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PALLAS

Neo-Prog • United Kingdom


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Pallas biography
Formed in Aberdeen, Scotland in 1980 (founded in 1974 as "Rainbow") - Recording hiatus from 1987-1998

PALLAS is, after MARILLION, and along with IQ and PENDRAGON, one of the most important acts of the Eighties Progressive rebirth. This is an energetic and magnificent neo progressive band in the style of IQ/MARILLION but with more edge. Their music is centered on melodic hooks, loud sound and great voice. "The Sentinel" brings a tint of pop in a still elaborate progressive spectrum.

Scottish prog band PALLAS definitely have one of the longest gaps between albums on record. They released their first album, "The Sentinel" in 1984 and followed it up with "The Wedge" two years later. Their next album, "Beat the Drum" (72 minutes of music with epic accents, rock rhythms and style, and ballads full of feeling), did not show up for 13 years. It will be followed by the wonderful "The Cross And The Crucible" in 2001. This album features all the things prog fans are looking for - atmospheric keyboards, great guitar tunes and a well working rhythm section - and last but not least an vocalist with an very own style. Highly recommended to fans of neo Progressive style.

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The Cross & The CrucibleThe Cross & The Crucible
Inside Out U.S. 2001
$16.24
$12.49 (used)
The Dreams of MenThe Dreams of Men
Inside Out 2005
$24.99
$14.99 (used)
XXVXXV
Limited Edition
Megaforce 2011
$24.99
$19.99 (used)
WearewhoweareWearewhoweare
JFK 2015
$20.07 (used)
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PALLAS discography


Ordered by release date | Showing ratings (top albums) | Help Progarchives.com to complete the discography and add albums

PALLAS top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.49 | 227 ratings
The Sentinel
1984
3.01 | 112 ratings
The Wedge [Aka: Knightmoves To Wedge...]
1986
3.59 | 150 ratings
Beat The Drum
1998
3.49 | 186 ratings
The Cross & The Crucible
2001
3.99 | 266 ratings
The Dreams Of Men
2005
3.27 | 144 ratings
XXV
2011
3.79 | 117 ratings
Wearewhoweare
2014

PALLAS Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.13 | 61 ratings
Arrive Alive
1981
3.77 | 13 ratings
Live Our Lives
2000
4.18 | 58 ratings
The Blinding Darkness
2003
3.16 | 20 ratings
The River Sessions 1
2005
3.40 | 20 ratings
The River Sessions 2
2005
3.29 | 7 ratings
Official Bootleg 27.01.06
2006
3.11 | 16 ratings
Moment To Moment
2009
4.33 | 3 ratings
Live At Loreley
2013
4.00 | 3 ratings
Live - Southampton 1986
2013

PALLAS Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

4.47 | 51 ratings
The Blinding Darkness
2003
3.83 | 14 ratings
Live From London
2005
3.50 | 18 ratings
Moment to Moment
2008
4.67 | 3 ratings
Live At Loreley II
2013

PALLAS Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

2.93 | 20 ratings
Knight Moves To Wedge
1986
3.83 | 6 ratings
Sketches
1989
4.17 | 6 ratings
Mythopoeia
2002
3.67 | 3 ratings
The Sentinel Demos
2013
4.00 | 4 ratings
The Sentinel Rough Mixes
2013
4.75 | 4 ratings
The Arrive Alive Demos
2013
4.00 | 1 ratings
The Knight Moves Demos
2013
4.00 | 6 ratings
Courage - and Other Songs of War and Peace
2018

PALLAS Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

3.00 | 3 ratings
The Pallas EP
1978
4.00 | 1 ratings
Arrive Alive
1982
3.50 | 2 ratings
Paris Is Burning
1983
3.67 | 3 ratings
Eyes In The Night (Arrive Alive)
1984
3.67 | 3 ratings
Shock Treatment
1984
4.00 | 2 ratings
Eyes In The Night / Shock Treatment
1984
2.00 | 2 ratings
Throwing Stones At The Wind
1985
3.00 | 4 ratings
The Knightmoves
1985
2.55 | 14 ratings
Monster
2010
2.67 | 7 ratings
Atlantean
2011
5.00 | 2 ratings
Set 2013
2013
5.00 | 1 ratings
Wearewhoweare Premix Megamix
2013
5.00 | 1 ratings
XXV Megamix
2013
5.00 | 1 ratings
Something In The Deep Karaoke Mix
2013
4.33 | 3 ratings
Itiswhatitis
2014

PALLAS Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 The Dreams Of Men by PALLAS album cover Studio Album, 2005
3.99 | 266 ratings

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The Dreams Of Men
Pallas Neo-Prog

Review by VianaProghead
Prog Reviewer

5 stars Review Nš 188

"The Dreams Of Men" is the fifth studio album of the Scottish progressive rock group Pallas and was released in 2005. The line up on the album is Alan Reed, Niall Mathewson, Ronnie Brown, Graeme Murray and Colin Fraser.

