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Articles Home » 2005 Articles » Pallas - 2005 Dreams Of Men
Pallas - 2005 Dreams Of Men

ARTIST: Pallas
ALBUM: The Dreams Of Men
LABEL: Inside Out Music
YEAR: 2005


LINEUP: Alan Reed - vocals * Niall Mathewson - guitars * Graeme Murray - bass * Ronnie Brown - keyboards * Colin Fraser - drums

TRACK LISTING: 01 The Bringer Of Dreams * 02 Warriors * 03 Ghostdancers * 04 Too Close To The Sun * 05 Messiah * 06 Northern Star * 07 Mr Wolfe * 08 Invincible * 09 The Last Angel



I know there are many progressive rock fans who visit the halls of GLORY-DAZE. To put a finer point on it all, I know there are many Pallas fans too. This long-serving British prog rock band continue to deliver some exceptional work 25 years into their service. The year 2005 sees Pallas back out in the market again with 'Dreams Of Men'. Goodness, it seems like absolute ages ago that albums like 'The Sentinel' and 'The Wedge' were doing the rounds on my turntable. What hasn't changed is the bands ability to keep it interesting, both musically, and with all the album packaging that comes with it. The makeup of the band has been intact since those early days, Mathewson, Murray and Brown all stalwarts since day one, Reed replacing original singer Euan Lowson for the 1986 album 'The Wedge', and though many fans of the band still have a hard time listening to Reed, he is a significant part of their sound, in much the same way that Fish was with Marillion. The band still focus heavily on long drawn out passages of enthralling musicianship, but are still quite some way from the time-challenged opii that forefathers Yes were creating way back in the early 70's. 73 minutes of track time are contained within the digital confines of 'Dreams Of Men', and in a nutshell, this album is la grande opus.. or 9 on a 10 scale as they say.

The Songs
Grand, epic, majestic.. this is how things start out on 'The Bringer Of Dreams'. Light violin pizzicato like passages dominate the verses, building the atmosphere of the song, so that it all comes together as one big coordinated musical delivery. Understanding the mindset of the terrorist element and suicide bombers seem to prevail on 'Warriors'. The guitars are coarse, as is the message. The eerie dreamlike violin intro precedes 'Ghostdancers', but the whole Floydian like delivery borders on majestic. Probably one of the best tracks of the album for me. Rivalling this is another track bordering on grand, and that is 'Too Close To The Sun'. The bass lines from Graeme Murray are prominent in a Geddy Lee like fashion, though the whole song ebbs and flows, as the Pallas urgent musical delivery is offset by passages beset by melodic calm. 'Messiah' is an unusual affair, with strutting bass lines, exotic Asian like keyboard textures, and some wah-wah guitar thrown in for good measure. Vocalist Alan Reed is trying to tell a story here, his vocals alternating between singing and spoken word. It's followed by an instrumental 'Northern Star' which wafts across the speakers like a gentle breeze. The sonic dramatics kick in on 'Mr Wolfe', the overall air of the song swimming in dark atmosphere, taking us back a century or so wondering around the streets of Victorian era London for instance. Pallas continue their epic-mode with the four-part 'Invincible', the song structure is punctuated with specific markers which are obvious as you navigate your way through the song. The closer 'Last Angel' is also impressive. A slow impassioned build-up is evident on this 11 minute affair, where operatic voices permeate the music to good effect. You'll need to play this one a few times to get the gist of it.

In Summary
After all that, you would be hard pressed to be critical of this album. I certainly am not, and appreciate the effort of the band members to come up with a complex arrangement like this. Who am I to judge? Just let your ears do all the hard work for you. Along with Threshold, Arena and Marillion, the prog rock flag for Britain is kept flying high by the likes of Pallas. Now, if only British sportsmen and politicians could do likewise.

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