a welcome "comeback" from this mid-seventies formed Aberdeen based Scottish progressive outfit who disappeared from the scene after their third album, "The Wedge", in the mid to late eighties. Like Pendragon, Twelfth Night, Magnum ( pre-"On a Storyteller's Night", that is! ) and others, Pallas were similar in style to Marillion. The original members were Euan Lowson on vocals, Niall Matthewson on guitar, Derek Forman on drums, Graeme Murray on bass and Ronnie Brown on keys. They toured extensively and released their own independent album, "Arrive Alive", consisting of demo material recorded for cassette release only, in 1983.(A CD release of this debut album finally saw the light of day in 1998. It took a while, but it was worth the wait!). They managed to secure a record deal with EMI Harvest and they recorded their second album, the conceptual "The Sentinel" in Atlanta, Georgia, with Eddie Offord (of Yes, etc fame). The album, complete with stunning sleeve artwork by the famed Patrick Woodroffe (also worked on Dave Greenslade's "Pentateuch "album, amongst many others), saw a band maturing and moving away from their initial "rough around the edges" style. According to the record books, this album was apparently received with apprehension, which is a bit strange, because it was really good. It was also remixed for the US market. For the band's final album, 1986's "The Wedge" (released as "Knightmoves to Wedge....", with three extra tracks, on CD in 1992), unknown vocalist Alan Reed replaced Lowson. This was arguably the band's best album out of the three, but they seemed to fade into obscurity towards the end of the eighties. Our featured album was definitely the best album ever recorded by Pallas. (It was actually one of our top twenty albums of that year). It featured "The W edge" line-up, except with Colin Fraser replacing Derek Forman on drums. Here's hoping that we don't have to wait another 12 or so years before we get to hear a new Pallas album! By the way, C & D Compact Disc Services, in Dundee, Scotland, the best mail order company in the world, released "The Sentinel" and "Knightmoves to Wedge...." through their Centaur Discs record label, so if you're keen to get hold of the albums, you'll know who to contact for these and thousands of other prog/rock/blues, etc titles.

Pallas 
Pallas - Blood and Roses, from '' Live our Lives", their 5th album, released towards the end of last year/early this year. This stunning double live album was actually supposed to be featured d uring the new releases slot, later on in the show, but we decided, in view of the terrible soccer tragedy at Ellis Park stadium this last Wednesday, to d edicate this wonderfully emotive number to the victims and their loved ones. Pallas are also the subject of this week's Dino Quiz (number 208), and a copy of this album is the giveaway prize. A Scottish outfit, Pallas were formed in A berdeen in the mid seventies by guitarist Niall Mathewson, drummer Derek Forman, vocalist Euan Lowson, bassist Graeme Murray and keyboard player Ronnie Brown. Their early years were spent touring the UK club circuit. Unable to secure a record deal, they decided to self-finance the recording of their debut album, a live effort called "Arrive Alive", which was recorded in Scotland in April 1981 and was released in 1983. EMI Records expressed an interest in the band and promptly signed then up. They recorded the follow-up album, "The Sentinel", the following year, in Atlanta, Georgia in the US, with Eddie Offord ( of Yes, etc, fame), doing production work. A conceptual album, it was apparently received with apprehension, which is strange as it easily rivaled anything released by the likes of Marillion, Pendragon or any similar progressive bands at the time. Lowson left the band and was replaced by Alan Reed, and this line-up recorded the band's best, but final album, "The Wedge", (released on CD as "Knightmoves to Wedge..." in the early nineties), in 1986. It's commercial failure led to them being dropped by EMI, although they remained together for a while before finally splitting when they were unable to secure another record deal. Alan Reed later appeared with Abel Ganz and featured on their "The Dangers of Strangers" album in 1988, but it would be all of ten years before a new Pallas album would be released: "Beat the Drum", one of our top albums of that year, featured new drummer Colin Fraser, together with Reed and original members Mathewson, Murray and Brown. Which brings us more or less up to date with the release of this excellent live album, recorded in Europe during 1999. Pallas' resurgence as one of the UK's top progressive outfits is perfectly captured with the release of the album, which features tracks from "The Sentinel", "The Wedge" and "Beat the Drum". Pallas may not be as well known as the aforementioned Marillion, Arena and others, but they can certainly hold their own in the progressive rock stakes and undoubtedly deserve to be heard and acknowledged, as their songwriting and musicianship is superb. After a long period of inactivity, they're back with a bang and a new studio album, "The Cross and the Crucible", is due for release on the Inside Out label in the near future. Something to really look forward to. Question: Where in the UK are Pallas from? 
  
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Biography by Gary Hill
Scottish prog band Pallas definitely have one of the longest gaps between albums on record. They released their first album, The Sentinel, in 1984 and followed it up with The Wedge two years later. Their next album, Beat the Drum, did not show up for 13 years. They released The Cross & the Crucible in 2001. 

 

Ronald Brown
Derek Forman
Niall Mathewson
Graeme Murray
Alan Reed
Euan Lowson
Mike Stobbie
Colin Fraser

Ultime Atome
Rousseau
The Vow
Einherjer
Excel

If you have any contribution to make to this band or something to add, email me - Japie Marais.

 

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Pallas - 1984 - The Sentinel - 2.5/5

Pallas - 1986 - The Wedge - 3/5

Pallas - 1991 - Arrive Alive - 4/5

Pallas - 1999 - Beat the Drum - 3/5

Pallas - 2001 - The Cross & the Crucible - 3.5/5

Pallas - 2003 - The Blinding Darkness - 3.5/5

Pallas - 2004 - Sentinel, The Artowork Collector's Series - 4/5

Pallas - 2005 - The Dreams of Men - 3.5/5

Pallas - 2005 - The River Sessions 1 - 4.5/5

Pallas - 2005 - The River Sessions 2 - 3/5

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