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PALLAS

Neo-Prog • United Kingdom


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Pallas picture
Pallas biography
Formed in Aberdeen, UK in 1980 (before that as "Rainbow") - Hiatus between 1987-1998 - Still active as of 2019

PALLAS is, after MARILLION, and along with IQ and PENDRAGON, one of the most important acts of the Eighties Progressive rebirth. This is an energetic and magnificent neo progressive band in the style of IQ/MARILLION but with more edge. Their music is centered on melodic hooks, loud sound and great voice. "The Sentinel" brings a tint of pop in a still elaborate progressive spectrum.

Scottish prog band PALLAS definitely have one of the longest gaps between albums on record. They released their first album, "The Sentinel" in 1984 and followed it up with "The Wedge" two years later. Their next album, "Beat the Drum" (72 minutes of music with epic accents, rock rhythms and style, and ballads full of feeling), did not show up for 13 years. It will be followed by the wonderful "The Cross And The Crucible" in 2001. This album features all the things prog fans are looking for - atmospheric keyboards, great guitar tunes and a well working rhythm section - and last but not least an vocalist with an very own style. Highly recommended to fans of neo Progressive style.

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PALLAS discography


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PALLAS top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.49 | 247 ratings
The Sentinel
1984
3.01 | 120 ratings
The Wedge
1986
3.59 | 158 ratings
Beat The Drum
1998
3.51 | 200 ratings
The Cross & the Crucible
2001
3.99 | 283 ratings
The Dreams Of Men
2005
3.28 | 155 ratings
XXV
2011
3.92 | 126 ratings
Wearewhoweare
2014

PALLAS Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.23 | 64 ratings
Arrive Alive
1981
3.77 | 13 ratings
Live Our Lives
2000
4.29 | 60 ratings
The Blinding Darkness
2003
3.18 | 21 ratings
The River Sessions 1
2005
3.41 | 21 ratings
The River Sessions 2
2005
3.29 | 7 ratings
Official Bootleg 27.01.06
2006
3.09 | 16 ratings
Moment To Moment
2009
4.00 | 3 ratings
Live At Loreley
2013
4.00 | 3 ratings
Live - Southampton 1986
2013

PALLAS Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

4.46 | 51 ratings
The Blinding Darkness
2003
3.83 | 14 ratings
Live From London
2005
3.50 | 18 ratings
Moment to Moment
2008
4.67 | 3 ratings
Live At Loreley II
2013

PALLAS Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

2.97 | 22 ratings
Knightmoves To Wedge
1986
3.83 | 6 ratings
Sketches
1989
4.17 | 6 ratings
Mythopoeia
2002
3.75 | 4 ratings
The Sentinel Demos
2013
4.00 | 4 ratings
The Sentinel Rough Mixes
2013
4.75 | 4 ratings
The Arrive Alive Demos
2013
4.50 | 2 ratings
The Knight Moves Demos
2013
4.14 | 7 ratings
Courage - and Other Songs of War and Peace
2018
3.89 | 36 ratings
The Edge of Time
2019
3.88 | 6 ratings
An Alternative Arrive Alive
2020
0.00 | 0 ratings
Binary Lives Volume 1
2020
0.00 | 0 ratings
Fragments of the Sun
2020

PALLAS Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

3.00 | 3 ratings
The Pallas EP
1978
3.50 | 2 ratings
Arrive Alive
1982
3.50 | 2 ratings
Paris Is Burning
1983
4.00 | 4 ratings
Eyes In The Night (Arrive Alive)
1984
4.00 | 4 ratings
Shock Treatment
1984
4.00 | 2 ratings
Eyes In The Night / Shock Treatment
1984
3.00 | 3 ratings
Throwing Stones At The Wind
1985
3.40 | 5 ratings
The Knightmoves
1985
2.61 | 14 ratings
Monster
2010
3.00 | 7 ratings
Atlantean
2011
5.00 | 2 ratings
Set 2013
2013
5.00 | 1 ratings
Wearewhoweare Premix Megamix
2013
5.00 | 1 ratings
XXV Megamix
2013
5.00 | 1 ratings
Something In The Deep Karaoke Mix
2013
4.33 | 3 ratings
Itiswhatitis
2014
4.00 | 3 ratings
Christmas on the Edge of Time
2019
4.00 | 1 ratings
Fragments From The Edge Of Time
2020

