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Pallas Arrive Alive album cover
3.23 | 68 ratings | 10 reviews | 24% 5 stars

Good, but non-essential

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Live, released in 1981

Songs / Tracks Listing

MC/LP tracks
Side A
1. Five To Four (10:25)
2. Queen Of The Deep (11:34)
3. Flashpoint (7:14)

Side B
4. Heart Attack (9:02)
5. Crown Of Thorns (9:25)
6. The Ripper (14:53)

Total time 62:33

CD tracks:
1. Arrive Alive (4:17)
2. Five To Four (10:11)
3. Queen Of The Deep (11:27)
4. Flashpoint (7:01)
5. The Ripper (14:42)
6. Crown Of Thorns (9:25)
7. Paris Is Burning (5:12)
8. The Hammer Falls (5:20)
9. Stranger On The Edge Of Time (5:35)

Total Time: 73:10

Line-up / Musicians

- Ronnie Brown / keyboards
- Derek Forman / drums
- Euan Lowson / vocals
- Nial Mathewson / guitar
- Graeme Murray / bass, bass pedals, vocals

Releases information

MC Granite Wax - GWC 002 (1981, UK, 6 tracks)

MC Cool King - CKC02 (1983, UK, 6 tracks, different artwork)
LP Cool King - CKLP 002 (1983, UK, 6 tracks, different artwork)

CD Inside Out Music America - IOMACD 4035 (1999, US, 9 tracks, different artwork)
CD Inside Out Music - IOMCD 038 (1999, Germany, 9 tracks, different artwork)

Thanks to ProgLucky for the addition
and to NotAProghead for the last updates
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PALLAS Arrive Alive ratings distribution

(68 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(24%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(25%)
Good, but non-essential (35%)
Collectors/fans only (12%)
Poor. Only for completionists (4%)

PALLAS Arrive Alive reviews

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

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Easy Livin
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
2 stars Stay in the bar!

Not too many clues here as to what was to come from Pallas. The smooth, refined style of their studio albums was still a couple of years away.

The music here is raw, with an almost bootleg like sound to the recordings. There's little prog in the compositions, most of which are simply crowd pleasers.

For the Pallas faithful, an interesting history lesson with which you're probably already familiar. For the rest, stick to the excellent studio albums.

Review by erik neuteboom
2 stars Last week I listened to "The sentinel", Pallas their 'magnum opus' and I immediately wrote an almost euphoric review for this site! This evening I decided to listen to this album (I own the LP) because I was so curious to the sound before their masterpiece. You can conclude that Pallas sound raw and that the compositions lack direction. In fact my listening session was a bit disappointing experience but to my delight Pallas used the Mellotron frequently, I enjoyed lots of wonderful choir-Mellotron waves! And the floods of violin-Mellotron during the intro of the only mature track entitled "The ripper" are also evoking goose bumps! The use of bass pedals is always very pleasant to hear but in general this is Pallas 'in the scaffolds'. After three years of many concerts and rehearsals Pallas matured and released "The sentinel", on this album you can hear that they were still searching for the formula.
Review by Prog-jester
4 stars Script for a Jester's Tear is the best one in Neo-prog...but not the first one! :)

This compilation of live & studio tracks is almost a Masterpiece. I've been searching for a long time for such kind of music: the very neo-prog, even proto-neo-prog, right from the beginning of the 80s, like IQ, Twelfth Night & Marillion. Surely, it is poorly produced & recorded. Surely, there is NO perfect musicianship. Surely, they're greatly influenced by hard-rock & new-wave. But this CD contains more energy, emotions, melody & power than some other bands' discographies taken together! It has everything I looked for! I'm more than satisfied! :)

