Pallas - 'XXV' Hot

Added by Central Electronic Brain     February 28, 2011    
0.0 (0)
10153   0   1   0   0   0







An early contender for my albums of 2011.

So, here it is, the long awaited follow up to the band's debut album, 'The Sentinel', from way back in 1984, but it also happens to be their first release since the departure of vocalist Alan Reed whose sonorous and inimitable style had become synonymous with the band's sound. Like several other bands one can mention (Genesis, Marillion, Spock's Beard and Saga) who all had singers who seemed irreplaceable, the question has to be whether Pallas can overcome this change and make it successful like the first three of the above? The answer is in the affirmative albeit with their sound moving into slightly different territory.

We were promised something a bit heavier and that's what they've delivered with a definite injection of Prog Metal into the mix which at times brings Ayreon to mind both musically and with the use of narrative and soundscapes. It took me a while to place the other comparison that was nagging at me over repeated listens but eventually I alighted at Arena, which I think is a product of new vocalist Paul Mackie's style, which is not unlike Rob Sowden's.
This may be a concept album but like all good examples of the genre each song stands alone when heard in isolation, with opening number 'Falling Down' setting the tone in grandiose fashion. Magnum-esque guitar is combined with Graeme Murray's gargantuan Rickenbacker bass to lay a platform for a really memorable song that has a great chorus, all of which bodes well.

Now, the following song, 'Crash And Burn' would have to be my least favourite on the album because its sounds rather messy. It starts well enough with a sci-fi style intro (think Dio's 'Magica' album) before exploding into something way heavier than we've heard from the band before, and it's this bit that I can't get my head around. It's as if they are trying to outdo Dream Theater and ends up sounding rather cluttered and lacking in structure. When the song settles down it takes on a more pleasing vibe, particularly the chorus, which is fabulous and therefore redeems the situation to a degree. Fortunately, the rest of the album keeps clear of this over-the-top approach and is devoid of similar criticism.

Fireworks - The Ultimate Magazine For Melodic Rock Music

This website uses cookies to help us give you the best experience when you visit. Cookies used for the essential operation of the site have already been set. By continuing to browse the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies. To find out more about the cookies we use and how to delete them, see our Privacy Statement.

I accept cookies from this site

'Something In The Deep' slows the pace considerably and lets Mackie come to the fore. His voice may not have the uniqueness of his predecessor but it sits right with the songs. On this song the music is atmospheric in a Pink Floyd style and this is reinforced by Niall Mathewson's subtle guitar accentuations that one might expect from Dave Gilmour. The slow burn of the song sees the tension build until the final minute when some excellent orchestration is added bringing a film soundtrack quality to the party. I can see documentary makers using this soundbyte. On that high we move into 'Monster', a track used by the band as a free download as a taster for the album, and I suspect this is because it is the most Pallas-like songs compared to their recent output. The refrain for this is stuck in my head to such an extent that today at work I found myself mumbling it while standing at the printer. Another strong chorus and fine solos from Mathewson really makes this a top notch track. Thus far I have been remiss in not mentioning the sterling work of Ronnie Brown (keys) and Colin Fraser (drums) who are superb throughout, but really shine on this track. The song blends beautifully into the following 'The Alien Messiah' courtesy of Brown's wonderful synth work. This is another one with that Ayreon/Arena aspect to it and as such is a highlight with its great riff; this is the band doing heavy in a far more measured manner.

The title track makes two appearances on the album; Part 1 ('Twenty-Five Good Honest Men') arrives first and it has a huge refrain and melody. 'Young God' is a Prog Metal/Hard Rock amalgam that again has that Arena vibe until a section where Glenn Hughes/Robert Plant come to mind. Murray's bass pedals and call back vocals are monumental towards the end of the song. 'Sacrifice' has a terrific riff and yet another fabulous melody and the switch of tempo is really well arranged and makes this song a highlight amongst many on the album.

'Blackwood' is a short atmospheric piece that serves as the intro to the penultimate track, 'Violet Sky' which opens with a delightful female voice wailing (in a good way) over the theme that builds into a truly superb slow number with Mackie's emotive vocal delivery and a lovely, memorable refrain. Brown's piano work on this song is nothing short of brilliant. Closing out proceedings is the Part 2 of the title track ('The Unmakers Awake') with more atmospherics and then a rousing finale.