PALLAS Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Wearewhoweare by PALLAS album cover Studio Album, 2014
3.92 | 126 ratings

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Wearewhoweare
Pallas Neo-Prog

Review by friso
Prog Reviewer

5 stars Pallas released a neo-prog debut in 1984 and released some noted albums within the sub-genre after the turn of the century. This self-released studio album of 2014 didn't get a lot of buzz, maybe because of disappointment around its very heavy predecessor 'XXV' of 2011. On that album the band also introduced the singer Pauk Mackie, who replaced the much appreciated Alan Reed. 'We Are Who We Are' shows Pallas returning to the style of 'The Dreams of Man' with an up-dated sound. You'll hear that distinct neo-prog sound with emotive, theatrical vocals, the electronic synths and loops, the echoey hardrock lead-guitars and some thick Rickenbacker bass. Without introducing a single innovation when it comes to the song-writing, the band does further the genre here by great craftsmanship when it comes to arranging and producing. Seldom have I heard a collection of eight songs that have gotten such a detailed treatment. Pallas has a gift for making simple melodic ideas turn out sophisticated. Moreover, I don't know of any band in this genre that gets a fat symphonic sound like Pallas. This album can get almost too exciting. That refrain of 'Shadow of the Sun' almost makes me jump up. Like on 'The Cross & The Crucible' and 'Dreams of Man' the band knows how to get that distinct neo-prog mystique just right. Niall Mathewson had always been an amazing guitarist, but on this album he has some experimental solo's that really stand out. Paul Mackie is a great theatrical and subtle singer for the band and he makes every song shine here. The way his personality leads on a quiet song like 'In Cold Blood' is simply amazing. A band like Arena would wish they had found such a great replacement after Rob Sowden left. This album is a rare example of perfectly written, executed and recorded neo-prog and if you are like you are - a fan of of this genre - you are probably missing out (looking at the number of reviews here).
 The Blinding Darkness by PALLAS album cover Live, 2003
4.29 | 60 ratings

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The Blinding Darkness
Pallas Neo-Prog

Review by friso
Prog Reviewer

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.
 The Cross & the Crucible by PALLAS album cover Studio Album, 2001
3.51 | 200 ratings

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The Cross & the Crucible
Pallas Neo-Prog

Review by BrufordFreak
Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

4 stars A band that I've not familiarized myself with much but here impresses.

1. "The Big Bang" (3:07) cinematic instrumental (orchestral) intro. (4.25/5)

2. "The Cross & The Crucible" (9:05) a challenging song to define and describe: not fast paced but driven; not boring but not really engaging; not dissonant but not really melodic. The most interesting parts of the song are the church- like choir chanting in the seventh minute and the distant church bells. Strong rhythm track from the bass and drums. (17.25/20)

3. "For The Greater Glory" (7:38) opens and sustains a kind of LED ZEPPELIN "Immigrant Song" feel. Lots of theatric vocalizations and nice background synth work. For a time it almost feels as if it comes right out of Peter Gabriel's Passion soundtrack music for The Last Temptation of Christ. Gotta admit: it's pretty powerful and effective! A top three song, to be sure. (13.5/15)

4. "Who's To Blame" (4:43) acoustic guitar, joined by fretless bass, and then whispery vocal of Alan Reed. In the second minute joined by drums, more movement from the bass, and more keys--but basically it's the same song. The chorus is jarringly horrible! Too bad! This had promise. Nice vocal work in the delicate lull of the fourth minute by Laura Harrow--but then, yech! back to that chorus! (8/10)

5. "The Blinding Darkness Of Science" (6:46) atmospheric synth and vocalise gently fill the sonic space until the second minute when the fullness of a heavy prog band enters with all the delicacy of a bull in a china shop. Another horrible chorus. Nice instrumental passage in the fifth minute with great electric guitar solo. Too bad about that chorus! (12.75/15)