The record opens with a smashing hard-rock hit "Arrive Alive" (studio take), which is simple yet groovy. The next two epics, "5 to 4"&"Queen of the Deep" (both live), have some great parts (I like the second epic more). "Flashpoint" (live) is another hard-rock song, with easy-to-remember chorus...very nice!:) "The Ripper" (live) is the first highlight of the work, highly structured & complex epic. The vocalist's insane laughing (somewhere over 10/11 minutes) scared me so much at the first listen...frightful indeed. It creates the incredible atmosphere of worry & tension. The next one, "Crown of Thorns" (studio), is the second highlight (my favoritest track on the album). Astonishing ballad-like epic, very haunting...just awesome! The best song on the LP to involve the young minds into it's atmodphere. The pre-last song (I've no 9th track on my CD edition) "Paris is burning" (studio) is a proof, that proggers DO know, what good joke is ( that time...). Great parody on French chanson, a perfect song for radio !:) The last one ("The Hammer falls") is a rock hit (once again) with a ballad intro. The cover-painting is also perfect - very neo-proggy, yet original & moody. With this album I got the Main Prog Rule: DO NEVER BELIEVE THE OPINIONS 'TILL YOU LISTEN TO THE ALBUM BY YOUR OWN EARS. Recommended!

Review by Cesar Inca
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars During their pre-historic era (pre-historic meaning the time before the release of their debut oficial album "The Sentinel"), this powerful neo-prog quintet from Scotland named Pallas had been building a solid repertoire (mostly filled with epic and dramatic compositions) and a fan base in many of the same small and medium venues that also welcomed acts such as Marillion, IQ, Twelfth Night, Abel Ganz and Pendragon (.and others). Well, the main input of Pallas consisted of a robust combination of hard rocking drive and ambitious melodic developments, stating a connection between the symphonic colors of Yas/Genesis and the heavier side of art-rock (Deep Purple, Rush), plus modern touches of what then used to be techno/new-wave and Goth rock. Truth is this Goth element can be noticed in some dense guitar riffs here and there, but mostly it was present in Euan Lowson's persona, whose peculiar vocal range (a limited yet effective mix of "baritonized Ozzy" and "Gabrielized Paul Di'Anno") and theatrical deliveries became an essential element of this adolescent Pallas. This is particularly true for the Amazing 'The Ripper', but we'll get at it later. "Arrive Alive" is the name of their first full length recording before the accomplishment of a proper recording contract. and it consists of 2 demos and 4 live tracks. This digital version brings an extra amount of 3 bonus tracks, all demoed - the sound quality is irregular and amateurish, but this CD reveals a somewhat improved sound mix. The title track opens up the album in a primitive form, a bit meandering but owning a sense of rocking power. It catches the listener's attention easily (or it should, anyway.). The album moves on with the first epic track, '5 to 4', based on long thematic developments and featuring a menacing mellotron (or Novatron?) in some strategic places. The abundant utilization of a slow 6/8 tempo makes the sense of menace work efficiently. It is in track 3, the anthological 'Queen of the Deep', that the band's melodic creativity begins to show in full splendor. With its synthesizer fanfare of Celtic allusions and its robust instrumental amalgam, the stage is set for a display of epic feelings and pompous colors in a typically progressive framework. It also comprises a lovely languid interlude that provides an air of ethereal mystery to the fold. An excellent neo gem, indeed! 'Flashpoint' intends to be as catchy as 'Arrive Alive', and it also finds the band indulging in a punchy jam that includes what are arguably the best Matthewson lead phrases in the entire album: 'Flashpoint' is hard rock a-la Rainbow with a symphonic rock guise. Now, here comes this other absolute gem of Pallas' pre-history: 'The Ripper'!! It is a 14+ minute journey to the sadistic mind of a serial killer, portraying his love for the rape and destruction of women's bodies as rooted in a horrible Oedipical sickness. The instrumental scheme states a powerful confluence of Goth-oriented terror, heavy psychedelia and Black Sabbathian metal in a progressive frame that evokes a sort of "Alice Cooper-ish" Genesis. Go figure! I won't even describe the tortured screams right near the end, where the horror of the female victim and the pleasure of the inner child mingle in one passion. Listen to the CD. and go figure! So sick that it can't help being lovely. Let's move on, shall we?... The album's official tracklist ends with yet another Pallas classic: 'Crown of Thorns', a song with similar epic intentions but a more spiritual tendency. This is Pallas at their most majestic for their pre-"Sentinel" era: the quintet is really headlong for the preservation of the legacies of Yes, Genesis and, why not, a bit of Uriah Heep. The bonus tracks are varied enough to show a band really concerned about bringing a clever eclecticism to art-rock: 'Paris Is Burning' is a well constructed semi-ballad with Chanson Nouveau allusions and a brief climax before the end; 'The Hammer Falls' starts on a very reflective mood until the 1'30" mark, when the band shifts to an extroverted ambience not too far from the sort of colorfulness we have found in 'Crown of Thorns'. Finally, 'Stranger on the Edge of Time' finds the band incorporating a stitch of Ultravox-related sonorities, albeit never giving up on the artsy element. A light-hearted closure for a very interesting item of neo-prog: this is Pallas showing off as a talented progressive adolescent headed for a maturity just around the corner. 2.75 stars for sound quality and production, 4 stars for the compositional skills delivered in the 6 official tracks, 4.15 stars for the energy... all in all, a 4 star rating for this one sounds OK for me.
Review by SouthSideoftheSky
2 stars Pallas arrived live

