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Pulsar - The Strands Of The Future CD (album) cover




Symphonic Prog

3.88 | 144 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
4 stars Review Nš 41

Pulsar is a French symphonic progressive rock band whose influences include several progressive rock groups, such as Pink Floyd, Genesis and King Crimson, plus diverse classical musical influences like Gustav Mahler. Pulsar is a master of mood and musical atmospheres and has been often compared to the early Pink Floyd. Like many of their French contemporaries, the Pulsar's music was in general characterized by extended musical suites with some dark musical atmospheres with a certain sense of grandeur and mood, painting grandiose and often horrific backdrops with mournful and sedate vocals. Within the symphonic progressive rock movement, Pulsar's fascination with dark musical atmospheres mixed with symphonic tendencies makes of their sound practically quite unique.

Pulsar became the French first group to be distributed by an English record label, which was called Kingdom Records. The name of the band was chosen by Philippe Roman, one of the founder members of the group. The choice of this name has two connections. The first, as coming from the Pulsars, which are highly magnetized rotating neutron stars that emit a beam of electromagnetic radiation, and the second corresponds to their new spatial musical style.

The line up of the band on this second studio album is Gilbert Gandil (lead vocals and guitars), Jacques Roman (organ, mellotron, bass and synthesizers), Roland Richard (piano, flute and strings) and Victor Bosh (drums and percussion). Philippe Roman (vocals, bass, and lyrics) who was one of the founders and one of the band's member who participated on their debut studio album 'Pollen' released in 1975, left the group in 1976 for health reasons. The future bassist of the band Michel Masson, which became a band's member only on their next third studio album 'Halloween', released in 1977, collaborated with the group on 'The Strands Of The Future'.

'The Strands Of The Future' is the second studio album of Pulsar and was released in 1976. It may be considered as a French progressive rock classic album, and which reflects a solid improvement compared to their debut musical work, 'Pollen'. The album launched Pulsar into the big scenarios of the French rock scene, selling 40.000 copies only in just six months. Pulsar became, only just behind of Ange, in one of the biggest French progressive rock groups, at the time. It allowed the band to sign a new contract with one of the biggest record labels, in that time, the American CBS.

'The Strands Of The Future' has four tracks. The first track is the title track 'The Strands Of The Future'. It's the lengthiest track on the album and it fills all the entire side of the original vinyl disc. This track is a truly masterpiece of the spatial rock and is without any doubt one of the best songs made by the group and, it can be regarded as one of the best progressive pieces made in the 70's. It's a fantastic progressive track, almost instrumental, with the few lyrics sung in French. This became an exception on this album. On their debut album the lyrics are almost all in French, but on this album, with this exception, all the lyrics are in English. The second track 'Flight' is an instrumental track and is the smallest song on the album. This is a very interesting piece of music in the style of the French progressive rock, with good combination of keyboards, flutes and strings. Despite its modest length, it features several different musical passages, which more or less, encapsulate the sound of the whole album in a couple of minutes. The third track 'Windows' is a melodic, symphonic and dense ballad with floating vocals and with a great, flute's work. It's a very gentle song, almost pastoral, with some moments of a real space travel voyage, which makes us dreaming. This is a mellow song that pointed forward to their next studio album. The fourth track 'Fool's Failure' is the second lengthiest track on the album. It opens with the space mellotron sounds and it's a very massive symphonic theme, which became a real great closing track for this album. This is a little bit dark and a mysterious song of the French symphonic rock. Somehow, 'Fool's Failure' recovers the magic of the opening track, thus making as a returning to its origins.

Conclusion: 'The Strands Of The Future' is an excellent album and a great evolution in relation to their debut musical work, 'Pollen'. It contains an extremely beautiful, spatial and symphonic progressive music in the same vein of Pink Floyd, Genesis, Eloy or Ange. The general musical atmosphere of the album is enhanced by some fantastic musical passages of mellotron. And of course, it has its title track, which is a truly masterpiece and represents, for me, the best track ever made by them. This is the album that puts Pulsar on the top of the French symphonic progressive rock music and at the same quality level of some other French symphonic progressive groups, such as Ange and Atoll. So, if you like Genesis, King Crimson and Pink Floyd, and in general of the spatial rock music, you mustn't miss this album in no way. It represents a great introduction to the Pulsar's world and to the French progressive rock music in general.

Prog is my Ferrari. Jem Godfrey (Frost*)

VianaProghead | 4/5 |


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