Having seen the press pack and the CD booklet that will come with the proper release all I can say is this looks like a superb package and one that will make old-school collectors like me purr with delight. Downloads? Pah! Suffice to say; despite the changes, they've produced a terrific album and an early contender for my albums of 2011.

Gary Marshall

Share this on the web.

User reviews

There are no user reviews for this listing.


Comments (0)add comment

Write comment

security image
Write the displayed characters


Member Login


<<  October 2021  >>
 Mo  Tu  We  Th  Fr  Sa  Su 
      1  2  3
  4  5  6  7  8  910

Search Here

Shout Here

Latest Message: 1 day, 8 hours ago
  • Deeppurple#1 : Hi,I downloaded my free copy of issue #87 but I can't seem to open the file. Any advice?
  • Berny : RIP Alan Lancaster! :(
  • Berny : @Barneypippa: I forwarded your mail to the Fireworks team. You should receive a reply asap.
  • Barneypippa : My magazine (#96) hasnt arrived yet - should have been here last week
  • Rocktopia Te : @bakerstreetish: Pls. check your email for download instructions.
  • bakerstreeti : Hi, I just bought digital download #96. How will I be able to receive/access it? First time on this site. Thanks!
  • zom414 : Have they been posted out yet? Not received mine yet but may have the release date wrong!
  • Johns Band : Received glossy Fireworks 96 and one of best ever. I am still looking at pictures and "Revisit The Gods AOR Festive" should be great. Probably get download from issue 101 to save on space & it is read to me from audio voice. Already got Robben Ford Instrumental album "Pure" great stuff & Freddy King singing & guitar I love, so Bernie Marsden new album I will have on Amazon Prime. If you are into 70's Rock then new Help Yourself 6 CD Boxset + info will be good for you plus expert to pay no more
  • Berny : Fireworks #96 is out now! :)
  • Berny : @Paul wiv: Pls. check your email!
  • Paul wiv : I have paid for issue 92 but it hasn't downloaded yet.
  • Berny : @Adamson: Bitte kontaktiere mich direkt, meine Mailadresse lautet «email»
  • Adamson : kann man hier auch auf Deutsch schreiben? denn ich hätte eine Frage?
  • KI2000 : Wow, issue #95 has to be the BEST one so far. Congratulations guys!!
  • Hysteria : GREAT MAGAZINE! Keep on rockin' guys!!!
  • Berny : Fireworks Magazine #95 is out now!
  • Berny : @Paul wiv: Many thanks for your purchase, pls. check your mail.
  • Paul wiv : I have bought issue 89 on download but it has not appeared on my account
  • Berny : @pomper: BOTH of your mails were forwarded to the Fireworks Team, please contact me directly at «email» should you still haven’t received a reply.
  • bpomper : trying to confirm my fireworks 94 order with no answer from team rocktopia??
  • bpomper : i ordered fireworks number 94 but never got a conformation other than my paypal receipt. can you confirm it went out. i have transaction id if you need it
  • Berny : @ALL: Should you have any questions about your Fireworks orders, pls. contact me directly at «email»
  • Berny : Hi @Stuey6666: You are using two user names on Rocktopia. All current orders were assigned to your second account, pls. check your mail again.
  • Stuey6666 : Hi Berny - ordered 4 issues last week - still not arrived - have checked spam etc not there. cheers stu
  • Berny : @Adolfo: I've also just sent you the magazine via WeTransfer. But please check you junk mail folder, the mail was definitely sent earlier today.
  • Berny : Hi @Adolfo: Have you already checked your spam folder? If the mail cannot be found, pls. contact me at «email»
  • Adolfo : «email»
  • Adolfo : My e - mail
  • Adolfo : I don't have any e - mail.
  • Berny : @Adolfo: Pls. check your e - mail for download instructions.

Only registered users are allowed to post

Follow Us


This website uses cookies to help us give you the best experience when you visit. Cookies used for the essential operation of the site have already been set. By continuing to browse the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies. To find out more about the cookies we use and how to delete them, see our Privacy Statement.

I accept cookies from this site