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PALLAS

Neo-Prog • United Kingdom


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Pallas biography
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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xxvxxv
Limited Edition
Mascot Records 2011
Audio CD$7.65
$6.28 (used)
The Cross & The CrucibleThe Cross & The Crucible
Inside Out U.S. 2001
Audio CD$3.98 (used)
The SentinelThe Sentinel
Import
Inside Out Germany 2004
Audio CD$42.86
$19.98 (used)
The Dreams of MenThe Dreams of Men
Inside Out 2005
Audio CD$10.88
$11.99 (used)
Pallas: The Blinding DarknessPallas: The Blinding Darkness
Inside Out U.S. 2004
DVD$26.99
$25.87 (used)
Arrive AliveArrive Alive
Inside Out U.S. 2004
Audio CD$12.98
$7.99 (used)
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PALLAS discography


Ordered by release date | Showing ratings (top albums) | Help Progarchives.com to complete the discography and add albums

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

3.50 | 174 ratings
The Sentinel
1984
3.03 | 81 ratings
The Wedge
1986
3.64 | 113 ratings
Beat The Drum
1998
3.50 | 139 ratings
The Cross And The Crucible
2001
4.02 | 210 ratings
The Dreams Of Men
2005
3.31 | 113 ratings
XXV
2011
3.87 | 15 ratings
Wearewhoweare
2014

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

3.06 | 48 ratings
Arrive Alive
1981
3.50 | 10 ratings
Live our Lives
2000
4.22 | 45 ratings
The Blinding Darkness
2003
3.10 | 14 ratings
The River Sessions 1
2005
3.31 | 14 ratings
The River Sessions 2
2005
2.50 | 4 ratings
Official Bootleg 27.01.06
2006
3.15 | 14 ratings
Moment To Moment
2009
0.00 | 0 ratings
Live - Southampton 1986
2013
5.00 | 1 ratings
Live Our Lives
2013
0.00 | 0 ratings
The Arrive Alive Demos
2013

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

4.62 | 38 ratings
The Blinding Darkness
2003
3.29 | 7 ratings
Live From London
2005
3.41 | 11 ratings
Moment to Moment
2008

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

2.93 | 17 ratings
Knight Moves To Wedge
1986
3.75 | 4 ratings
Mythopoeia
2002
3.50 | 2 ratings
Sketches
2013

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

5.00 | 1 ratings
The Pallas EP
1978
2.55 | 13 ratings
Monster
2010
3.40 | 5 ratings
Atlantean
2011
5.00 | 1 ratings
The Knight Moves Demos
2013
5.00 | 1 ratings
Set 2013
2013

PALLAS Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Arrive Alive  by PALLAS album cover Live, 1981
3.06 | 48 ratings

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Arrive Alive
Pallas Neo-Prog

Review by apps79
Special Collaborator Neo Prog Team

4 stars Later in 1978 guitarist Dave Holt left Pallas and the auditions led to the employment of Niall Mathewson, coming from the disbanded Pryer.His arrival and influence led the band towards a more classic Symphonic Rock sound, which was not be deeply discovered by Craig Anderson, who also left in the year, leading to Euan Lowson, ex-frontman of the local act Balrog.A good bunch of original tracks and famous covers (like ''Supper's ready'') showed Pallas' fame increasing, it was the same time though that Mike Stobbie also quit.At the fall of 79' he was replaced by Ronnie Brown and then comes a set of live performances and tours around Scotland, one of them came at the Bungalow Bar in Paisley, a performance recorded for the upcoming cassette album ''Arrive alive'' in June 1981.