6. "Towers Of Babble" (8:09) picked oddly-tuned 12-string opens this in a "Turn of the Century" kind of way before big shock wave of full band entry occurs in the second minute. Church organ enters in the fourth minute and eventually takes over for an awesome solo. At 4:25 new motif begins with guitar and bass harmonics and Rumpelstiltskin-like vocal performance before unleashing a searing guitar solo. Good vocal chorus before great synth solo. Complex band manoeuvers before chorus and choral input and mandolin. Very interesting song--worth many more listens. Another top three song. (13.25/15)

7. "Generations" (6:05) slow-strummed guitars joined by tin flute and Robert Plant-like vocal. I like that it stays acoustic through the second verse. Even with the unleashing of full force at the 4-minute mark it's still great--still restrained (not over-the-top heavy prog). A top three song for me. (8.75/10)

8. "Midas Touch" (11:11) narrated in a Orson Wells Edgar Allan Poe-like fashion. At 1:15 the band kicks in with a very basic, almost spacious soundscape over which Alan Reed sings in a forced delicate voice. The chorus allows Alan to reach for his usual near-metal power. The guitar is soloing a lot between and behind the vocals. (Reminds me of some 1980s hair band.) Interlude in the fifth minute in which vocalise of Laura Harrow plays before Peter Gabriel- like theatric voice of Alan Reed takes over. At 6:15 bass and drums burst back in prepping the listener for synth washes and a soaring lead guitar solo. Nice multi-synth work by Ronnie Brown follows. Recreation of penultimate section of YES' "Awaken" follows in the ninth minute before giving way to sensitive electric piano solo for the final 90 seconds. Great performances, just not the most attractive or engaging song. (17/20)

9. "Celebration!" (7:22) arpeggiated electric 12-string guitar is joined by bombastic PRINCE "1999"-like full-band motif. At 1:10 it takes a turn into a busy weave of several rather discordant threads. It's like RUSH and EDDIE MONEY. At 2:50 there is a left turn into MARILLION territory. Even when Alan begins singing again, it feels like Rothery and Fish are trying something new. At 4:05 it turns anthemic with big voices and big choral shouts of things likte "one day," "one world," "one dream" and the like before sliding into a kind of finish to "Feed the World (Do They Know It's Christmas?)" and then "1999" again. Interesting smorgasborg. All in all, it kind of works! (13/15)

Total Time: 63:40

B/four stars; a very nice addition to any prog lover's music collection--highly recommended. I look forward to my journey of getting to know Pallas better.

 An Alternative Arrive Alive by PALLAS album cover Boxset/Compilation, 2020
3.88 | 6 ratings

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An Alternative Arrive Alive
Pallas Neo-Prog

Review by kev rowland
Special Collaborator Honorary Reviewer

4 stars Okay, so let's put this into some sort of historical context. Pallas were formed back in 1976, and in 1981 they self- released a cassette album containing six songs called 'Arrive Alive'. This release got them noticed by EMI, which led to 'The Sentinel'. But what would 'Arrive Alive' have sounded like if they had used different recordings? Recently the band have been digitally releasing a series of albums aimed at the fans, and here they present us with different versions of the six songs plus four more (including some covers). As the band themselves say, 'Compiled directly from the band's own private collection of live cassettes and never heard before, this selection from the early 80's takes us back to the gigs in Scotland where every weekend Pallas perfected their craft at venues such as the Dial Inn, Cuinzie Neuk, Bungalow Bar, Ochil Hills, Rothes Arms ABC Bowl etc.'