Alongside with Marillion Pendragon and IQ, Pallas is one of the bands that belonged to neo-prog's first guards in the 80's. One of those bands who invented virtually, this time with Marillion, this kind of music. And even though personally I would ascribe the "invention" of the neo-prog to Marillion with their debut EP, Pallas certainly contributed with their part. One mustn't forget that with "The Sentinel", the boys, in 1984, have created an absolute neo-prog classic album.

What impresses most on Pallas is that "The Dreams Of Men" is only their fifth studio album in twenty-four years career of these Scotsmen. However, if you take in mind the band's 12 years hiatus, between 1986 and 1998, then, five albums in 12 years isn't all that scarce. After all, it's not less than their contemporaries Pendragon or IQ produce. Furthermore, there is a difference in album making where some artists chuck every note they play in the studio on their albums and other working on their music just a little while longer, perfecting the compositions as they go. And indeed, like their preceding album "The Cross And The Crucible" comes across very polished, very well thought out and very good too.

Again, Pallas has allowed an eternity to pass. Four years have gone into the world since this Scottish progressive rock institution with "The Cross And The Curcible" has delivered another album, which should be very hard to beat. Accordingly, the two band heads and perfectionists in personal union, Niall Mathewson and Graeme Murray, have also taken a lot of time again and could again offer an album that surpasses all expectations. "The Dreams Of Men" is definitely one of the strongest progressive rock albums of the new millennium and probably the best work in the history of Pallas. With excellent orchestral arrangements and a constant play with the loud and quiet dynamics, Pallas tackles the matter and hit the bull's eye precisely in the middle. The music on "The Dreams Of Men" is pure excitement and lives from the gripping changes between opulently sounded, operatic-like sounds and subtly orchestrated acoustic passages, in which Alan Reed can play the full spell of his voice. This is how the man sings through the album, past exciting compositions like "The Bringer Of Dreams" and "Too Close To The Sun", past a surprisingly direct song in the form of "Messiah" and passing by one of the most beautiful instrumental pieces I've ever heard "Northern Star".

About the tracks, "The Bringer Of Dreams" is grand, epic and majestic and shows how the things start on the album. Some violin light passages dominate the verses, building the atmosphere of the song, so that everything comes together as a great musical coordinated delivery. Understanding the mentality of the terrorist element and the suicide bombers seem to prevail over "Warriors", which unfortunately seems to be very actual in these days. The guitars are coarse, just like the message. The strange introduction of a dream violin precedes "Ghostdancers", but the entire Floydian style, as delivery borders, is really majestic. Rivalizing with this one, here it's another great moment of the album which is "Too Close To The Sun". Graeme Murray's bass lines are prominent as Geddy Lee, as a form, although the whole song reflects and flows, as Pallas's urgent musical delivery is displaced by passages besieged by melodic calm. "Messiah" is an unusual case, with strutting bass lines, exotic Asian like keyboard textures, and some wah-wah guitar released for good measure. Vocalist Alan Reed is trying to tell a story here, his vocals alternating between singing and spoken words. It's followed by the "Northern Star" instrumental that sounds through the speakers as a gentle breeze. The sonic dramatization kicks in "Mr Wolfe", the general air of the song swimming us in dark atmosphere. Pallas continues his epic-mode with "Invincible". The structure of the song is dotted with specific markers that are obvious as you navigate your way through the song. "The Last Angel" is also impressive. A slow and passionate accumulation is clear in this 11 minutes affair, where operatic voices permeate the music with a good effect.