The title-track is the only cut recorded in studio and reminding of the band's Symphonic/Punk attitude, a rhythmic piece with aggressive vocals and edgy guitar leads with a few Synth Pop attributes, reminiscent of TWELFTH NIGHT.It appeared later under the title ''Eyes in the night'' on the band's classic debut ''The sentinel''.''Five to four'' was written during the time the band was a four-piece after the departure of Stobbie.The fresh side of Pallas comes in evidence here, a track with a symphonic atmosphere in the rough set of Neo Prog bands, featuring nice guitar solos and an omnipresent Mellotron along with extended instrumental parts and sudden tempo changes, going for a dramatic lyrical outro.Mellotron washes continue with ''Queen of the deep'', a certain live favorite of Pallas fans and a quite complex piece of music, again the mood is towards classic Symphonic Rock with quirky keyboard lines, led by some spacious, orchestral synthesizer, surrounded by an aggressive vocalist and the raw guitar sounds.Very GENESIS-influenced with evolving textures and some great melodies towards the end.''Flashpoint'' is a rather weak and non-sophisticated rocker, even this piece though contains some surprising background Mellotron strings under a powerful guitar performance by Niall Mathewson.The 15-min. ''The ripper'' was a strong reason this live was released, the most favorite of all Pallas tracks at the time and a very good piece of underground Progressive Rock.A YES-meets-PINK FLOYD-meets-GENESIS tour de force with full Mellotron and synth showering, theatrical vocals and very bombastic guitar passages, the reason to set apart Pallas along with TWELFH NIGHT from the other Neo Prog acts of the time, old-school Symphonic Rock meets an 80's Hard/Pop Rock sound.Elaborate instrumental parts combined with angry vocals in an awesome way.The original edition closes with ''Crown of thorns'', which comes a step closer to ''The sentinel'' sound, pretty rhythmic Neo Prog with keyboard interludes, orchestral parts and soft electric guitars along with a more balanced singing performance, fronted by the use of synthesizers and the tapping grooves, fantastic composition.

Of course ''Arrive alive'' was later released on vinyl and fairly won the battle of CD reissues.Extra tracks ''Paris is burning'', ''The hammer falls'' and ''Stranger on the edge of time'' all come from period singles of the band.Run to catch one of these issues, this is raw, extremely passionate and rich 80's Symphonic Rock in the best British tradition, a rare occasion of a Neo Prog band using the Mellotron and a file next to early GALAHAD and TWELFTH NIGHT.Highly recommended.

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 The Sentinel by PALLAS album cover Studio Album, 1984
3.50 | 174 ratings

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The Sentinel
Pallas Neo-Prog

Review by Andis

4 stars Even though this is not a masterpiece of progressive rock, it is still a must in a serious collection. Not only considering it is a very important release in the dark musical landscape of the 80's, the music can stand on it's own. Pallas plays an agressive progressive rock with a lot of melody, they have a perfect mix of straight ahead progressive rock in high tempo with more thoughtful melodic parts with lots of tempo changes. I really like the more accessible shorter songs wich adds lots of tempo to the album, also the longer songs wich lets the music develope complete the album perfectly.

The album art is fantastic and some of Patrick Woodroffe's best work to wich suits this album perfectly. This is a review of the original LP release from 1984 wich is somewhat different from the later CD releases. It consists of 6 songs and lacks some of the songs that were later added to the CD, it has also a different song order.

This is one of the albums that started my musical journey into progressive rock, along with Marillion and IQ. Oh, those memories.... A very important progressive rock album that you need in your collection. Rating: 7/10

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 Beat The Drum by PALLAS album cover Studio Album, 1998
3.64 | 113 ratings

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Beat The Drum
Pallas Neo-Prog

Review by coe3231

5 stars Had a listen to this album for the first time in a few years last week. Forgot how good it was and have listened to it every day since. There is not one weak track in my opinion and the guys definitely worked hard on making this sound a great follow up to The Wedge. Even though there was a few years between The Wedge and Beat The Drum, the unmistakable Pallas sound is there. Alan Reids vocals are pretty damn good on this album and all the guys play exceptionally well. I'm really glad I decided to have a listen again as it makes me realise that they were an awful lot better than most people gave them credit for. A brilliant live act as well and Graeme Murray is the finest front man who actually does not front the band. He is a fantastic vocalist as well as a great bass player. A definite 5 stars and well deserved.