This is not an album for anyone wondering who Pallas are, and feel they should finally get around to discovering one of the finest progressive bands ever to hail from Scotland, but instead is aimed at the die-hards like me who get all excited about discovering old tapes from bands now lost to time such as Appletwig Cutter, or early live recordings from bands who are still with us, such as Marillion, Twelfth Night and of course Pallas (oh how I wish I had been at the Hammy O when they all appeared) . The quality of some of the recordings are bootleg quality at best, audience recordings where it is possible to hear the chatter of the crowd and the glasses clinking, but for fans like me, who cares? We get a great version of 'Echoes' for well over 20 minutes, as well as 'The Ripper', the song which nearly got them banned from The Marquee. Ten songs, only one of which is less than 7 minutes long, showing a band who at the time were trawling the circuit of pubs and clubs, playing anywhere and everywhere, and had already been plying their craft for a number of years. Although the recording quality is never what one would expect from an album, this is all about history and about capturing the band before they released two of the most important albums within the UK progressive scene, namely 'The Sentinel' and 'The Wedge'. Euan Lowson is dramatic and passionate, a great singer and frontman, while drummer Derek Forman is driving along from the back. As for guitarist Graeme Murray, bassist Niall Matthewson and keyboard player Ronnie Brown, what is there left to say? They are still there today, continuing to push the band along and create great music in the way we all expect from Pallas.

The guys have made this available on Bandcamp for just '5, and for any fans of the band this is simply invaluable. So what if the recordings are ropey at times? For people like me this is simply invaluable, and all power to the band for making this available. I love it, and many more will feel exactly the same.

 The Sentinel by PALLAS album cover Studio Album, 1984
3.49 | 247 ratings

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The Sentinel
Pallas Neo-Prog

Review by BrufordFreak
Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

3 stars An album of pleasant if mostly simple songs that are in obvious disorder (due to record company decision-making) and which have suffered lackluster production (Eddie Offord got tired/bored) and, if truth be known, was performed by musicians whose instrumental and compositional skills were both on the immature side.

The album I had the privilege of listening to:

1. "Rise and Fall, Part 1" (6:07) (8.5/10)

2. "Eastwest" (5:01) Pink Floyd-ish--especially the electric guitar solo. (8/10)

3. "March on Atlantis" (5:19) Duke "Duchess"-like opening with heavy middle section with great Mellotron. Nice buildup and guitar in the second half. (9/10)

4. "Rise and Fall, Part 2" (4:05) ELOY-esque. (8.8/10)

5. "Heart Attack" (8:18) YES-lite for the first 3:30 with some nice drumming; all instrumental after that. (16/20)

6. "Atlantis" (8:03) a GENEIS (music)-YES (vocals and Rickenbacker bass) meld. (13/15)

7. "Ark of Infinity" (7:07) like Firth of Fifth and other Selling England by the Pound themes. Instrumental until 4:25. (13/15)

8. "Arrive Alive" (4:08) New Wave RE-FLEX/THE FIXX/Trevor Horn YES. It's obvious that this song represents material that pre-dated this album. (8.25/10)

9. "Shock Treatment" (4:20) hardriving rock la LOVERBOY, 707 and YES's Drama. (8/10)

10. "Cut and Run" (5:02) with vocals that sound like OMD and music that sounds like it came from YES's Drama we get a sound that's like . . . THE FIXX? (8/10)

The album data as it is entered on Prog Archives (which is not the album the band wanted): 1. "Eyes In The Night (Arrive Alive)" (4:08) sounding more techno pop than Neo Prog. (Bands like THE FIXX, THE RE- FLEX, ICEHOUSE, and LOVERBOY come to mind as I listen to this.) Production is only fair. (7.75/10) 2. Cut And Run (5:02) 3. Rise And Fall (10:16) 4. Shock Treatment (4:29) 5. Ark Of Infinity (7:05) 6. Atlantis (8:00)

Total time 39:00

B-/four stars; a respectable entry into the neo-progressive aspect of Prog World.

 The Dreams Of Men by PALLAS album cover Studio Album, 2005
3.99 | 283 ratings

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The Dreams Of Men
Pallas Neo-Prog

Review by VianaProghead
Prog Reviewer

5 stars Review N 188

"The Dreams Of Men" is the fifth studio album of the Scottish progressive rock group Pallas and was released in 2005. The line up on the album is Alan Reed, Niall Mathewson, Ronnie Brown, Graeme Murray and Colin Fraser.