Conclusion: Four years have passed since Pallas released their previous studio album "The Cross And the Crucible". Pallas is more genius than ever before and delivers one of my personal favourite progressive rock albums ever. Better, more sophisticated and more versatile you can hardly write progressive rock music, without losing the helm over your own performance from the hand. Pallas have mastered this balancing act perfectly this time and provide more than an hour of excellent entertainment. "The Dreams Of Men" is best to be found in the lavish double-CD version, which also contains a few isolated sound examples from the development phase of the album. Pallas is certainly among the better groups in the neo-prog genre, at least as good as IQ and Pendragon, and fans of those bands should find this one to their liking. Unfortunately, this was the last album with Alan Reed which is a pity. I always loved the range of his vocals.

Prog is my Ferrari. Jem Godfrey (Frost*)

 Live From London by PALLAS album cover DVD/Video, 2005
3.83 | 14 ratings

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Live From London
Pallas Neo-Prog

Review by TenYearsAfter

4 stars "FIRST REVIEW OF THIS DVD"

In the mid Eighties the neo prog movement really started to blossom, for UK tv station Superchannel a good reason to broadcast a serie of concerts from the most popular bands: Marillion, IQ, Twelfth Night and Pallas. In those days we could receive Superchannel in Holland, as neo-prog aficionados we were delighted with these very pleasant events, our beloved music on tv! Later I bought the videos and DVD's and could experience these memorable gigs again and again. I notice on PA that the Pallas ' Live In London DVD has only 9 ratings and no reviews, so I wanted do to justice to that memorable gig by Pallas in London 1985 with this review.

The Superchannel concerts were recorded in the small venue Camden Palace Theatre in London, all sold out, the atmosphere was very intimate. This gives an extra dimension, you can watch that the interaction between fans and the band fueled the perfomance. The 'medium' in that experience was Alan Reed, Pallas their singer and frontman. After 15 minutes he pulls off his shirt, with his naked upper body and his tight white pants he looks like a young Mick Jagger. But more handsome (haha) and no horny ego-maniac behaviour. In contrary, you can see that the charming Alan loves to please his fans and he enjoys performing the Pallas music on stage. A funny contrast is the huge bass player Graeme Murray with his impressive Rickenbacker bass and the small Alan with his microphone. Remarkable is the wide range of keyboards from Ronnie Brown, including a 4-layer rack, when he plays the upper keyboard, his hands are above his head, some 'Wakemanesque grandeur'!

Pallas plays a very inspired set (9 songs), there is respect and pleasure on stage (later this went totally wrong), the crowd enjoys the blend of harder-edged melodic rock and symphonic rock, topped with strong soli on guitar and keyboards, a tight and powerful rhythm-secton and passionate vocals by Alan Reed. Halfway Nightmare singer Alan retires for a while, time for keyboard player Ronnie: he plays some Toccata in D-Fuga (majestic church organ sound) and flashy flights on synthesizers, then Alan returns and the final part delivers an exciting bombastic atmosphere featuring awesome Mellotron choirs, fiery electric guitar and an ecstatic Alan! The absolute highlight is the compelling epic medley Sanctuary/Atlantis: in the ultimate bombastic tradition Greame plays on a double-neck guitar and in the final part Alan delivers a very emotional act (like Fish in Forgotten Sons and Peter Gabriel in The Musical Box and Supper's Ready): he slowly raises his hands to the sky, glorious Mellotron choirs reign, fans, musicians and the msuci has become one, this is Neo Prog Heaven, goose bumps! The two final up-tempo tracks Strangers and Eyes In The Night are a perfect conclusion fort the crowd to clap, roar, yell and jump and for the band to show their joy and appreciation.

What a wonderful and inspired gig that was in London, 1985, highly recommended.

 The Sentinel by PALLAS album cover Studio Album, 1984
3.49 | 227 ratings

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The Sentinel
Pallas Neo-Prog

Review by Magnum Vaeltaja
Special Collaborator Eclectic Prog Team

2 stars The Sentinel, the debut release by Scottish neo-prog group PALLAS, is a concept album that focuses on war as its central theme. Which is apt, as it is one of the those albums that I've listened to for quite a while and have fought and struggled to enjoy as much as I do.

The album has its fair share of redeeming features, from the fantastical cover art by Patrick Woodroffe, impeccable musicianship from the members of PALLAS and the seriously cool allegorical concept of the "Atlantis Suite", several tracks from the album that depict the Cold War by painting a spellbinding tale of the fictional Atlantis. Unfortunately, what springs from a seemingly perfect album to hail in the hall of prog legends for all eternity are a whole bunch of (largely record company-based) slip-ups that really diminish from its overall quality.

