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Pallas The Wedge album cover
3.03 | 140 ratings | 14 reviews | 12% 5 stars

Good, but non-essential

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Studio Album, released in 1986

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Dance Through the Fire (4:48)
2. Throwing Stones at the Wind (5:15)
3. Win or Lose (4:37)
4. The Executioner (Bernie Goetz a Gun) (5:38)
5. A Million Miles Away (Imagination) (4:40)
6. Ratracing (8:00)
7. Just a Memory (5:30)

Total Time 38:28

Bonus tracks on CD releases (from the 1985 EP "The Knightmoves"):
8. Stranger (3:50)
9. Sanctuary (9:34)
10. Nightmare (4:24)

Line-up / Musicians

- Alan Reed / lead & backing vocals
- Niall Matthewson / lead, acoustic & Roland-synth guitars, e-bow
- Ronnie Brown / grand piano, synthesizers (Yamaha DX7, Oberheim OB8, Matrix 12, Emulator II, Fairlight CM1), Mellotron, backing vocals
- Graeme Murray / fretted & fretless basses, Taurus bass pedals, 12-string & acoustic guitars, South American clay pipes, backing vocals
- Derek Forman / drums, Simmons el. drums, Yamaha drum machine, percussion

- Mick Glossop / chorus vocals, producer

Releases information

Artwork: Bill Smith Studio

LP Harvest - SHVL 850 (1986, UK)
MC EMI - TC-SHVL 850 (1986, UK)
LP Harvest - 064 24 0484 1, 1A 064-24 0484 1 (1986, Europe)

CD Inside Out Music America - IOMACD 4037 (2000, US, remastered, with 3 bonus tracks and 1 additional PC video track)
CD Inside Out Music - IOMCD 059 (2000, Germany, remastered, with 3 bonus tracks and 1 additional PC video track, different artwork)
CD Inside Out Music - IOMCD 059 (2004, Russia, remastered, with 3 bonus tracks and 1 additional PC video track, different artwork)
CD Parlophone - WPCR-16736 (2015, Japan)

Thanks to ProgLucky for the addition
and to projeKct for the last updates
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PALLAS The Wedge ratings distribution

(140 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(12%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(27%)
Good, but non-essential (41%)
Collectors/fans only (17%)
Poor. Only for completionists (4%)

PALLAS The Wedge reviews

Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Greger
4 stars To follow up "The Sentinel", PALLAS debut album on a major label and a classic album in the neo-progressive genre must have been quite a hard task. However they almost succeeded in the follow-up called "The Wedge" in 1985. Now this album has been re-released on the InsideOut label, including additional CD-ROM track and three tracks from the 1985 EP "The Knightmoves". The CD-ROM track is a live version of "Win or Lose".

- The sound is very 80's with similarities to MAGNUM, MARILLION, IQ and YES, with memorable choruses, good melodies and harmonies. "The Wedge" is rockier than its successor; sometimes almost poppy or AOR oriented in tracks such as "The Executioner". Therefore this album is the least interesting of PALLAS releases to date. There's however some really good tracks on this album, for example: "Dance Through The Fire", "Rat Dancing", "Just A Memory" and "Sanctuary".

- "The Wedge" has a better production than "The Sentinel" does, but the sound is much more outdated, and the compositions aren't as complex either. All in all this is, despite some negative thoughts, a really good album, but I suggest that you buy "The Sentinel" first!

Review by greenback
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars This is neo progressive rock. Their best album, "The Sentinel", is one of the best neo progressive album for floating and melodic keyboards and guitar solos, but here, the keyboards are miscellaneous clinical sounds, rarely melodic and floating. "The Wedge" is not very progressive. The drums are rather repetitive and not very elaborated. The bass is less sophisticated too, and the guitar is more bland; there are less those melodic solos as on "The Sentinel". If you want to appreciate the real progressive PALLAS, get "The Sentinel".
Review by Seyo
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
1 stars I might be considered too conservative if I say that the best works of prog rock basically ended with 70s. Then in the 80s appeared so-called neo-prog whose best exponents were definitely MARILLION, even if they often sounded as a second-hand, recycled version of the Gabriel-era GENESIS. Now, what to say about this absolutely poor album by PALLAS? They obviously try to sound like MARILLION who tries to sound like GENESIS and in that attempt they delivered a rare instant of dull, boring, uninspired and unfocused piece of music. Instruments are mechanical, cold and heartless while the vocal is totally unexpressive. In my opinion this is not prog at all, but a bad example of pop/AOR sound which never comes close to the American developers of that genre, such as STYX. I was really tempted to give zero mark, but following the review guidelines, I am forced to find some good moments. OK, let us say that the closing track, "Just a Memory" (on LP issue) has some moments and the band are at least trying to develop a song structure. Also the cover design is not that bad. So, "The Wedge" should be absolutely avoided unless you are a neo-prog completionist, which I am definitely not!
Review by Easy Livin
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
3 stars Market Square heroes with mullets?

