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Pallas - 1984 The Sentinel



ARTIST: Pallas
ALBUM: The Sentinel
LABEL: EMI Harvest
SERIAL: SHSP 2400121
YEAR: 1984
CD REISSUE: 1992, Centaur (Germany), CENCD 001 * 2000, InsideOut, IOMCD 058

COUNTRY OF ORIGIN:

LINEUP: Euan Lowson - vocals * Graeme Murray - bass, 12 string guitar, bass pedals, vocals * Ronnie Brown - keyboards, vocals * Niall Mathewson - guitars, vocals * Derek Forman - drums, percussion, vocals

TRACK LISTING: 01 Shock Treatment * 02 Cut And Run * 03 Arrive Alive * 04 Rise And Fall (Part 1) * 05 East West * 06 March On Atlantis * 07 Rise And Fall (Part 2) * 08 Heart Attack * 09 Atlantis * 10 Ask Of Infinity

WEBLINKS: www.pallasofficial.com


Background
Pallas were one of the original movers and shakers of the early 80's UK 'neo-progressive' movement that included Marillion, Twelfth Night and IQ, but also lesser knowns like Dagaband, Twice Bitten, LeMat and Tamarisk. The scene was short-lived, but has influenced progressive rock to this day for better or worse.


The Songs
After Marillion's signing to a major label, it appeared that Pallas would ride the same coat tails to 'superstardom' as Fish and company, but it didn't quite work that way. Signing a deal with EMI, the label sent Pallas to Atlanta, Georgia to work with producer Eddie Offord, who was best known for his work with Yes. I am not sure if Offord was the right choice, but the album sounds OK and with material like the opening 'Shock Treatment' the band sound far more contemporary (for the time) than on their first independent release 'Arrive Alive'. Speaking of which, the song 'Arrive Alive' is reworked here, but I prefer the original version. Anyway, the two part 'Rise and Fall' and 'Atlantis' find Pallas at their most dramatic and progressive, but even after listening to this again all these years later, I feel something was missing either in the song writing or the production itself. Don't get me wrong, it's a fine album, but it could have been better.


In Summary
Perhaps British audiences felt the same way? In support of 'The Sentinel', Pallas undertook a major theater tour of the UK that proved disastrous as audiences were small at best. The album received very little attention in the United States and with no tour to support sales, it basically disappeared. Vocalist Euan Lowson left the band a short time later and was replaced by former Abel Ganz voice Alan Reed who took the band to a more AOR sound with the excellent follow up 'The Wedge'. 'The Sentinel' is worth picking up and has been reissued by Inside Out with a nice booklet of photos, etc. Oh yeah, special mention must be made of Patrick Woodroffe's amazing cover art. Wow!


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