backed softly with keyboard sound. The band intends to close the chapter with a song that brings theatrical nuance with acoustic guitar as main rhythm section. It then flows into full music where all instruments come on stream. Niall gives his shots into slow moving guitar solo. The ending part that starts at approx minute 6+ is a true symphonic progressive music where Ronnie Brown injects his inventive keyboard work. Another great track.

Summary

For those die hard fans of neo prog music, this album can be said as a long-awaited enhancement of neo prog music with the use of string music chamber /orchestral arrangements in the composition. This album presumably serves perfectly those of you who love neo prog music. However, don't limit yourself of not enjoying this album if you are not a neo prog buffs. Don't worry. Given a right time (you'd better enjoy this album in the middle of the night when everybody's gone to bed - while sipping a cup of coffee) and space you would definitely enjoy this album - regardless you like neo prog or not. I can conclude that this album is a full five stars in rating in terms of : composition, songwriting, musicianship, overall performance, and audio production of the CD. Just purchase this CD! (You won't regret, I believe). Keep on proggin' ..!

Peace on earth and mercy mild - GW

i-Rock! presents: ANGRA Live in Jakarta, October 16 2006. Be There!

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Send comments to Gatot (BETA) | Report this review (#89846) | Review Permalink
Posted Sunday, September 17, 2006

Review by el böthy
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars The Dreams of Men was recommended to me by a fellow Argentinean prog lover who assured me this albums and this band was not Neo, not that I have anything against the genre, but it´s normally not my cup of tea. After listening to this album a few times I had to disagree, this is typical Neo, and it's the good Neo also.

Pallas could be considered one of the most important Neo acts around, but unfortunately they don't make it even in the top 5 bands. It seems Pallas never did a strong album until this, after 20 years of career. Now, this is good and bad. It's good cause I like it when a band keeps on getting better and better (another example of this in this genre is IQ´s Dark Matter) but it's also bad for the fact that. they don't have more good albums. but lets focus on this one, shall we?

The Dreams of Men brings us a band that knows itself, the band members know of their personal limitations, how good, fast and precise they can play and they respect that. There also seems to be a certain professionalism here, cero naivety, this guys have been doing this for a while, nothing comes out just because, everything seems to be thought through, every line, every note, every word for that matter also. Now, having said that, there is nothing new in this album that you haven't heard before. In structure, in feeling, in concept, look for no groundbreaking music here, you won't find it. If you keep that in mind, you might actually like it quite a lot.

As usual there are good and bad songs, most of them however fall somewhere in the middle. The opener, The Bringer of Dreams, might be the best song of the album for it's instant hooks, good vocals, power and good composition. Other highpoints here are Ghostdancer, my personal favorite, for its lyrics and great chorus. Almost at the end of the song a Native American sings a few lines, which I consider to be among the best things of this album, they did a good job here. Mr. Wolf might also be a good song, and it's short, so it doesn't drag unlike others. Finally I think I should take The Last Angel in consideration also, for it is a brilliant song, but it's on the border with cheesiness with those female vocals and the Latin spoken words at the end. BUT, it's still pretty good. Now, the bad ones! First of all I must say, that although the song itself is good, just because of the riff I can't think of Warriors to kindly. Man, I have heard that same riff in at least 5 songs; this is not acceptable, not in prog! As I said, the rest of the song is good, but that riff. that riff can't get away with it. Too Close to the Sun is way to long and drags quite a bit, making the song uninteresting and unfocused. The last, and worst in my ears: Invincible. Man, this song has got cheesy written all over it. Especially bad is the last time Reed sings "This is my life and you can't have it", for he tries to make a. type of growl and it comes out just as. well, I always have to laugh and shake my head when I hear it. The rest of the songs fall in that middle category: they aren't bad but neither good for that matter.

The end result is a good, quite solid album, but nowhere near a masterpiece or such. The stand outs, apart from the songs, are Reed´s vocals that seem to be a mixture of Fish, Nicholls and even some Waters here and there, the rhythm section and the (already mentioned) Native American singer in Ghostdancer. The rest is also quite good actually, but this are the stand outs for me. Recommended to any Neo fan, this is the good stuff. If this would be NeoProgarchives I would give this album another star, but in general prog, this is a 3 star for me.