Alongside with Marillion Pendragon and IQ, Pallas is one of the bands that belonged to neo-prog's first guards in the 80's. One of those bands who invented virtually, this time with Marillion, this kind of music. And even though personally I would ascribe the "invention" of the neo-prog to Marillion with their debut EP, Pallas certainly contributed with their part. One mustn't forget that with "The Sentinel", the boys, in 1984, have created an absolute neo-prog classic album.

What impresses most on Pallas is that "The Dreams Of Men" is only their fifth studio album in twenty-four years career of these Scotsmen. However, if you take in mind the band's 12 years hiatus, between 1986 and 1998, then, five albums in 12 years isn't all that scarce. After all, it's not less than their contemporaries Pendragon or IQ produce. Furthermore, there is a difference in album making where some artists chuck every note they play in the studio on their albums and other working on their music just a little while longer, perfecting the compositions as they go. And indeed, like their preceding album "The Cross And The Crucible" comes across very polished, very well thought out and very good too.

Again, Pallas has allowed an eternity to pass. Four years have gone into the world since this Scottish progressive rock institution with "The Cross And The Curcible" has delivered another album, which should be very hard to beat. Accordingly, the two band heads and perfectionists in personal union, Niall Mathewson and Graeme Murray, have also taken a lot of time again and could again offer an album that surpasses all expectations. "The Dreams Of Men" is definitely one of the strongest progressive rock albums of the new millennium and probably the best work in the history of Pallas. With excellent orchestral arrangements and a constant play with the loud and quiet dynamics, Pallas tackles the matter and hit the bull's eye precisely in the middle. The music on "The Dreams Of Men" is pure excitement and lives from the gripping changes between opulently sounded, operatic-like sounds and subtly orchestrated acoustic passages, in which Alan Reed can play the full spell of his voice. This is how the man sings through the album, past exciting compositions like "The Bringer Of Dreams" and "Too Close To The Sun", past a surprisingly direct song in the form of "Messiah" and passing by one of the most beautiful instrumental pieces I've ever heard "Northern Star".

About the tracks, "The Bringer Of Dreams" is grand, epic and majestic and shows how the things start on the album. Some violin light passages dominate the verses, building the atmosphere of the song, so that everything comes together as a great musical coordinated delivery. Understanding the mentality of the terrorist element and the suicide bombers seem to prevail over "Warriors", which unfortunately seems to be very actual in these days. The guitars are coarse, just like the message. The strange introduction of a dream violin precedes "Ghostdancers", but the entire Floydian style, as delivery borders, is really majestic. Rivalizing with this one, here it's another great moment of the album which is "Too Close To The Sun". Graeme Murray's bass lines are prominent as Geddy Lee, as a form, although the whole song reflects and flows, as Pallas's urgent musical delivery is displaced by passages besieged by melodic calm. "Messiah" is an unusual case, with strutting bass lines, exotic Asian like keyboard textures, and some wah-wah guitar released for good measure. Vocalist Alan Reed is trying to tell a story here, his vocals alternating between singing and spoken words. It's followed by the "Northern Star" instrumental that sounds through the speakers as a gentle breeze. The sonic dramatization kicks in "Mr Wolfe", the general air of the song swimming us in dark atmosphere. Pallas continues his epic-mode with "Invincible". The structure of the song is dotted with specific markers that are obvious as you navigate your way through the song. "The Last Angel" is also impressive. A slow and passionate accumulation is clear in this 11 minutes affair, where operatic voices permeate the music with a good effect.

Conclusion: Four years have passed since Pallas released their previous studio album "The Cross And the Crucible". Pallas is more genius than ever before and delivers one of my personal favourite progressive rock albums ever. Better, more sophisticated and more versatile you can hardly write progressive rock music, without losing the helm over your own performance from the hand. Pallas have mastered this balancing act perfectly this time and provide more than an hour of excellent entertainment. "The Dreams Of Men" is best to be found in the lavish double-CD version, which also contains a few isolated sound examples from the development phase of the album. Pallas is certainly among the better groups in the neo-prog genre, at least as good as IQ and Pendragon, and fans of those bands should find this one to their liking. Unfortunately, this was the last album with Alan Reed which is a pity. I always loved the range of his vocals.