"The Wedge" finds Pallas treading water a bit, fortunately only temporarily. Vocalist Euan Lowson has been replaced by Alan Reed, who sounds uncannily like Lowson, in much the same way as Phil Collins did when he took over from Peter Gabriel.

The opening track, "Dance through the fire", has more than a hint of Fish era Marillion, and in particular "Market Square Heroes". Only by the time we reach the third track, "Win or Lose" do the band find their step. It's little more than a simple ballad, but it is filled with emotion, allowing Reed to demonstrate his vocal ability. "The Executioner" tries to be prog, fitting several time changes and ELP type instrumental breaks into its 5 minutes, but the song itself is not strong enough.

"Imagination" is an out and out AOR track, Journey or Styx (or even perhaps Howard Jones!) would have been proud of this, mullets ahoy. The track is almost saved by an all to brief Wakeman like synth solo. "Rat racing" finally finds the band in full prog mode. It features some inspired guitar work, lovely keyboards, and great vocals. The final track on the original album, "Just a memory" is also a fine melodic piece, more of the same and the album could have been so much better.

The final three tracks on the CD were originally released on the "Knightmoves" EP. "Stranger", is more of a basic AOR pop rock track, a bit of early Asia included perhaps. "Sanctuary" once again has some good guitar work, and is actually too fine a track to have been hidden away for so long on an EP. "Nightmare" too is excellent, with a Keith Emerson style screaming synthesiser to round things off.

In all, a good album, enhanced by the inclusion of the "Knightmoves" EP tracks. "The Sentinel" was however better, as were the albums which were to come. (The CD also features an added CD-Rom section.)

Review by Gatot
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars "I got no money--I got no faith. I got no interest in the human race,-- But I don't mind" - PALLAS "Throwing Stones at The Wind"

When it was first released in 1986, this album received little attention to my ears as I was at the time fully loaded with Marillion early albums and EP from "Market Square Heroes" until "Misplaced Childhood". I only played the cassette version of "The Wedge" occasionally because I considered Marillion was the only excellent prog band in the mid eighties. Of course, I also knew IQ "The Wake" but again, Marillion was my main menu of daily music life. Whenever I played this cassette usually I took mostly track 9 "Sanctuary" that pleased my neo prog ears at the time. Alan Reed was the new lead singer replacing Euan Lowson.

"Dance Through The Fire" (4:46) opens the album through percussive work combined with keyboard punch in fast tempo music. It's a rocking track that is suitable to open the show, actually. It has also tempo change into slower one when guitar solo enters in the middle. The music reminds me to the work of Steve Hackett solo album. " Throwing Stones At The Wind" (5:15) still continues with rock music spirit with excellent guitar riffs combined with drumming. The music is energetic and simple to follow. "Pull the string, make him sing, He'll do anything that you want him to, They tell him he's free, Between you and me, He's throwing stones at the wind" is lyrical part that is very usual to emulate. Beautifully composed song. "Win Or Lose" (4:32) is a slow track with keyboard-based structure that reminds me to the music of Saga. It's a nice music.

"The Executioner" (5:36) caught into my specific attention after I watched the live version through "The Blinding Darkness" DVD set. It's another rocking track with neat arrangement especially the combination between keyboard, bass guitar and vocal during opening part. The song has a very strong symphonic nuance. "Imagination" (4:35) might confuse you with Saga because the music is in the same style. You must try it; especially for those of you who are familiar with Canadian Saga. "Rat Racing" (8:09) is an interesting track with symphonic style, many tempo changes, great keyboard work. When guitar solo enters the music it really represents the neo progressiveness of this album. Excellent song. "Just A Memory" (5:29) is an enjoyable track using music loop / programming reminiscent of Genesis "Tonight, Tonight". I really enjoy this track as the melody and the composition are really good.

"Stranger" (3:50) is for me a mediocre track and still reminds me to Saga. But "Sanctuary" (9:34) is really an excellent composition. It starts with beautiful combination of keyboard, guitar, Taurus bass pedal and vocal. The acoustic guitar work is in Eastern tuning and characterizes the melody in the same style. The howling guitar at the back reminds me to Steve Hackett. When percussive enters the music it even makes the song sounds better. The music increases into faster tempo with percussive as driver of musical nuance. Really great! The best track of this album! "Nightmare" (4:24) is another excellent track that combines great guitar solo, keyboard and bass to make this track a cohesive one. It concludes the album.

Overall, this album is an excellent addition to any prog music collection. Keep on proggin' ..!

