Artist/ Band: Pallas
Title: Arrive Alive, The Sentinel, The Wedge, Beat the Drum
Label: InsideOut Music
Year of Release: 1981 (1999), 1984 (2000), 1986 (2000), 1999)
official website (for more info on this and the band's other cds)

1. Arrive Alive
2. 5 To 4
3. Queen of the Deep
4. Flashpoint
5. The Ripper
6. Crown of Thorns
7. Paris Is Burning
8. The Hammer Falls
9. Stranger on the edge
of time

1. Shock Treatment
2. Cut And Run
3. Arrive Alive
4. Rise And Fall (part 1)
5. Eastwest
6. March on Atlantis
7. Rise And Fall (part 2)
8. Heart Attack
9. Atlantis
10. Ark of Infinity

1. Dance Through
the Fire
2. Throwing Stones
At the Wind
3. Win Or Lose
4. The Executioner
(Bernie Goetz A Gun)
5. Imagination
6. Rat Racing
7. Just A Memory
8. Stranger
9. Sanctuary
10. Nightmare

1. Call to Arms
2. Beat the Drum
3. Hide & Seek
4. Insomniac
5. All Or Nothing
6. Spirits
7. Man of Principle
8. Ghosts
9. Blood & Tears
10. Wilderness Years
11. Fragments of Time

The Review:

The Scottish neo-prog band, Pallas began back in 1979. They endured the lineup changes in the form of the original singer leaving. Sound familar? Seems to be a formula or a rite of passage with most bands. Pallas gave us three major (2 and a half depending if you count the original releases or the new InsideOut Muisc reissues) releases during the 80's then came back in 1999 with a solid release to reflect the times The first two albums (Arrive Alive and The Sentinel), were recorded with Euan Lawson on lead vocals, Arrive Allive sounds more in the Twelfth Night/ Marillion vein whereas The Sentinel adapted a more hard rock approach, still hanging onto so neo-prog. Then when Euan left, a British singer named Alan Reed took over on The Wedge (in the late 80's) and their comeback release Bang the Drum in 1999 .

Back in 2000, InsideOut Music (German division) decided to reissue the first four Pallas albums with expanded liner notes and The Sentinel and The Wedge contained CD-Rom bonus tracks. Recently, the American division of IOM released these four and just in time for their NEARfest performance in July of this year. Those of you going are in for a treat.

Arrive Alive, originally issued only on cassette, was recorded live in Scotland in April 1981. The reissue features an alternate running order and here “The Ripper,” Lowson’s most infamous piece (which he literally reenacts in a guest appearance on The Blinding Darkness). The Ripper is on par with The Enemy Smacks (IQ) and The Creepshow (Twelfth Night) when it comes to theatrics.

Pallas was signed to EMI Records,thus becoming label mates with Marillion. Sadly that was short lived. The Sentinel is by far my favorite Pallas recording with it’s a concept ual disc based on the lost city of Atlantis but done with Cold War themes. It says it was produced by Eddie Offord (Yes producer). This version of The Sentinel includes additional tracks originally available only as B-sides, plus rare video footage of Pallas playing London’s Hammersmith Odeon in 1982, considered to be the only live footage of the original band featuring Lowson. The Sentinel also was the last Pallas record featuring Lawson. Reed, who made his debut on the 1985 EP Knightmoves which contained more pop-influenced tracks. The reissue of The Wedge includes those and the music sounds more polished and heavier sounding. As a bonus, a fancy video of the band performing the original version of “Win or Lose” (not the one that appears on The Wedge) is also included on this version of the album.

After the activity they had in the 80's, Pallas remained dormant until 1999 when Beat the Drum was released. This time around the sounds less eccentric and more sophisticated than any previous Pallas record. The music reflected the time with an updated approach. I remember hearing some people were rather disappointed with the outcome but remember there was 13 years of silence between the last release and this one. I personally think Beat The Drum is an acquired taste.. This was also the mark of another line-up change, new drummer Colin Fraser (who replaced original drummer Derek Forman).

For those that have the latest studio and live releases please complete your collection today. Also for those that had the original releases, there is a strong enough improvement on the quality of the music to warrant replacing those old copies.

Reviewed by Ron Fuchs on May 2nd, 2004

Band Members:

Euan Lawson - Vocals (Arrive Alive, The Sentinel)
Alan Reed - Vocals (The Wedge, Beat the Drum)
Graeme Murray - Bass
Nail Mathewson - Guitar
Ronnie Brown - Keyboards
Derek Forman - Drums (Arrive Alive, The Sentinel, The Wedge)
Colin Fraser - Drums (Beat The Drum)

Reviewed Discography

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