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Send comments to el böthy (BETA) | Report this review (#118381) | Review Permalink
Posted Saturday, April 14, 2007

Review by Cesar Inca
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars If "The Sentinel" had been for years the Pallas Milestone even though it dated back from before the Alan Reed years and the 90s resurrection that found the band both older and stronger, now the Pallas guys and fans can be sure that "The Cross & the Crucible" and "The Dreams of Men" are the new Pallas definitive statements. My personal fave of the two is the latter, and I read that this is a shared opinion. Yes, "The Dreams of Men" is the sort of album that Pallas had been aspired to through the years, and now, with the conviction of experience and the refurbished sonic tightness developed since the "Beat the Drum" days, it only took a selection of inspired compositions to complete the picture. 'The Bringer of Dreams' starts epic and solemn, and it continues that way when the full band gets in, only in the full splendor of a bombastic mid-tempo rocker. The tempo shifts to 7/8 and the soft interlude are well managed within the whole integrity. 'Warriors' spices things up, bringing some moderate complexity to the overall stamina. 'Ghostdancers' goes for a more dramatic mood, portraying the yearning and solitude of American Indians in a land that they hardly recognize as their own after the white man's domination: the presence of a guest fiddle adds to the general sad, evocative ambience, while the guitar solo enhances it bombastically. 'Too Close to the Sun' is an 11 ½ minute epic that captures much of late Pallas' splendor with an added touch of "Sentinel"-era dynamics, which in turn brings back the ambition and bravado of vintage symphonic rock (Genesis, Yes, you know what I mean). The latter factor is particularly present in Brown's exquisite orchestrations and solos. The alternation of motifs and moods is polished and amalgamated: the acoustic portions bear a special magic. 'Messiah' is a punchy mid-tempo, somehow stating a link to that AOR thing that Pallas at times seems so fond of - anyway, this track carries out an exciting prog vibe, in essence. 'Northern Star' is an eerie instrumental featuring a Celtic-oriented acoustic guitar and soft, lush synth layers: almost new-age oriented, this beautiful piece serves as a proper solace before the frontal bombast of 'Mr. Wolfe', which sounds like contemporary PT-meets-Muse with some AOR- related airs. The album's last 22 minutes are occupied by 'Invincible' and 'The Last Angel'. 'Invincible' is aggressive (for Pallas standards), including some industrial elements as well as some pertinently psychedelic developments. The closing section is typical prog epic on a slow tempo (6/8, this time), a very helpful thing that allows to anticipate the arrival of 'The Last Angel', whose general scheme is noticeably more lyrical that the preceding track's. Slow and majestic, it is colorful enough as to never get boring despite the lack of rhythmic variations. In fact, the song's closing climax (featuring soprano Pandy Arthur) states an ethereal atmosphere that completes the overall idea beautifully. A great ending for a great prog album. Not unlike IQ, Pallas is a band that tends to get better as it grows older - way to go!

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Send comments to Cesar Inca (BETA) | Report this review (#182384) | Review Permalink
Posted Saturday, September 13, 2008

Review by ZowieZiggy
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars This fifth original studio album in a period of twenty years is the one I prefer from Pallas.

It opens on a very spacey and Floydian Bringer Of Dreams (indeed). It reminds me a Pendragon overture which borrowed to Floyd as well: The Walls of Babylon from their Window Of Life album. I like this ambient mood which is not common for the band. An excellent mix of symph and neo parts (which starts after three minutes).

They get back with a more traditional Warriors which is more on the harder edge. Pallas did experience some rock ballads as well, and to be honest Ghost Dancers is not bad at all. I particularly like the vocal job from Alan Reed and the great guitar one from Mathewson. Whether the Redbone like closing was necessary is maybe another story.