Progressively yours, GW

Review by Tarcisio Moura
2 stars My God, this must have been a huge disappointment back in 1986. After two promising albums (arrive Alive in 1981 and The Sentinel, 1984) scotish band Pallas decided to (maybe under pressure) go pop. Actually, this is very much a new wave, technopop album much in the vein of likes of Duran Duran, Depeche Mode, etc. Yes, that means a lot of electronic drums and that eras cheesy keyboards and production. Small wonder the band ended up calling it quits after releasing this turkey. It would took more than a decade for their comeback, with a string of excellent albums, I must say.

However, releasing The Wedge was not the first time a neo prog band tried to change its style looking for success after Marillion made it big with Misplaced Childhood. Their biggest mistake was to take that album and the single Kayleigh as pure pop. While more melodic and accessible, Marillion at the time was unmistakably a progressive band, so they kept their base of fans while reaching a bigger crowd at the same time.

Unfortunately that was not the case with Pallas (and others). Although not a total disaster in terms of songwriting (The Executioner and Rat Race are good tunes), the production really sucks all the life from it. Even if you like techno pop youŽll find hard to endure a full listening of this album. A pity, for Pallas were a promising band up until then. It would take another 13 years for the faithful to see they were right.

I can not recommend this album to anyone but hardcore fans and completists. Thanks to some good tunes I rate this album a little above one star. But it is by far Pallas worst effort ever.1,5 star.

Review by ZowieZiggy
2 stars This second Pallas album is quite a disappointment.

The band belonged to the early neo-prog movement, but this album which is just a P.I.T.A. There are actually not a single great song featured: some are passing the test of a crappy stuff, but just by an inch.

It is a pity to listen to this album: Pallas sounded better during their debut The Sentinel even if it was not a masterpiece. But one will be able to measure the difference between a good album (The Sentinel) and a poor one like this Wedge.

Most of the tracks are frankly best avoided (Win Or Lose). AOR or sub-par tracks are the usual stuff available. The drop in creative music is incredible. Even if the band doesn't hold the same musicians, it is quite unbelievable to discover these new sounds.

IMHHO, this album is quite uninteresting, and dull. This is poor AOR, hence inconsistent prog music. Even if the band is willing (trying) to impress with some more popish tunes (The Executioner), the listener is faced with below average tracks.

In these middle eighties, there were quite a few bands that developed better and more original ideas. Palllas had the good idea to turn up with some easy listening prog pop music. I have to admit that most of the songs featured on this album aren't thrilling. On the contrary: they are pretty straight- forward and feeling less.

The new vocalist is OK, the band shows obvious skills (mainly Ronnie Brown on the keys - but not only). But the song writing is quite average and this is the major disappointment of this work.

At times, there are bombastic moments which at last show another facet of the work from Pallas. Unfortunately, these moments are too short to be significant. But at least, they have the merit to exist.

This album is not essential at all. I would say that it is even boring because it sounds almost the same throughout the whole length. This release doesn't hold enough great moments to hold your interest even if Sanctuary is the best song that you can expect form this album. Thr closing number is called Nightmare...

Two stars for this effort.

Review by SouthSideoftheSky
2 stars The arrival of Alan Reed

I may be in a minority, but I actually think that The Wedge was a step up from The Sentinel. This second studio album by the Scottish band Pallas is usually regarded as their weakest, but for me The Wedge was actually an improvement over their previous two full length releases and an important step towards the greatness they had yet to achieve. Not only was The Wedge the first Pallas album to be properly recorded and produced, but it was also the first album to feature Alan Reed on vocals. Reed's voice is much more distinctive than that of Euan Lowson, who sang on the band's previous releases, and Reed is, after all, the voice of Pallas. As such, The Wedge was actually the first real glimpse of the greatness they would achieve later on with Beat The Drum, The Cross And The Crucible and The Dreams Of Men. While comparing The Sentinel or Arrive Alive with those 90's and 00's albums it is not at all obvious that it is at all the same band, but on The Wedge it is indeed very clear.

While sonically The Wedge is more similar to the recent albums, the quality of the material is, however, not up to par with the great trio of recent Pallas albums mentioned above. Still, this is a good album and keeping that in mind that this was released in 1986 it is even notable. The last three tracks of the CD were originally released separately on an EP, but tagged onto the album on later releases. It is great that these tracks are included as particularly the nearly ten minute long Sanctuary and also Nightmare are better than most of the songs that actually made it onto the original album. Other standout tracks include Rat Racing and The Executioner.

The Wedge was a step in the right direction for Pallas, but they still had a long way to go before they reached their musical peak. It would be 12 years (!) until their next album, Beat The Drum, and the band would reach altogether new heights in the new millennium.

