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Pallas - The Sentinel CD (album) cover





3.51 | 238 ratings

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Symphonic Team
3 stars Shock treatment

The Sentinel was Pallas' studio debut, but it wasn't their first release as three years earlier they had released the rather weak live album Arrive Alive. Much had happened in the meantime, we may assume, as only a single track from that album survived for this one, namely the title track Arrive Alive, which is probably the weakest track on The Sentinel. The sound had changed significantly from three years previous, but we will never know what the older songs featured on Arrive Alive might have sounded like, had they been given the studio treatment. The two versions of Arrive Alive (the song) are, after all, quite different from each other. Anyway, The Sentinel is an altogether different beast compared to Arrive Alive (the album) even if, in my opinion, the band had still yet to find their own musical identity at this point. Euan Lowson, who still was the vocalist on this album, has a much less distinctive voice compared to Alan Reed who would take over vocal duties for the next album.

It was not easy to be a Rock musician with progressive ambitions in the early 80's and the record company did indeed pressure Pallas into including their shorter, more commercial tracks on this album and thus shatter the band's initial plans to devote the entire album to the Atlantis suite. The 2004 reissue (which is the only one I've heard) remedies this to a degree where the shorter tracks are put up front followed by the complete Atlantis suite, in the form the band originally intended. It is a good one for sure, but it does not hold up well compared to the band's recent works such as the equally conceptual The Cross And The Crucible from 2001 which is a true masterpiece. The Sentinel sounds a bit dated today and it is not very well recorded. Personally, I prefer the recent live recording of the Atlantis suite from the great concert DVD The Blinding Darkness featuring Alan Reed on vocals.

The Sentinel is good, but not the classic it is often claimed to be

SouthSideoftheSky | 3/5 |


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