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Pallas - The Sentinel CD (album) cover





3.51 | 238 ratings

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2 stars The story of Pallas' debut album is one filled with intrigue, deceit, arguments and missed opportunities that perfectly illuminates the big record companies complete fear of progressive rock. Released in 1984, two years after Marillion's breakthrough debut 'A Script For Jester's Tear' and featuring legendary Yes producer Eddie Offord, 'The Sentinel' was meant to be EMI's next big hit, following in the footsteps of Fish and company. Sadly, and due to EMI's chicken- livered stance, 'The Sentinel' failed to live up to those lofty expectations. The Scottish group had spent months piecing together an ambitious concept album based on the cold war and were given the time, money and resources to realize their lofty ideas. Offord was installed to add his prog expertise to the mix(this was, after all, the guy who produced 'Close To The Edge' amongst others) and the band wrote a series of interlocking pieces designed to be heard in a set order. So far, so good. But then EMI stepped in. Unhappy with the overall tone and style of 'The Sentinel' an over-zealous record company rejected many of the band's more overtly- progressive pieces, tampered with the all-important running order and re-mixed several tracks to give them a more 'pop' sheen. To add insult to injury Offord seemed completely un- interested in the project and the release date was set back more than six months. So, despite featuring some of the finest cover-art to ever grace a rock album thanks to noted fantasy artist Patrick Lyons-Campbell, 'The Sentinel' was a commercial disappointment and Pallas would soon fragment. Lead-singer Euan Lowson left the fold to be eventually replaced by Alan Reed and Pallas' once burgeoning career disappeared into the night, their original promise frittered away by a record company scared of failure. The album itself is by no means dreadful but it's pretty obvious that the group were press-ganged into creating music that was much more radio-friendly than what they were used to doing. The overall style of 'The Sentinel' is synth- heavy pop-rock, and although it features at least one blistering rack in the shape of 'Arrive Alive', there is actually very little to recommend to died-in-the-wool prog fans. Check out their excellent 1982 release based on that one great song from 'The Sentinel', called 'Arrive Alive' as well, which is a live album showcasing the band's original progressive style and showing just what the world missed when EMI ruthlessly decimated this once promising group's debut album. Shame, shame, shame. STEFAN TURNER, LONDON, 2010
stefro | 2/5 |


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