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  1. #1
    Suspended 3-LockBox's Avatar
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    Dec 2001
    Hey! Over here!

    Pallas: The Cross & The Crucible//a review

    I bought this one a few weeks ago (used) from a guy at I bought it based on recommendations from a few AR regs; I usually have pretty good luck with those recs by the way.

    My first impression was, "Is this prog?". For every good review I read on this album/group, I read a disparaging one. Actually, I can understand some of the knocks against this band. They seemed to be as influenced by late '70s/early '80s heavy metal as they are neo-prog. Most of the ingredients are there for both. But they aren't 'metal' enough to be in the class of say, Dream Theater (at least chops-wise), and they aren't prog enough to be in the same class as even Spock's Beard (structure and writing wise). Maybe they are like unto the '90s version of Marillion. Sometimes, like in the song 'Celebration', they may even remind me of a '90s Yes. But after several listens, they don't come across like hacks; they are very serious about their music.

    The flow and production of this album are very good. And save for the very Dokken-ish 'For The Greater Glory', there really isn't a bad song. (ok, the intro to 'Midas Touch' is a little corny) There seems an underlying theme, and the writing is notch above any '80s metal; very thought provoking and the music is melodic, but not at all complex, which is sometimes refreshing (like the excellent 'Who's To Blame'). But unlike '80s metal, the keyboardist is the star of the show, not the guitarist. I maybe woulda liked the guitars to be a little more up-front and ballsier for this style of rock. They won't evoke the word 'virtuoso'. But then again, they don't come off as noodlish either, at least not to me...the music, not the playing, seems to be the priority here. At least the lead singer isn't enamoured with the sound of his own voice (ala LaBrie).

    I don't know if I'd recommend this one to metal head or a progger. But I have to say that I heard enough to intrigue me, and perhaps to keep an eye on these guys in the future.

    Thanks for the rec boys. I do enjoy this one, though IQ's Dark Matter probably satisfied my prog jones more so than this one did.

    PS the guy I got this from (for $10.00) also sent to me as a 'bonus', a CD-R copy of Europe's Greatest Hits? (no track list) Too funny. Actually, the first few songs didn't suck, but well......

  2. #2
    Forum Regular BarryL's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2001

    Good review.

    You might want to try Beat the Drum or The Sentinal. The Sentinal is more proggy while Beat The Drum is a lesser version of The Cross, but I think it's a pretty good album.
    "A spirit with a vision is a dream with a mission" - Rush

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