The album's "poppy"-er tracks, added at the request of the record company, add about 14 minutes of filler material that I have never had trouble skipping. And then the Atlantis Suite itself is a concept better imagined than executed. The more rock-oriented "Rise And Fall" is the sole track that keeps my interest every time; while the others are certainly not bad material and are great displays of the band's talents, I've simply never been particularly moved by them. The production, by Eddy Offord of Yes and ELP fame, is also nothing to write home about and sounds quite weak given the immense scale of the musical and lyrical content.

Having said that, this album is quite historically significant and if you are a fan of neo-prog, it's definitely worth a listen or many.

 Wearewhoweare by PALLAS album cover Studio Album, 2014
3.79 | 117 ratings

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Wearewhoweare
Pallas Neo-Prog

Review by Second Life Syndrome
Prog Reviewer

5 stars 4.5 stars

I'm going to go out on a limb and say that this ended up as one of my favorite albums of 2014. This really surprised me, as my first listen did not yield much for me. However, after several spins, I can say with confidence that "wearewhoweare" is awesome, and I'll tell you why.

I originally heard Pallas for the first time with their spectacular previous album "XXV". It was spacey, scary, and ominous with bits of serenity and pure beauty therein. After hearing this, I investigated some of their discography, and time and time again I heard Pallas' ability to compose tight, catchy melodies. "wearewhoweare" follows this same trend, but adds quite an electronic feel along with quirky, dark instrumental passages that are near the top of my list for 2014.

The band consists of Paul Mackie on vocals, Graeme Murray on bass, Niall Mathewson on guitars, Ronnie Brown on keyboards, and Colin Fraser on drums. This team is simply incredible. Niall's guitars floored me as he bounces back and forth between ominous edge and Gilmour-ish soul. Ronnie's keys are constantly there, filling out the atmosphere with gusto and presence. Graeme's bass is fleshy and head-turning. Colin's drums are pounding and played with finesse. I was simply blown away with the dark-as-night verses that transition into lovely choruses guided by Paul's lush voice. I cannot compliment these guys enough.

I've seen some complaints about Pallas' new sound. Some people think they should have stayed in their 80's neo- progressive sound, but I personally applaud this old band for the incredible ingenuity and creativity that are so obvious. I mean, just look at the array of artwork they've applied to this album! It's easily one of my favorites from 2014 because I get and enjoy the quirky, almost sci-fi horror behind it all.

My favorite tracks are the catchy opener "Shadow of the Sun", the wonderful instrumentals of "Harvest Moon", and the longing, expectant sound of "Winter is Coming". Every track, though, has high points that are very memorable. Pallas has given me, then, the exact album I hoped to hear from them. I wanted a little progression in sound. but I wanted that clean, clear melody, too. "wearewhoweare" is exactly that.

 Beat The Drum by PALLAS album cover Studio Album, 1998
3.59 | 150 ratings

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Beat The Drum
Pallas Neo-Prog

Review by Progrussia

3 stars Pallas is a rare case of a legendary (or, in their case, semi-legendary) band whose reunion work is better than the original. Pallas sounds like an 80s style arena rock band (you know, the cheery/sad melodies, thin-sounding guitars and synths) with Pink Floydian neo-prog atmospheric and church- sounding leanings. On Beat the Drum, they sound less bombastic than on the albums that follow, mostly straight-forward socially-conscious adult-oriented rock not unlike 80s Rush, Genesis or Midnight Oil. The album is about evenly divided into melody-driven rocky tunes, some ballads and attempts to return to epic scale, of which only Ghosts can be considered memorable. While other songs are not bad, they can suffer from a repetitive beat or absence of good melodic hooks. The guys are just having fun here, exploring what avenues their reunion might take them.
 The Cross & The Crucible by PALLAS album cover Studio Album, 2001
3.49 | 186 ratings

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The Cross & The Crucible
Pallas Neo-Prog

Review by Progrussia

4 stars Following on the steps of Beat the Drum, this album proves that Pallas' comeback was no fluke. Pallas sound here like a mix of 80s style synth-drenched arena rock (a touch of Rush and Bruce Springsteen, why not) and Pink Floydian celestial atmospherics, with their church sounds and airy guitar solos. Typically neo-prog in the combination of catchiness and familiar moderate complexity. Songs are typically unhurried, stately and completely humorless in their over-dramatization of the human condition, a catchy rock riff followed by a quieter middle section culminating with a big encore - you know, a kind of music you will probably not head-bang or surf a wave to, but surely tap your fingers. While probably not an essential album, but one of the stronger outing from Pallas, with little filler.