Messiah sounds a bit too much as a musical to my liking (especially when Reed plays the prophet's role). It is the weakest song so far but the long and previous Too Close To The Sun was not really thrilling either.

An ocean of tranquillity invades your body while listening to the instrumental Northern Star. It sounds almost as a TD track. And I like it. After this smooth passage, let's head into some heavier and ELP-ish sounds with Mr. Wolfe (at least during the intro).

I don't really like the second part of this album. It sounds more as an Ayreon work. A song as Invincible has it all: narration, metal riffs, heavy bass lines etc. This metal orientation is not an isolated case BTW, several neo-prog bands do this nowadays. It is just a musical evolution. Excellent closing guitar section.

In all, this album holds some very good tracks but others as well. Another very good part is the finale of The Last Angel.

Three stars.

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Send comments to ZowieZiggy (BETA) | Report this review (#186985) | Review Permalink
Posted Sunday, October 26, 2008

Review by Easy Livin
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
5 stars A dream prog album

Pallas's latest release at time of writing is a magnificent effort, and undoubtedly their most accomplished work to date. After the superb "The cross and the crucible", Pallas took a further 4 years to complete "The dreams of men", which was released in 2005. As the title suggests, the loose concept of the album is the aspirations of mankind, thus allowing the band to draw in a number of disparate specific themes.

With nine lengthy tracks in total, the album offers a fine diversity of sounds. The opening "The bringer of dreams", which serves as a lyrical overture of sorts, has a symphonic, quasi-classical sound, the 10 minute piece only truly revealing itself towards its climactic ending.

"Warrior" deals with darker matters such as terrorism and suicide attacks. Musically, the piece is heavier than we are perhaps used to from Pallas, leaning towards metal at times. There is however a fine instrumental core to the track which offers a counterpoint to the hard main riff. A couple of tracks feature the violin playing of Paul Anderson, the most obvious being the delightful intro to "Ghostdancers". The song deals sensitively with the mass migration from Europe (and specifically Scotland) to the Americas. The lyrics examine the contrast between the success of the immigrants in their new home with the less favourable impact they had on the native population over time. The song is immensely powerful both lyrically and in terms of the anthemic nature of the music. The guitar work of Niall Mathewson is particularly moving here.

"Too close to the sun" is a truly progressive affair, running to over 11 minutes and featuring complex time signatures which change with great frequency. There are elements of Yes, ELP, Pendragon and so forth, the results being a highly rewarding and refreshingly challenging number.

"Messiah", which looks at the egos and strategies of world leaders, is a straightforward pop rock orientated number. There are hints of Peter Gabriel in the slightly funky melody, the song almost being a potential single. "Northern star" offers a delightful counterpoint to all the power and bravado which surrounds it. This largely acoustic instrumental is very much in the "Local hero" vein, painting a picture of home as seen from far away.

The power returns with a vengeance for "Mr Wolfe", a piece which sets out with all the pomp of early ELP before developing into a Fish era Marillion like number with an irresistible instrumental section. The album ends with a couple more epic numbers, both running to over 10 minutes. "Invincible" remains in the disturbing territories of "Mr Wolfe", describing resistance to a "1984" like totalitarian society. There are times here when Alan Reed sounds like Ian Gillan(!), the track as a whole having a menacing atmosphere. As the song moves towards its climax, it takes on an Arena like identity, the guitar and vocals driving things ever higher against a magnificent keyboards wall of sound.

The album closes with "The last angel", which features the guest vocals of Pandy Arthur alongside Reed's. After a delicate start, the song once again builds into a fine piece of symphonic prog with a superb structure and arrangement. The inclusion of Arthur is something of a master stroke as she turns out to be an operatic style vocalist. The album thus concludes in a truly awesome and overpoweringly emotional crescendo.

In all, a quite remarkable album which sees Pallas continuing to develop their magnificent brand of epic prog. It is stunning to think just how far the band have come from since the days of "Arrive alive". "The dreams of men" is thus far their crowning achievement.

The "Special edition" of the album includes a second disc replete with remixes, additional tracks and other deleted scenes. Overall, the atmosphere of the second disc is somewhat more ambient, especially when it comes to the work in progress pieces.