This 1981 live album was Pallas' very first release. It is rather unusual for a band to release a live album before having released a studio album first, but it would take Pallas another three years until their studio debut and, at least in my opinion, it wasn't until the late 90's and early 2000's that they reached their musical peak. Pallas is thus a band that needed a very long time to mature musically and the present album is clearly an immature effort. Indeed, there is not much here to indicate the direction the band would later take and only the title track from Arrive Alive survived for the studio debut. Indeed, as far as I know, none of the other songs ever existed in studio form.

A few of the other songs here have been played live by the band in recent times though and The Ripper, Crown Of Thorns and Queen Of The Deep have all been featured on other, more recent, live releases - the former two songs were featured on the 2003 live DVD The Blinding Darkness and the third on the 2009 live album Moment To Moment. These songs stood out on those releases as being inferior to the band's newer material, but comparing the new recordings with these from 1981, it becomes clear that they needed an update. And not only in terms of sound quality!

Pallas had not yet found their direction at this point and the Pallas of Arrive Alive has indeed little to do with the Pallas of Beat The Drum, The Cross And The Crucible and The Dreams Of Men, or, for that matter, the Pallas of The Sentinel. They seem unsure here whether they wanted to be a Prog band or a Punk band! Looking back, we can confirm that they thankfully opted for Prog and the rest is history. Well, I might have been exaggerating a bit with the Punk insinuation; several of the songs are actually, after all, around ten minutes in length and quite ambitious, but the execution is rather rough and the end product a bit raw.

I can recommend this album only for fans and collectors of the band as well as to those with a special interest in the early history of British Neo-Prog or "Proto-Neo-Prog" as one might perhaps call this.

Review by Warthur
3 stars Like their peers Twelfth Night, Pallas foreshadowed their celebrated studio career with a live release in 1981 (well, mostly live - all editions after the initial cassette release fill out the running time with some studio demos).

However, whereas Twelfth Night was a highly instrumental-focused group at the time and would only develop a flair for the theatrical once Geoff Mann became their vocalist, Arrive Alive demonstrates that Pallas took a theatrical, narrative approach to their music from the very start. Queen of the Deep feels like an interesting Rush-Eloy mashup, whilst The Ripper gives vocalist Euan Lowson an opportunity to really flex his storytelling and theatrical muscles.

At the same time, the studio demos reveal another side to Pallas's approach. The conventional wisdom used to have it that Pallas, much like Twelfth Night, were victims of studio meddling when they had their brief flirtation with major label stardom, with the band turning out a number of poppier, more mainstream tracks at the behest of the label. However, the title track here - Arrive Alive - is pretty close in its essentially AOR-pop nature to the version which would later appear on The Sentinel, so it's evident that it wasn't just EMI's influence that had Pallas writing material like that.

Different editions of the album offer different track listings and even different "takes" of the live tracks, some of which sound better than others, but any version of the album will be of great interest to those interested in the early neo-prog scene, particularly since Arrive Alive hails from the point in time when it seems like the sound of Pallas, early Marillion and Twelfth Night were the closest.