Prog is my Ferrari. Jem Godfrey (Frost*)

 Live From London by PALLAS album cover DVD/Video, 2005
3.83 | 14 ratings

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Live From London
Pallas Neo-Prog

Review by TenYearsAfter

4 stars "FIRST REVIEW OF THIS DVD"

In the mid Eighties the neo prog movement really started to blossom, for UK tv station Superchannel a good reason to broadcast a serie of concerts from the most popular bands: Marillion, IQ, Twelfth Night and Pallas. In those days we could receive Superchannel in Holland, as neo-prog aficionados we were delighted with these very pleasant events, our beloved music on tv! Later I bought the videos and DVD's and could experience these memorable gigs again and again. I notice on PA that the Pallas ' Live In London DVD has only 9 ratings and no reviews, so I wanted do to justice to that memorable gig by Pallas in London 1985 with this review.

The Superchannel concerts were recorded in the small venue Camden Palace Theatre in London, all sold out, the atmosphere was very intimate. This gives an extra dimension, you can watch that the interaction between fans and the band fueled the perfomance. The 'medium' in that experience was Alan Reed, Pallas their singer and frontman. After 15 minutes he pulls off his shirt, with his naked upper body and his tight white pants he looks like a young Mick Jagger. But more handsome (haha) and no horny ego-maniac behaviour. In contrary, you can see that the charming Alan loves to please his fans and he enjoys performing the Pallas music on stage. A funny contrast is the huge bass player Graeme Murray with his impressive Rickenbacker bass and the small Alan with his microphone. Remarkable is the wide range of keyboards from Ronnie Brown, including a 4-layer rack, when he plays the upper keyboard, his hands are above his head, some 'Wakemanesque grandeur'!

Pallas plays a very inspired set (9 songs), there is respect and pleasure on stage (later this went totally wrong), the crowd enjoys the blend of harder-edged melodic rock and symphonic rock, topped with strong soli on guitar and keyboards, a tight and powerful rhythm-secton and passionate vocals by Alan Reed. Halfway Nightmare singer Alan retires for a while, time for keyboard player Ronnie: he plays some Toccata in D-Fuga (majestic church organ sound) and flashy flights on synthesizers, then Alan returns and the final part delivers an exciting bombastic atmosphere featuring awesome Mellotron choirs, fiery electric guitar and an ecstatic Alan! The absolute highlight is the compelling epic medley Sanctuary/Atlantis: in the ultimate bombastic tradition Greame plays on a double-neck guitar and in the final part Alan delivers a very emotional act (like Fish in Forgotten Sons and Peter Gabriel in The Musical Box and Supper's Ready): he slowly raises his hands to the sky, glorious Mellotron choirs reign, fans, musicians and the msuci has become one, this is Neo Prog Heaven, goose bumps! The two final up-tempo tracks Strangers and Eyes In The Night are a perfect conclusion fort the crowd to clap, roar, yell and jump and for the band to show their joy and appreciation.

What a wonderful and inspired gig that was in London, 1985, highly recommended.

 The Sentinel by PALLAS album cover Studio Album, 1984
3.49 | 247 ratings

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The Sentinel
Pallas Neo-Prog

Review by Magnum Vaeltaja
Special Collaborator Eclectic Prog Team

2 stars The Sentinel, the debut release by Scottish neo-prog group PALLAS, is a concept album that focuses on war as its central theme. Which is apt, as it is one of the those albums that I've listened to for quite a while and have fought and struggled to enjoy as much as I do.

The album has its fair share of redeeming features, from the fantastical cover art by Patrick Woodroffe, impeccable musicianship from the members of PALLAS and the seriously cool allegorical concept of the "Atlantis Suite", several tracks from the album that depict the Cold War by painting a spellbinding tale of the fictional Atlantis. Unfortunately, what springs from a seemingly perfect album to hail in the hall of prog legends for all eternity are a whole bunch of (largely record company-based) slip-ups that really diminish from its overall quality.