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 The Dreams Of Men by PALLAS album cover Studio Album, 2005
4.02 | 210 ratings

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The Dreams Of Men
Pallas Neo-Prog

Review by sukmytoe

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 before the band kicks in with full power. The vocals are dramatic as is the music. This is hard edged and it's simply brilliant. I really like the softer "ticking clock" section later on in the track. ET wouldn't phone home if he heard this first - he'd say "Stuff it all, the music on earth is better than where I'm from anyway. Forget home".

"Warriors" - Fast twangy rock lead guitar to start an upbeat track that softens a third of the way through before spicing itself up again into dramatic territory. It closes as it began returning to that high adrenaline turf.

"Ghostdancers" - Beautiful violin to start. The band comes in powerfully. Almost an anthem. Very nice lead guitar on this track. Closes with a "Red Indian" theme - brilliant.

"Too Close to the Sun" - Rock out number to start - bouncy but interesting. Nice tempo changes with lots of contrast changes throughout. Later on in the track I'm reminded of Gravy Train's "Staircase to the Day a little.

"Messiah" - Interesting bass guitar riff begins this hard edged, for the main part, almost quirky track.

"Northern Star" - Very very nice hypnotic softer piece.

"Mr. Wolfe" - Brilliantly interesting track - very nice bass guitar and keyboards on this one.

"Invincible" - Aggressive track with some nice lead guitar work that softens at about the one third mark before some tempo changes and then building into a wall of sound to close.

"The Last Angel" - Very good dramatic epic to close the album. Nice female operatic vocals into the track.

Solidly a 5 star album for me. The best work from the band thus far. This was to be Alan Reed's last album with the band and although he is not a favourite vocalist of mine by any stretch of the imagination he wasn't as much of a hole on this as I found him to be previously. I have always perceived that with a more powerful lead vocalist this band would have knocked the socks off of many more listeners.

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 The Cross And The Crucible  by PALLAS album cover Studio Album, 2001
3.50 | 139 ratings

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The Cross And The Crucible
Pallas Neo-Prog

Review by sukmytoe

4 stars Having really enjoyed their previous album I was looking forward to this one - a concept album from a band who were showing strong signs of improvement after their previous release - I didn't enjoy the albums prior to "Beat the Drum" much at all.

"The Big Bang" - A dramatic sound-scape to start the album incorporating soft vocals towards the end. Setting the mood.

"The Cross and the Crucible" - Symphonic keyboard start leading into a powerful track - immediately the drum work impresses. Dramatic and powerful stuff. Each of the band members stand out in the mix here.

"For the Greater Glory" - Pompous almost middle eastern drum and keyboard start leads into a driving neo-prog rock track. I'm still not a fan of Alan Reed on vocals however he doesn't detract from the music.

"Who's to Blame" - Acoustic guitar to start. A simple track with a more commercialised sound serves to lighten the musical mood.

"The Blinding Darkness of Science" - Swirling keyboard sound into hard neo-prog rock turf.

"Towers of Babble" - Gentle opening into pompous rock. The keyboards impress on this one. After the "Church organ" solo solid neo-prog ensues with a section that typifies the genre.

"Generations" - Softer almost folksy ballad track.

"Midas Touch" - Spoken lyric accompanied by thunder and swirling keyboard sound followed by a driving beat laced, tempo changing epic punctuated by contrasts.

"Celebration" - Pompous to start, good closer to the album.

