Band members                             Related acts

  line up 1 (1981)

- Bernard Cambier -- keyboards, synthesizers

- Williams Duncker -- bass

- Daniel Duvieusart -- vocals

- Christian Hance -- drums, percussion

- Jean-Claude Manderlier -- lead guitar

- Thierry Servais -- rhythm guitar


  line up 2 (1989)

NEW - Michael Bellanca -- bass 

NEW - Alain Capitte -- drums

- Daniel Duvieusart -- vocals

NEW - Eddy Hacik -- lead guitar

NEW - Remy Vanheuverzwyn -- rhythm guitar




- Rescue

- Vacation (Jean-Claude Manderlier)





Genre: progressive

Rating: 3 stars ***

Title:  Private Property

Company: Imavox 

Catalog: IM 30.117

Country/State: Charleroi, Belgium

Grade (cover/record): VG+/VG+

Comments: Portuguese pressing

Available: 1

Catalog ID: 6240

Price: $100.00


So here's a major early 1980s obscurity - formed in Charleroi, Belgium (a suburb of Brussels), Palass showcased the talents of keyboardist Bernard Cambier, bassist Williams Duncker, singer Daniel Duvieusart, drummer Christian Hance, lead guitarist Jean-Claude Manderlier, and rhythm guitarist Thierry Servais.  In an example of cross border Europeanism, the band somehow managed to score a record deal with the small Portuguese Imavox label, which released their 1981 debut "Private Property" in minute quantities.   Good luck finding a copy of the album ...  


Recorded in Brussels Shiva Studios with Stany Cuvellier and Robert Derijck producing, the album featured a collection of eight band penned tracks.  Musically material like the tile track, 'Black Tree', and '' offered up a surprisingly commercial mixture of rock and progressive moves,  The band had clearly been listening to more than their share of British progressive acts so there wasn't a great deal of originality in these grooves, but the performances were all quite strong with Cambier showing an unusual degree of subtlety with the synthesizers, while Manderlier was similarly strong on lead guitar.  If the band had a weakness it was lead singer Duvieusart who occasionally sounded like Mickey Mouse singing after he's spent the afternoon inhaling whippets.  I'm guessing he learned the English lyrics phonetically since some of the vocals were tough to figure out -  I've heard it dozens of times and still don't have a clue what he's singing about on 'Black Tree'.


I won't try to hype this one, but will admit that it was far more enjoyable than I ever would have expected - particularly for a band with a lead singer who was at best an acquired taste. 


"Private Property" track listing:
(side 1)

1.) Private Property   (Palass) - 3:31   rating: **** stars

I've never been able to figure out what the opening sound effects represented (a key opening a lock ?),.  Regardless, 'Private Property' served as a great showcase for the Williams Duncker and Christian Hance rhythm section.  Showcasing a tuneful and kickin' rocker, to be honest, once you got over the novelty factor, Duvieusart's hyper-speed squeaky voice really wasn't that much of a distraction.  Great rocker and one of my favorite performances on the LP.

2.) Black Tree   (Palass) - 3:30   rating: **** stars

Hum, a funky metal song ?  Well, if such a creature exists 'Black Tree' was a good example of the genre.  Once again  Duvieusart added a quirky feel to the proceedings.  I've heard this track dozens of times and other "I'm walking tru the forest ..." I've never been able to decipher what he was actually singing.  This time around Duncker proved the band's secret weapon turning in a fantastic bass line. 

3.) Silver Night   (Palass) - 6:58   rating: *** stars

'Silver Night' found the band moving in a progressive direction with the spotlight firmly on Manderlier.   If you had any hopes of understanding Duvieusart's fractured English it disappeared between his herky-jerky delivery and his decision to whisper some of the lyrics. 

4.) Action (instrumental)   (Palass) - 4:46   rating: *** stars

'Action' started out as a progressively-tinged instrumental, but about a minute in took an abrupt change in direction to guitar-power hard rock (I'm imagining it was an indication of the direction the band would go with their next release).  Not a single original note here, but the results were still enjoyable with Manderlier cutting loose like there was no tomorrow.    


(side 2)
1.) F.A.B.   (Palass) - 3:56

Opening up with some classic bar band lead guitar, 'F.A.B' became funny when Duvieusart's shrill vocals started up.  The results became then outright hysterical when Bernard Cambier's cheesy Atari-styled synthesizers kicked in with the 'do-do-do' chorus.  The poor guy literally sounded like his balls were caught in his zipper on this one.  Shame to see Manderlier's work wasted on this one.  

2.) Hurricane   (Palass) - 4:10rating: ** stars

'Hurricane' found the band returning to a somber progressive mode.  This was another one with a nice melody and some first rate work for Manderlier (I'd love to know what type of effects pedal he used on this track).  In fact the song was good enough to allow you to overlook Duvieusart's voice and the lyrics which includes something about Irish Whisky ...   rating: ** stars

3.) Going To War   (Palass) - 5:16   rating: *** stars

Probably the album's best rock-progressive hybrid, 'Going To War' has always reminded me a bit of something Supertramp might have done (had they been a bunch of Belgians).  Again, the track itself actually rocked with quite a bit of conviction, but Duvieusart's goofy, almost operatic delivery only served to distract your attention from how good the rest of the performance actually was.    

4.) Walking On a Dream   (Palass) - 6:27   rating: **** stars

Opening up with Cambier synthesizers and Hance's double time drums, 'Walking On a Dream' was a straightforward stab at a progressive song.  Interestingly Duvieusart's vocals weren't particularly irritating this time out.  The highlight came in the form of Manderlier's wonderful solo.    






I've never heard it, but there's at least one other Palass LP - 1989's "Queen of the World" (Powerhouse catalog number POW LP 5506).  By the time it was released singer Duvieusart  was the only original holdover and the band had taken a turn towards heavy metal.  I've seen one review that compared them to early Accept.  I'll let you decide if that's a good thing or not. 





"Queen of the World" track listing:

1.) Queen Of The World - 4:15
2.) The Last Friday - 3:46
3.) Love Is Life - 4:45
4.) The Mutant - 3:01
5.) Devil Girl - 2:28
6.) Get Out - 5:40
7.) Heroes - 4:35
8.) The End - 6:09



The band subsequently ditched singer Duvieusart, switched their name to Rescue (sometimes also seen as ex-Palass), releasing at least one LP 1989's "Rescue" (Rumble Records catalog WODKA 1001) before calling it quits.