 Wearewhoweare by PALLAS album cover Studio Album, 2014
3.79 | 117 ratings

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Wearewhoweare
Pallas Neo-Prog

Review by Progrussia

4 stars If you think that the hard-rocking XXV from Pallas was a departure from their usual retro 80s sound, wait till you hear this. It retains the basic neo-prog formula of long-winded pompous rock+pompous atmospherics, but mixes it up with all sorts of eclectic stuff - synth-pop, techno, gothic, soul, even some Latin sounds.The first track hooked me with a lush techno start progressing into a danceable beat propelled by fat bass lines, synth-pop washes and elongated vocal mannerisms a la Brit-pop. By the second track I was sure I was listening to Airbag with its melancholic pop/electric Pink Floyd formula. Then it settles into a style that is apparently the new Pallas - with a dark electronic underbed pierced by strong guitars. What is known as the "Porcupine-fication" approach to modern prog. Its a diverse set of songs, a plus for this veteran band, but with its younger influences - mainly from the likes of Porcupine Tree and Muse - sticking from all over their ears.
 The Blinding Darkness by PALLAS album cover Live, 2003
4.18 | 58 ratings

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The Blinding Darkness
Pallas Neo-Prog

Review by Progrussia

4 stars A superb live outing from Pallas. Could be marketed as Greatest Hits. Vol.1 (1 because it was prior to the great Dreams of Men album), because it contains all the essential songs plus more in a form not too far away from studio versions, but delivered with energy and a better, louder production. Pallas's songs typically alternate between more driving sections, quiet break-downs and Pink Floyd-influenced big celestial endings. That's a formula quite common to neo-prog, to be sure, but Pallas are distinct in the way that they sound very 80s oriented - sharp but kind of thin, even with traces of synth-pop - whereas most others opt for vintage 70s or the heavy and thick 2000s sound. On the minus side, they do too much of the 10-minute stuff here, unwarranted, because the 7-8 minute format is what I think is their top game.
 XXV by PALLAS album cover Studio Album, 2011
3.27 | 144 ratings

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XXV
Pallas Neo-Prog

Review by Progrussia

3 stars Reduced is the Pink Floydian spaceousness, upped the hard rock guitar. But the end result is not as heavy, pounding bombast in the vein of the recent neo-prog trend (Arena, Pendragon) as you'd expect from some of the reviews. Rather, the tone of the album is dark and bitter. This is still recognizably Pallas, dramatic and slow (for the most part, with perhaps the exception of the end of Crash and Burn where they just grind it away on guitars and synths). My problem with this album is not that's a departure from the Pallas we know and love, and songs are simpler. It's that in half the songs there is little going on. It seems as if music is sacrificed to the story concept here. Sometimes it works, such as on Somewhere in the deep, with its lone slow synths and a mourning vocal, but other times it doesn't. The second part of the album in particular.
 The Dreams Of Men by PALLAS album cover Studio Album, 2005
3.99 | 266 ratings

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The Dreams Of Men
Pallas Neo-Prog

Review by Progrussia

4 stars Pallas is sometimes credited along with Marillion, etc, with the British neo-prog revival in the 80s, although its work of any relevance today is probably from the 2000s. While being typical neo-prog in many respects - the penchant for the dramatic, celestial crescendos and world-weary themes - Pallas is the one that leaves its music breathe, bringing them closer to Pink Floyd side of the neo-prog, equation, with an occasional angry edge. The Dreams of Men is their best work. It starts with perhaps Pallas' three best songs, the celestial Bringer of Dreams, the rockier-in-parts Warriors with its great uo-tempo heavy opening riff and great subject matter, and the tragic ballad Ghostdancers about the plight of the American Indian, with a wonderful teary fiddle part. Overall, though, Pallas is less somewhat accessible than some of its peers, such as Marillion or Pendragon.
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