Review by apps79
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Later in 1978 guitarist Dave Holt left Pallas and the auditions led to the employment of Niall Mathewson, coming from the disbanded Pryer.His arrival and influence led the band towards a more classic Symphonic Rock sound, which was not be deeply discovered by Craig Anderson, who also left in the year, leading to Euan Lowson, ex-frontman of the local act Balrog.A good bunch of original tracks and famous covers (like ''Supper's ready'') showed Pallas' fame increasing, it was the same time though that Mike Stobbie also quit.At the fall of 79' he was replaced by Ronnie Brown and then comes a set of live performances and tours around Scotland, one of them came at the Bungalow Bar in Paisley, a performance recorded for the upcoming cassette album ''Arrive alive'' in June 1981.

The title-track is the only cut recorded in studio and reminding of the band's Symphonic/Punk attitude, a rhythmic piece with aggressive vocals and edgy guitar leads with a few Synth Pop attributes, reminiscent of TWELFTH NIGHT.It appeared later under the title ''Eyes in the night'' on the band's classic debut ''The sentinel''.''Five to four'' was written during the time the band was a four-piece after the departure of Stobbie.The fresh side of Pallas comes in evidence here, a track with a symphonic atmosphere in the rough set of Neo Prog bands, featuring nice guitar solos and an omnipresent Mellotron along with extended instrumental parts and sudden tempo changes, going for a dramatic lyrical outro.Mellotron washes continue with ''Queen of the deep'', a certain live favorite of Pallas fans and a quite complex piece of music, again the mood is towards classic Symphonic Rock with quirky keyboard lines, led by some spacious, orchestral synthesizer, surrounded by an aggressive vocalist and the raw guitar sounds.Very GENESIS-influenced with evolving textures and some great melodies towards the end.''Flashpoint'' is a rather weak and non-sophisticated rocker, even this piece though contains some surprising background Mellotron strings under a powerful guitar performance by Niall Mathewson.The 15-min. ''The ripper'' was a strong reason this live was released, the most favorite of all Pallas tracks at the time and a very good piece of underground Progressive Rock.A YES-meets-PINK FLOYD-meets-GENESIS tour de force with full Mellotron and synth showering, theatrical vocals and very bombastic guitar passages, the reason to set apart Pallas along with TWELFH NIGHT from the other Neo Prog acts of the time, old-school Symphonic Rock meets an 80's Hard/Pop Rock sound.Elaborate instrumental parts combined with angry vocals in an awesome way.The original edition closes with ''Crown of thorns'', which comes a step closer to ''The sentinel'' sound, pretty rhythmic Neo Prog with keyboard interludes, orchestral parts and soft electric guitars along with a more balanced singing performance, fronted by the use of synthesizers and the tapping grooves, fantastic composition.

Of course ''Arrive alive'' was later released on vinyl and fairly won the battle of CD reissues.Extra tracks ''Paris is burning'', ''The hammer falls'' and ''Stranger on the edge of time'' all come from period singles of the band.Run to catch one of these issues, this is raw, extremely passionate and rich 80's Symphonic Rock in the best British tradition, a rare occasion of a Neo Prog band using the Mellotron and a file next to early GALAHAD and TWELFTH NIGHT.Highly recommended.

Latest members reviews

3 stars The debut album from Scotland's most successful prog band is a mixture of early neo-prog and hard rock. The live tracks were recorded in a small bar and have a raw quality, they are the equivalent of a good bootleg from the era, while the studio tracks lack the polish that a better budget would h ... (read more)

Report this review (#911694) | Posted by Daysbetween | Saturday, February 9, 2013 | Review Permanlink

5 stars I originally bought this album on it's release in cassette form, I also own it on vinyl & cd. Sadly, due to the recording being somewhat rough & ready, there is no real benefit to the sound on the cd version. As for the content of the record, well, I could reel off a list of superlatives that ... (read more)

Report this review (#93776) | Posted by Hacketeer | Sunday, October 8, 2006 | Review Permanlink

3 stars Very dodgy production, this is quite a raw recording of the band early in their career. They had already built up an excellent set list and were as us oldies remember a powerful and entertaing live band. Recommended especially for some very atmospheric prog tracks like the Ripper and Queen Of the De ... (read more)

Report this review (#11967) | Posted by | Monday, December 15, 2003 | Review Permanlink

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