Pallas — The Dreams of Men
(Inside Out Music IOMSECD 230, 2005, CD)
by Paul Hightower, Published 2006-05-01Since their return to active duty in 1999, Scottish neo-proggers Pallas have been working hard to establish themselves as a front line act. Their recent NEARfest appearance helped in that regard, though some may have found their music and stage act a bit too ear-friendly and eager to please. This album will not likely change any opinions, though those not yet familiar with the band’s current work owe it to themselves to keep an open mind. These nine songs lean on easy-to-digest prog rock arrangements given a super-sized production that could easily wear out the listener were it not for the many quieter and more calming interludes that give the ear a much needed rest. The album contains some truly impressive moments in a wide-screen, balls-to-the-wall kind of way and even if none of the melodic ideas or themes really stick, the delivery is so convincing and heartfelt that it’s easy to be won over anyway. Ronnie Brown deserves credit for his orchestrations and keyboard work that helps to balance out the mainstream rock rhythm section and Niall Mathewson’s relatively straightforward guitar work and Alan Reed’s rock vocals. As a whole the album works, both in terms of delivering the overarching concept behind the songs as well as providing balance and continuity that makes the whole thing gel. Pallas are certainly among the better groups in the neo-prog genre, at least as good as Arena and Pendragon and fans of those bands should find this one to their liking.
Related artist(s): Pallas
Glenn Branca RIP – Experimental guitarist and composer Glenn Branca has died at the age of 69. He was known for compositions featuring large ensembles of guitars, and for the use of feedback. He founded his band Theoretical Girls in the mid-70s as an art-punk answer to what he saw as the increasing commercialization of punk music. His compositions were highly influential, with such figures as David Bowie, Thurston Moore, and John Lurie among his fans. » Read more
OBEY Convention XI Set for May 24-28 in Halifax – As the 2018 festival season rapidly approaches, we’d like you to be aware of a real treasure of diverse and creative music that’s going to take place in Halifax, Nova Scotia, next month. The OBEY Convention is on its 11th outing, and features a wide range of artists from around the world. From avant-industrial noise to experimental takes on Classical Chinese music, from chamber jazz to doom metal, from ambient soundscapes to Canadian First Nations drumming, you’d be hard pressed to find a festival with more variety in sound anywhere in the world. » Read more
Close to the Rain Festival in Bergen Announces Lineup – Now in its second year, the Close to the Rain Festival of progressive music is scheduled to take place in Bergen, Norway, on June 7 - 9. They've got an amazing slate of bands lined up, including such powerhouses as Anekdoten, Major Parkinson, Arabs in Aspic, Tusmørke, and many more. » Read more
Seaprog 2018 Artist Announcements Raise Festival's Profile – Seattle's Seaprog festival has been going since 2013, and the 2018 edition features a slate of artists that's sure to bring more attention to the event. Cheer-Accident, Bubblemath, and Free Salamander Exhibit are in the first round announcement of performers. In keeping with their tradition of focusing on regional artists, they will also present a number of artists from Washington and Oregon. [Edit: Just added: Inner Ear Brigade] » Read more