I would love to give this album a 4. It is well done and the musicianship is very strong. There is something missing though. Where the previous album had two tracks that were mind blowing for me and pushed the rating to 4 this is good but nothing blows me away. It is a neo-prog fest for sure but there is a lack of those moments where I'm transported out of my surroundings on musical clouds of beauty. I would say that for those wanting to discover or explore the neo-prog genre this is a good place to start as it uses the palette without demanding too much. As I've said previously elsewhere and to an extent here I don't dislike Alan Reed on vocals but he doesn't do much for me either. Perhaps with a "Fish" on vocals this would have been a magical album for me. In neo-prog I like a vocalist who can use anger, angst, despair, joy and other feelings in his voice. Dramatic music needs a dramatic vocalist. Ah to hell with it, I am going to award four stars as opposed to the 3 I am vectoring in on here - 3.5 pushed up to 4 (I know I'll get there with further exploration of this album anyway and then kick myself for having to do a re-rate.

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 Beat The Drum by PALLAS album cover Studio Album, 1998
3.64 | 113 ratings

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Beat The Drum
Pallas Neo-Prog

Review by sukmytoe

4 stars A long wait since the bands last release to here. Hopefully time has improved the effort. Alan Reed is still on vocals and I didn't much like him on "The Wedge".

"Call to Arms" - This is no more than Pallas' homage to Survivor's "Eye of the Tiger" but that isn't necessarily a bad thing as I love "Eye of the Tiger" - nothing gets me on a dance floor quicker than that track does, even if I'm never really in the mood for dancing.

"Beat the Drum" - Nice classical music type intro to the track. Very nice, powerful, music follows the soft introduction. This is a much more mature, fuller sound from the band who at last seem to have found their identity (I guess leaving the EMI stable helped with that). The difference between this and the previous two albums is chalk and cheese - this is powerful stuff.

"Hide & Seek" - Slow tempo to start the work which livens up solidly. Interesting mid section to the track. Nothing to make me or ET phone home but it isn't at all bad.

"Insomniac" - Solid neo-prog work. I enjoy the keyboards on this track as well as thus far throughout the album. Alan Reed also performs better here than he did on the previous album (The Wedge) and I don't mind him at all through this.

"All or Nothing" - Interesting rhythm through this. Very pleasant.

"Spirits" - Nice piano sound here. Thus far I've been impressed with the album and as far as I'm concerned Pallas now has a follower. Minimalist but nice sound-scape to start, fleshing out nicely. I love the bagpipe type sound emulation from the keyboard on this track.

"Man of Principle" - Upbeat rocker of a track which is just ok.

"Ghosts" - Really nice work that builds from the beginning pan-pipe riff infused sound into a very solid hard edged neo-prog track.

"Blood and Roses" - Nice minimalist piano sound to start accompanied by soft vocals which becomes an almost symphonic work. This is a lovely slower track. I love this one, pure magic if you are the sentimental type. The short lead guitar piece near the end stuns. Whatever my end rating this will ensure an added half star on its own.

"Wilderness Years" - A harder edged track which serves to break the mood of the previous track nicely although on its own it is just ok.

"Fragments of the Sun" - Symphonic to start, with mournful lead guitar coming in to a heavy drum beat. The track is ultimately dramatic and emotive. Brilliant! Another half star added to the end rating.

What a change - the first two albums were really not much more than throw-aways however this is a very solid keeper. An adventure in the neo-prog world. I would have battled to find more than 3 stars here but for two extremely strong tracks which push it into 4 star territory. Here the band muscle their way next to the front runners of the genre. Four stars from me and Pallas has gained a fan. If you enjoy neo-prog you can do no wrong in getting hold of this album. If you don't enjoy neo-prog then, well, you probably don't want to stop for a moment in this place.

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 The Wedge by PALLAS album cover Studio Album, 1986
3.03 | 81 ratings

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The Wedge
Pallas Neo-Prog

Review by sukmytoe

2 stars The second studio release from Pallas. I was somewhat underwhelmed by the first album (The Sentinel). The vocal duties here went to Alan Reed although I don't find him to be much of an improvement here.

"Dance through the Fire" - Almost a "World Music" start that quickly turns into a standard fast tempo neo prog rock track.

"Throwing Stones at the Wind" - Nothing worth writing home about here - almost a standard rock number with a touch of quirkiness up until halfway through when it changes direction for a while pointlessly before returning to the humdrum standard beginning again.