The album's "poppy"-er tracks, added at the request of the record company, add about 14 minutes of filler material that I have never had trouble skipping. And then the Atlantis Suite itself is a concept better imagined than executed. The more rock-oriented "Rise And Fall" is the sole track that keeps my interest every time; while the others are certainly not bad material and are great displays of the band's talents, I've simply never been particularly moved by them. The production, by Eddy Offord of Yes and ELP fame, is also nothing to write home about and sounds quite weak given the immense scale of the musical and lyrical content.

Having said that, this album is quite historically significant and if you are a fan of neo-prog, it's definitely worth a listen or many.

 Wearewhoweare by PALLAS album cover Studio Album, 2014
3.92 | 126 ratings

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Wearewhoweare
Pallas Neo-Prog

Review by Second Life Syndrome
Prog Reviewer

5 stars 4.5 stars

I'm going to go out on a limb and say that this ended up as one of my favorite albums of 2014. This really surprised me, as my first listen did not yield much for me. However, after several spins, I can say with confidence that "wearewhoweare" is awesome, and I'll tell you why.

I originally heard Pallas for the first time with their spectacular previous album "XXV". It was spacey, scary, and ominous with bits of serenity and pure beauty therein. After hearing this, I investigated some of their discography, and time and time again I heard Pallas' ability to compose tight, catchy melodies. "wearewhoweare" follows this same trend, but adds quite an electronic feel along with quirky, dark instrumental passages that are near the top of my list for 2014.

The band consists of Paul Mackie on vocals, Graeme Murray on bass, Niall Mathewson on guitars, Ronnie Brown on keyboards, and Colin Fraser on drums. This team is simply incredible. Niall's guitars floored me as he bounces back and forth between ominous edge and Gilmour-ish soul. Ronnie's keys are constantly there, filling out the atmosphere with gusto and presence. Graeme's bass is fleshy and head-turning. Colin's drums are pounding and played with finesse. I was simply blown away with the dark-as-night verses that transition into lovely choruses guided by Paul's lush voice. I cannot compliment these guys enough.

I've seen some complaints about Pallas' new sound. Some people think they should have stayed in their 80's neo- progressive sound, but I personally applaud this old band for the incredible ingenuity and creativity that are so obvious. I mean, just look at the array of artwork they've applied to this album! It's easily one of my favorites from 2014 because I get and enjoy the quirky, almost sci-fi horror behind it all.

My favorite tracks are the catchy opener "Shadow of the Sun", the wonderful instrumentals of "Harvest Moon", and the longing, expectant sound of "Winter is Coming". Every track, though, has high points that are very memorable. Pallas has given me, then, the exact album I hoped to hear from them. I wanted a little progression in sound. but I wanted that clean, clear melody, too. "wearewhoweare" is exactly that.

 Beat The Drum by PALLAS album cover Studio Album, 1998
3.59 | 158 ratings

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Beat The Drum
Pallas Neo-Prog

Review by Progrussia

3 stars Pallas is a rare case of a legendary (or, in their case, semi-legendary) band whose reunion work is better than the original. Pallas sounds like an 80s style arena rock band (you know, the cheery/sad melodies, thin-sounding guitars and synths) with Pink Floydian neo-prog atmospheric and church- sounding leanings. On Beat the Drum, they sound less bombastic than on the albums that follow, mostly straight-forward socially-conscious adult-oriented rock not unlike 80s Rush, Genesis or Midnight Oil. The album is about evenly divided into melody-driven rocky tunes, some ballads and attempts to return to epic scale, of which only Ghosts can be considered memorable. While other songs are not bad, they can suffer from a repetitive beat or absence of good melodic hooks. The guys are just having fun here, exploring what avenues their reunion might take them.
Thanks to ProgLucky for the artist addition. and to Quinino for the last updates

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