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Send comments to Easy Livin (BETA) | Report this review (#197734) | Review Permalink
Posted Thursday, January 08, 2009

Review by SouthSideoftheSky
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Symphonic Team
3 stars Time to dream!

This album is the third in a trio of recent albums by Pallas (before these three albums there was a gap of some 12 years from their first batch of albums). Let me start by saying that all three of these albums are very good and very well worth having. But while many consider The Dreams Of Men to be the best out of the three, I am not quite as convinced about its merits as many of my fellow reviewers. For me Pallas returned as a force to be reckoned with in 1998 with the strong Beat The Drum and then peaked with the consistently brilliant The Cross And The Crucible which remains the band's masterpiece for me. This album too, however, contains some really inspiring songs.

On the first couple of listens, I immediately liked the great opening track The Bringer Of Dreams and the wonderful Ghostdancers. But I found, at least initially, that the rest of the album did not live up to the high standards set by the two previous albums. I still find some minor flaws and slightly irritating moments on some of the other songs (and even if The Bringer Of Dreams and Ghostdancers still are my two favourite tracks here), The Dreams Of Men grew on me a bit over further listens. Like many Prog albums, it took some time and effort to get into it.

The Dreams Of Men is a thematic album based on just that - men's dreams. However, it is a much looser concept compared to the previous The Cross And The Crucible which was more of a full blown concept album. Also, The Dreams Of Men it is not at all the lyrical masterpiece that album was. However, there are some fine lyrics here as well.

One thing that strikes me while listening to this album is that the music seems to be almost tailor-made for the preferences of the people on this site; long songs, symphonic sound, instrumental workouts, keyboard solos, etc. All the characteristic ingredients of (Neo-) Progressive Rock are here. You might suspect that the band worked hard to avoid potential criticisms of not being progressive enough (I have seen such criticisms being lodged against Beat The Drum and The Cross And The Crucible). My initial response to some of the passages on some of the songs was that maybe they are trying too hard; maybe they are moving outside of their comfort zone just to please the (Neo-) Prog community?; maybe they are applying a formula that is not truly their own? However, this negative feeling tended to fade with further listens. Pallas is still one of the most original Neo-Prog bands in my opinion, but I think that their own identity came to its right better on the previous two albums.

Another thing that strikes me is the broad array of influences. I can detect influences from World Music, New Age, Metal, Folk, etc. Some unusual sounds (compared to earlier Pallas albums) are heard here; we have fiddle on a couple of songs, a Gospel Choir, a traditional Native American singer, a female Opera singer and more! Some of these sounds work better than others. The inclusion of a fiddle on The Bringer Of Dreams and Ghostdancers appeared to be to be something of a masterstroke. It really works to great effect to enhance these songs, especially the latter. This superb, folky song is about the European emigration to America and its consequences on the Native American people. The song ends with a beautiful, short, traditional Native American a cappella vocal that really lends atmosphere to the song. This blending of traditional musical influences from both sides of the Atlantic (Britain and America) is quite brilliant and really fits with the theme of the song.

Bringer Of Dreams features all the Pallas trademarks and one of the best instrumental breaks the band has ever done which is introduced by Alan Reed whispering 'time to dream!' - possibly the most memorable line of the whole album. The album continues with Warriors which starts with a rather simplistic guitar riff that is hardly original. It sounds rather like the kind of simple riff that aspiring guitarists will learn first. However, the verses and chorus of the song are among the finest in the Pallas catalogue and make the song overall a strong one.

Too Close To The Sun brings the band closer to typical (Neo-) Prog territory and is a very varied song that took some time to sink in. Messiah features the clichéd line 'I'm walking the walk, I'm talking the talk' as well as a short guitar passage that is strongly reminiscent of Jimi Hendrix! Is it perhaps a deliberative quote? This song also features a Gospel choir, all this in the same track. I have started to like this one too, but it is probably my least favourite on the album together with Mr. Wolfe.

