Pallas - The Cross & The Crucible

Year of Release: 2001
Label: Inside Out
Catalog Number: IOMCD 079
Format: CD
Total Time: 63:39:00

The Cross & The Crucible sounds as if it could have been released as a follow-up to Pallas' only major label effort The Sentinel. Yes, that would take you back close to 20 years ago. I told myself I was not going to say it, but it really does have that 80s (here it comes folks) Neo sound (Sorry!). The only difference is that I don't hear much that would set Pallas apart from other bands like IQ, Jadis, and Pendragon.

The Cross & the Crucible is a concept album that deals with religion, science, technological advances, and their effects on the human race. Musically, Pallas has a strong rock edge to their music, with a lot of tasty guitar solos courtesy of Niall Mathewson. As you can imagine with the concept, the music can often get bombastic and overly dramatic. In fairness, the band does counter these moments at various points with atmospheric keyboards and acoustic guitars. The 11 minute "Midas Touch" is a showcase for keyboardist Ronnie Brown, who usually creates the backdrops for the guitar solos, but here gets plenty of front time.

The way the band uses vocals during the title track is one of my favorite moments on the record. I believe they label it as the "incantations." It is reminiscent of the Gregorian Chant records that were so popular a few years back. The Sentinel to me really had an individuality that set the band apart from the others of that time. There are some really enjoyable moments on this record. I just wish I got a more distinct sound from Pallas.

Also released by InsideOut Music America (IOMACD 2024)

The Big Bang (3:20) / The Cross & The Crucible (9:06) / For The Greater Glory (7:36) / Who's To Blame? (4:45) / The Blinding Darkness (6:43) / Towers Of Babble (8:11) / Generations (5:21) / Midas Touch (11:14) / Celebration (7:22)

Alan Reed - vocals, acoustic guitar
Graeme Murray - bass, bass pedals, vocals
Niall Mathewson - guitars
Ronnie Brown - keyboards
Colin Fraser - drums

Arrive Alive (1981)
The Sentinel (1984/2000)
The Knightmoves EP (1985)
The Wedge (1986/2000)
Knightmoves To Wedge (combo reissue)
Beat The Drum (1999)
Live Our Lives (2000)
The Cross And The Crucible (2001)
Blinding Darkness (2003)
The Dreams Of Men (2005)
XXV (2011)

Blinding Darkness (DVD) (2003)
Live From London (DVD) (2008)
Moment To Moment (DVD) (2008)

Genre: Progressive Rock

Origin UK

Added: April 18th 2004
Reviewer: Eric Porter

Artist website:
Hits: 1338
Language: english


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