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Pallas - The Dreams of Men CD (album) cover





3.99 | 316 ratings

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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 !!!!

Fishy | 4/5 |


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