Northern Star is a lovely, relaxing, New-Age-like guitar instrumental. Considered on its own merits it is perhaps not very interesting. It is just the kind of thing that Steve Howe, Mike Oldfield, Steve Morse and many others has been making in large quantities. However, this little instrumental becomes a perfect interlude between the surrounding, harder edged songs. With Mr. Wolfe Pallas almost enters Metal territory and they seem to be rather comfortable there and it sounds rather good, but there is nothing to make this track really stand out from the crowd. The riff on which the song is based reminds me slightly of the riff from Dream Theater's Never Enough from their Octavarium album.

Invincible continues partly in the Metal mode, this time with some slightly more aggressive bits. Here I find that Pallas, especially Alan Reed's vocals, are moving slightly outside of their comfort zone, but they mange to bring it all together in the end. While I strongly agree with the moral sentiments of the lyrics, I think that the line 'it's my life and you can't have it!' is being repeated at least one time too many.

The Last Angel finally slows things down and is a kind of symphonic, operatic semi-ballad. It has a lovely melody and an excellent vocal performance from Alan Reed. The first part reminds me of U2, but it builds towards a more symphonic sound and is then handed over to the female Opera singer to change the nature of the song. I find the song to be perhaps a little bit too long for its own good, but otherwise a fine closer and one of the album's better songs together with the first three or four tracks. But while this is the song on this album that comes closest to being a ballad, I really miss a genuine ballad on The Dreams Of Men like Who's To Blame from The Cross And The Crucible and Blood & Roses from Beat The Drum.

With a running time of well over an hour, I find this whole album slightly too long for its own good. It is a common mistake in the age of the compact disc to put too much material on an album. Some of the songs could probably have been shortened slightly. But despite its few flaws - mostly concentrated to the middle of the album - The Dreams Of Men is still a very good album but not quite up to par with the previous two.

This review is starting to get absurdly long now, so I better end it by saying that I am very happy to have discovered this great Scottish band and that their three latest albums are all very enjoyable!

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Send comments to SouthSideoftheSky (BETA) | Report this review (#224373) | Review Permalink
Posted Friday, July 03, 2009

Review by Mellotron Storm
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars 3.5 stars. I'm not sure exactly why i've had such a hard time getting into PALLAS but I have. I must admit this is the best album that i've heard from them so far though. I guess you could call this a concept album as each song deals with the dreams that mankind have had through the ages.

"The Bringer Of Dreams" is orchestral sounding with lots of strings until it kicks in heavily before 3 minutes. It does settle some when the vocals arrive but not for long. Nice and heavy after 5 minutes and the guitar rips it up as well.The contrasts of mellow and intense continue. "Warriors" opens with the guitar firing away then it stops as drums and vocals take over. It's heavier before 4 minutes when the vocals stop but they return after 6 1/2 minutes. "Ghost Dances" opens with strings as fragile vocals join in after a minute. It kicks in a minute later. Contrasts continue though. Some Native chanting late. "Too Close To The Sun" has a good solid sound to it as it kicks in. It calms down as we get the usual mood and tempo shifts. "Messiah" has a catchy rhythm as vocals and synths help out. A Disney vibe 2 1/2 minutes in. Check out the guitar before 4 minutes. Gospel style harmonies follow.

"Northern Star" is atmospheric throughout. "Mr. Wolfe" opens with keyboards as drums then a full sound kick in.Vocals before a minute as it settles back some. A calm 2 1/2 minutes in before it kicks back in. "Invincible" is mellow with reserved vocals early on. It kicks in as contrasts continue throughout. I like the piano and atmosphere before 6 minutes.The guitar lights it up late. "The Last Angel" has these almost spoken vocals and floating organ to start. It gets fuller 3 1/2 minutes in. Fat bass 6 1/2 minutes in as the mood continues to change. Atmosphere and these female soprano vocals lead late.

I like this one quite a bit and can appreciate why it's getting some high marks.

