Progarchives, the progressive rock ultimate discography
Pallas - The Dreams of Men CD (album) cover





3.99 | 315 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

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.

Easy Livin | 5/5 |


As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

Forum user
Forum password

Share this PALLAS review

Social review comments () BETA

Review related links

Copyright Prog Archives, All rights reserved. | Legal Notice | Privacy Policy | Advertise | RSS + syndications

Other sites in the MAC network: — jazz music reviews and archives | — metal music reviews and archives

Donate monthly and keep PA fast-loading and ad-free forever.