Review by friso
3 stars Pallas has become a favorite prog group of mine and in my search for vinyls I stumbled on a nice copy of their second album 'The Wedge', of which I like the artwork by the way. On this album the band basically sounds like a perfect blend of eighties Marillion and the Top Gun Original Movie Soundtrack. This is the type of eighties music that has aged terribly and requires repeated listening for getting beyond its initial muddy and roomy sonic impact. Perhaps hardcore fans of Saga could dig it on the first spin though, especially 'A Million Miles Away' sounds a lot like that band. Pallas introduces Alan Reed whose otherwise strong vocals suffer from the poppy Toto-like mix on most songs. The band has a crossover neo-prog style on this record, but does manage to pull of some great instrumental sections in most songs. The keyboards don't sound that bad at all and the guitars of Niall Matthewson are always pleasant. The poppy second track 'Throwing Stones at the Wind' - for instance - has a beautiful symphonic middle section. The second side is more progressive and has the longest track 'Ratracing' which combines some fine neo-prog moments with eighties stadion rock pastiche. The verses are quite strong here. The final track 'Just a Memory' has a nice reflective mood to it and could have been a strong Marillion track of that era. My favorite of this record. Pallas would make much better albums later on in their career, but I can imagine this being a nice relic from a depraved decade for those who witnessed it. The second side is quite good actually. Three stars it is then.
Review by A Crimson Mellotron
3 stars A good album! Just not necessarily a progressive rock one. Pallas' second release came in 1986, after a strong live album and an even stronger debut album. Unfortunately, the Scottish band replaced singer Euan Lowson for this album, with a guy named Alan Reed, about whom I can say that does a great job for what the record is. And this record is essentially a solid 80s rock album, with the British neo-proggers dropping the epic edge of their music that was so prevalent in the preceding album 'The Sentinel', for a more arena rock-oriented sound, and focusing on writing catchier hooks - another aspect of their music that could be attributed as a strength of theirs.

And so, this 'commercialization', in a way, resulted in the band producing a compact 7-song album containing pretty strong, in my opinion, "jumpy", energetic 80s rock numbers, most of which will certainly get stuck in your head after a listen or two. This album is begins with the heaviest track one can find here - 'Dance Through the Fire'; it sounds like it came right off 'The Sentinel' sessions. 'Throwing Stones at the Wind' has this aforementioned poppier touch, but is nonetheless enjoyable. Maybe the band tried to add a tint of Marillion as well, but managed to do it in a way that does not make them sound like their clones. 'Win or Lose' has a simpler chorus and falls into the category of the more forgettable songs, followed by the great 'The Executioner' ? electrifying fast-paced 80s rocker, which could be appreciated by the unprejudiced listener. 'Rat Racing' features some interesting keyboard sounds and is a bit more adventurous in nature, while 'Just A Memory' shows that Pallas were good at writing slower songs, too. The re-release features some pretty decent bonus tracks, too.

As much as 'The Wedge' is enjoyable and fun, and definitely more lightweight than its predecessor, it lacks the epic touch on 'The Sentinel' and seems to be a more forgettable record. It is really just a good 80s rock album by a band that was obviously pursuing a wider audience.

Latest members reviews

2 stars The second studio release from Pallas. I was somewhat underwhelmed by the first album (The Sentinel). The vocal duties here went to Alan Reed although I don't find him to be much of an improvement here. "Dance through the Fire" - Almost a "World Music" start that quickly turns into a standard ... (read more)

Report this review (#1021466) | Posted by sukmytoe | Wednesday, August 21, 2013 | Review Permanlink

5 stars Excellent album!!! I don't know the reason why this is so low rating! Maybe people hate the '80 era or the plastic keyboards...but here these are fantastic, i think Tony banks should learn how play the keys in the eighties from Ronnie Brown! Pallas in this album try to be much mainstream orient ... (read more)

Report this review (#898020) | Posted by Aragon | Thursday, January 24, 2013 | Review Permanlink

3 stars This is Pallas's second (and last) album for EMI, and as it turned out their last for thirteen years. The CD re-release contains the original album consisting of seven tracks and an additional three which were on the Knightmoves EP (Stranger, Sanctuary and Nightmare). The album is less progre ... (read more)

Report this review (#11965) | Posted by jimpetrie2000 | Friday, April 8, 2005 | Review Permanlink

3 stars The Wedge was the second and final album to be released during the band's tenure with EMI and saw the arrival of singer Alan Reed. Reed took over the front man mantle from the previous incumbent Euwan Lowson, who although enjoyed a well deserved reputation as a showman, possessed a less than impr ... (read more)

Report this review (#11964) | Posted by sigod | Friday, February 25, 2005 | Review Permanlink

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