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Send comments to Mellotron Storm (BETA) | Report this review (#408270) | Review Permalink
Posted Friday, February 25, 2011

Review by progrules
PROG REVIEWER
5 stars There's a remarkable similarity between this magnum opus by Pallas and the one by Galahad (Empires never last). Both bands have done quite a number of mediocre/palish albums through the years (just my humble opinion by the way) until they suddenly came up with a (near) masterpiece. And in both cases the turnaround is huge and almost unbelievable. Pallas is nevertheless a pretty famous neoband and even one of the founders of the subgenre in the eighties but despite that they never really impressed me with any output.

But this Dreams of Men is a whole different ballgame all over sudden. And it alters my opinion about the band for a big part. As a neo fan it felt always a bit strange not to like this band but they managed to win me over, at least with this release. On the other hand: why come up with this just now ? If able to make something like this, why not more often ? Or is it a case of maturing ? If so, so be it. I'm glad they did, they added another masterpiece to my collection. Contrary to Galahad, whose magnum opus just missed this status, Dreams of Men is the real deal for sure. It's inspired, it's energetic, it's impressive, it's huge in almost every sense of the word.

It's even hard to mention highlights, almost all songs are equally good but I would like to make special notes to the guitar squalls in several of the songs, they gave me shivers down the spine. In the end the rating is not difficult to decide for. It's a downright 5 stars. Even the bonus disc clocking about 74 minutes is very nice. So I can't think of any criticism here. One of the most important and best neo progressive albums ever !

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Send comments to progrules (BETA) | Report this review (#557331) | Review Permalink
Posted Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Review by b_olariu
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars Pallas fifth studio album from 2005 named the dreams of men show the band in a new dimension. To me this album show a heavier side of the band with more edgy passages then on previous work The cross and the crucible. In places some pieces souds like a metalized neo prog, not bad at all but I'm more attached of the previous album sound more. Some great tunes here, the best is Too Close To The Sun a very worthy 11 min neo prog goodness, The wolf with some impressive bass lines, very energic and well performed and the first two tracks who show a mixture of progressive arrangements with more heavier sections. I really like this album, nothing is groundbreaking here like most of the reviewers saw , but is good towards great in places. The voice is ok, good most of the time, what is not to my liking is that this neo prog band trry to sound heavier then usual, if they succeded I can say so so, some arrangements are excellent some are ordinary like on Messiah a totaly forgetable tune. Pallas remain in second league neo prog bands even this one and previous album is quite good most of the time. They are not a prolific band in the 30 years career they offer only 6 albums to date. I don't considered that this is the best Pallas album, to me The cross and the crucible is better.3-3.5 stars for this one.

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Send comments to b_olariu (BETA) | Report this review (#758884) | Review Permalink
Posted Saturday, May 26, 2012

Latest members reviews

5 stars I was looking forward to this album as Pallas as far as I was concerned were on an upward track. Another concept album from them. From the opening strains of the album I knew that this would be something special. "The Bringer of Dreams" - Starts off symphonically with a nice orchestral sound b ... (read more)

Report this review (#1022230) | Posted by sukmytoe | Friday, August 23, 2013 | Review Permanlink

4 stars I came close to awarding 5 stars to this superb, outstanding work of art, but after reflecting on those albums I think are deserving 5 stars, I finally had to settle, with regret, for 4 stars for The Dreams of Men. First, this is almost entirely a neo-prog album, yet one that I think will be ... (read more)

Report this review (#231298) | Posted by SentimentalMercenary | Wednesday, August 12, 2009 | Review Permanlink

4 stars this is a good album,as well,i say one thing,how longs take them to do a new album..but is okay..good vacations.. the neo progressive thing..this album contains a lot of fantasy,a melodyes who makes you create an atmosphere of good music.. melodic music..a fine work of art..the cover of the album ... (read more)

Report this review (#127130) | Posted by JgX 5 | Friday, June 29, 2007 | Review Permanlink

5 stars I must admit that this is a beautiful album. And when I say beautiful I think at the grander of bands like Pink Floyd, Genesis, Led Zeppelin. I usually don't write reviews but I do believe that this album deserves another great mark from another humble listener. The album made me feel good. No, m ... (read more)