"Win or Lose" - More standard formula fare. Nothing to bring me out of my seat at all.

"The Executioner" - Some warped guitar and other sounds to start seguing into a "world music" section thing interspersed with some up-tempo rock music. They obviously picked up on some of Peter Gabriel's musical sound. After the halfway mark a dramatic flare is introduced to the track followed by some decent lead guitar and interesting keyboard work - then the whole thing just returns to rock mediocrity.

"Imagination" - Styx like keyboard to start spoiled by the kick in of the main body of the track which is really just useless rock fare. Way too playful for me. This isn't even standard rock - it's techno pop music.

"Rat Racing" - More of a progressive fare with tempo changes but it's a case of too little too late. Totally uninteresting. Somewhere somebody will like it but I don't.

"Just a Memory" - Holy Moly! I sat up and paid attention! A diamond in the rough, this one. Also a kind of world music meets neo prog thing but it works for me. I now know that these guys had been paying attention to Peter Gabriel's music - I only need to listen to some of this track as well as "The Executioner" to ascertain that (it's perhaps a pity that they didn't pay more attention).

"Stranger" - Do I hear some of Van Halen's "Jump in there? Yes I do - and I'm not impressed.

"Sanctuary" - This kind of track needs a vocalist that can put a little angst into his voice. One of the better tracks on the album though. I really like this one. Some very nice lead work and some interesting percussion as well.

"Nightmare" - Eerie keyboard sounds to start the track that actually go nowhere interesting with the main body of the track.

I don't like this album at all barring for two tracks. Thankfully this was to be the bands last album with EMI. I am not a techno-pop fan at all and this album carries that banner a lot of the way through. I apologise to any who do love this album out there in music-land but I find very little merit here. A 2 star rating from me saved from a 1 due to two tracks and some good lead guitar work.

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 The Sentinel by PALLAS album cover Studio Album, 1984
3.50 | 174 ratings

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The Sentinel
Pallas Neo-Prog

Review by sukmytoe

3 stars Just got hold of this along with the full Pallas studio discography aside from the latest studio release which I already had in my possession and enjoy a great deal. Relating to Neo Prog I love a great deal of it and it is probably my favourite niche relating to Prog music. Fish era Marillion is up there amongst my very favourite acts and to look objectively at this album I will have to compare it to the early Marillion releases which, for me, are the yardstick of what Neo Prog was back then and to a large extent is still today.

"Shock Treatment" - My first impression is that this is a bit too bouncy for me. Kind of like Asia with a bit more dramatic flair. The vocalist is very important to me in Neo Prog and I must say that I don't much go for Euan Lowson although admittedly at first I didn't enjoy Pendragon's vocals either (Nick Barrett) however he has kind of grown on me. The first track doesn't do much for me unfortunately.

"Cut + Run" - Also a bit too bouncy and perhaps simplistic although more interesting than the previous track. I may be a bit nuts but I do hear a semblance of the band "Sparks" in this track.

"Arrive Alive" - Almost a dance track that I can imagine bopping to on a Disco floor surrounded by flashing globe lights. Way too bouncy with a vague hint of "Sparks" again.

"Rise and Fall (Part 1)" - Still bouncy to start but soon segues into something interesting and more to my taste. The first section making up the "Atlantis Suite" which makes up the rest of the album.

"East West" - Very nice lush start to the track. I like Lowson here. This is more like it and I must say that I enjoy it a great deal. Nice lead guitar work later on in the section.

"March on Atlantis" - Nice keyboard to start, fleshing out nicely and dramatically adding a touch of spice to the works before going back gently to the beginning mood.

"Rise and Fall (Part 2)" - Bells, piano sound, the wind, almost chanted vocal - dramatic start to the section which is fleshed out towards the end by soaring lead guitar.

"Heart Attack" - I see a lot of similarity here to old Marillion and it makes me wonder what I would have though of this should Fish have fronted the band here instead of Lowson.

