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Pallas - The Blinding Darkness CD (album) cover





4.47 | 51 ratings

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Special Collaborator
Symphonic Team
3 stars For the greater glory

This great DVD captures Pallas performing live in the new millennium. With the exception of The Big Bang and Generations, their then new album The Cross And The Crucible is performed in its entirety. This excellent album - my favourite Pallas album, in fact - works very well in both studio and live environment and the performance stays fairly close to the original studio version. However, the performance of the album is broken up into two parts with a series of older songs in the middle. Here we are treated to the excellent title track from Beat The Drum as well as the beautiful piano ballad Blood And Roses from the same album plus a few songs from the 80's. The encore consists of a significant portion of Pallas' first studio album, The Sentinel, from the early 80's which is one of the seminal Neo-Prog albums. The set list is so much in line with my personal Pallas tastes that I could have chosen it myself! These songs performed here pretty much represent the best of Pallas, in my opinion.

Could you go wrong with such a set list? Well, not really. But this DVD is not perfect. The vocals of Alan Reed are very good, but I have the same problem with this live recording as with the studio albums by Pallas, namely that the vocals are too low in the mix. I have no idea what it sounded like at the night of the performance, but on the DVD the vocals are slightly buried behind the wall of guitars and keyboards. This is not a major problem, however. On the piano based ballad Blood And Roses, Reed's vocals are clear and very good. Some of the spoken introductions to some songs, on the other hand, are impossible to hear unless you are well versed in the Scottish language.

The last two songs are sung by a guest, Pallas' old singer from the time of The Sentinel, and he is a much more theatrical person compared to Alan Reed. I'm not very fond of theatrics and it does tend to get a bit silly on The Ripper. Still, it does not distract too much from the music.

The performance is energetic throughout and it is clear that they are having fun on stage and in the audience too. They may not be the most charismatic performers in the world with the drummer and keyboard player being rather laid back and the lead guitarist hiding behind his long hair for most of the show. The bassist and the lead singer are the front figures of the band often sharing vocal duties. The DVD is very well put together and has some short bonus interviews and nice art work (no booklet, though). Despite some minor flaws, this is an excellent live DVD.

Highly recommended!

SouthSideoftheSky | 3/5 |


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