Report this review (#108317) | Posted by FirstDarkAngel | Sunday, January 21, 2007 | Review Permanlink

5 stars Some of the best Rock 'n' Roll I have heard in a long time. Pallas first came to me through a relative who found it entertaining. As of me, I found it lovable. The album is complex and full of power/emotion. Vocals aren't bad and the musician ship is marvelous. The bass guitar is something I ... (read more)

Report this review (#100888) | Posted by Xeroth | Tuesday, November 28, 2006 | Review Permanlink

4 stars Calmly I can say that theNeo-Progresivo call already has exponents delimited and many of legendary them, bands like MARILLION, PENDRAGON and IQ, much more active bands who PALLAS, but this conceptual work sample I touch that they are to admire itself, a good voice and a production quite respec ... (read more)

Report this review (#88660) | Posted by Shelket | Friday, September 01, 2006 | Review Permanlink

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 record ... (read more)

Report this review (#73040) | Posted by jimpetrie2000 | Saturday, March 25, 2006 | Review Permanlink

5 stars Simply magnificent! For me 'The Dreams of Men' is the first album by Pallas to rival their classic 'The Sentinel' from 1984. I'm a big fan of 'The Cross and The Crucible', nevertheless to me this is a superior release demonstrating stronger song-writing. Impecable musicianship is backed ... (read more)

Report this review (#62348) | Posted by | Friday, December 30, 2005 | Review Permanlink

4 stars The evolution of a genre. If one type of prog has gained in success and renown, it's the Néo type. With super albums like The Visitor (arena), Subterrenea (iq), Between Sunsets (satellite), Marbles (marillion) and Believe (pendragon), who would denied the potential of the formula? The al ... (read more)

Report this review (#61658) | Posted by | Sunday, December 25, 2005 | Review Permanlink

2 stars I just got done listening to this album and I have to say that I really wasn't impressed. I will admit that I picked this album up on a whim: as a fan of neo-prog, I was aware of these guys and thought I'd take a chance. Well, looks like it wasn't the best choice. The album gets off to a go ... (read more)

Report this review (#60070) | Posted by rangerm13 | Sunday, December 11, 2005 | Review Permanlink

3 stars InitiaL listen finds me disappointed in this album. I am a big fan of the band but this does not come close to Cross and the Crucible. Two things stand out, lack of the same melodic quality abundant in Cross and Alan's voice is weak. I found that the main flaw with Cross was the vox being l ... (read more)

Report this review (#55779) | Posted by | Thursday, November 10, 2005 | Review Permanlink

5 stars Just bought this CD and only played it a few times. I have to say that in my view this is the best Pallas CD ever - even surpasses The Cross and the Crucible. Absolutely fantastic prog rock. There is much more guitar work on this CD and it is less dominated by the keyboards although they are s ... (read more)

Report this review (#52560) | Posted by | Friday, October 21, 2005 | Review Permanlink

2 stars Inspired by the above reviews, I have got the album and have listened to it several times. I have tried to find that unique called "masterpiece" but was not successfull. The album does not really stand out as something original. I would even say that it is far not comparable with any album of IQ ... (read more)

Report this review (#52409) | Posted by | Thursday, October 20, 2005 | Review Permanlink

5 stars I'm a huge Pallas fan since many years! I have their full discography and in the past few days can't wait for the new album... Although I don't like some 'hard' prog rock bands and prefer symphony prog, Pallas just blow my mind with everyone next album or live recordings! Now playing for th ... (read more)

Report this review (#52031) | Posted by duke | Sunday, October 16, 2005 | Review Permanlink

5 stars Right now I'm sitting in my room, and the speakers just keep hit me over and over again.... I'm almost crying! I've waited so long for the follow up album to "The blinding darkness", and I have been so afraid that it it wouldent be as great as TBL. But finally I've got my answer! I can now ... (read more)

Report this review (#51768) | Posted by Joel Berntson | Friday, October 14, 2005 | Review Permanlink

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