"Atlantis" - Dramatic start to the section seguing into very Genesis like short keyboard section - I don't much like the rest of the track after that up until just over the halfway mark and not because of the Genesis sound alike section either - it gets more interesting but I kind of wish for a more soaring lead guitar piece instead of what is offered.

"Ark of Infinity" - The final section of the "Atlantis Suite" and a very nice finish to the work.

A start to the album that almost enticed me into throwing it away with the first three commercially flavoured tracks - EMI wanted drivel for mass appeal and they got it (I'm not a fan of recording companies as a rule as I believe that they can and do mess around with art in favour of their hunt for the big buck cow). "The Atlantis Suite" makes the album worthwhile and thankfully it takes up the major portion of this album. I do feel that Fish and Hogarth would have made a major difference to the Suite had they been the members of the band here - it is not badly performed as is but it lacks the emotion of Fish (or perhaps a Stuart Nicholson) on vocals and the soaring guitar of Hogarth. It is a little disjointed but by no means is it horrible. If you are going to do a multi-part Suite then each part must make a statement or form a nuance to the entire work - don't follow one statement or nuance with an identical one. Having said all of that there are parts to this containing neo prog heaven within.

It is an album of importance to Neo Prog purists and I have to take that into account here. It is not a 5 star album by any stretch of the imagination and neither would I call it an excellent addition to my personal collection and thus I must award it with 3 stars

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 The Cross And The Crucible  by PALLAS album cover Studio Album, 2001
3.50 | 139 ratings

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The Cross And The Crucible
Pallas Neo-Prog

Review by kev rowland
Special Collaborator Crossover Team

4 stars I admit it; I wasn't a fan of their last album. From a band that had produced such awe-inspiring albums in the past, I had expected much more. Therefore, it was with some degree of cynicism that I put this on the player. I actually expected to be disappointed. Now I have been wrong many times in the past, and will be again in the future, so I am very happy to report that I was way off the mark with this. It is a superb album, one that every proghead will have to put firmly in their collection.

I saw Alan Reed the other night and I said to him that I wasn't sure how I yet rated this against 'The Sentinel' and he felt that it was very easy, this one is better. That is a bold statement given how progheads view both 'The Sentinel' and 'The Wedge', but one that he may well have grounds for.

It has great vocals, great melodies, and sweeping passages that show that Pallas are still masters of orchestral thematic prog music. At times, they come across with hints of Pink Floyd, but for the most part, they are their own band, and for that their fans will be very pleased indeed. There are a few longer tracks for the band to get their teeth into, and considering that three of the guys were in the original first stable line-up of 1979, the sound is fresh and inviting. Pallas are most definitely back.

Originally appeared in Feedback #63, July 01

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 Arrive Alive  by PALLAS album cover Live, 1981
3.06 | 48 ratings

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Arrive Alive
Pallas Neo-Prog

Review by Daysbetween

3 stars The debut album from Scotland's most successful prog band is a mixture of early neo-prog and hard rock. The live tracks were recorded in a small bar and have a raw quality, they are the equivalent of a good bootleg from the era, while the studio tracks lack the polish that a better budget would have provided. This album is contemporary with both early Marillion and the New Wave of British Heavy Metal and has elements of both in its overall sound.

The singer on Arrive Alive is Euan Lowson and he brings a hard rock edge to the band. He provided a much needed focal point in the live setting and was a bit like Gabriel for the theatrics mixed with the Heavy Metal bluster of Di'Anno.

Best songs on the album for me are the longer tracks Queen Of The Night, The Ripper and best of all Crown of Thorns which was the live showpiece at the time. These songs show the bands prog tendencies but are all a bit naive in there approach compared to the next album 'The Sentinel'. They are all still enjoyable as complex songs from young musicians trying to emulate their peers and push the boundaries of the time.

I would recommend the album as an historic record of the bands early days but be prepared for the less than ideal production values of an independent 1981 release. 3.5 stars

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