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Pentacle - La Clef des Songes CD (album) cover




Symphonic Prog

4.03 | 118 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
4 stars Review Nş 175

Pentacle is a French symphonic progressive rock band formed in 1971 in Belfort, France. They released only one album, their debut studio album "La Clef Des Songes", who was recorded in 1975. It's interesting to mention that their album was produced by Christian Descamps, the vocalist of one of the best and most known French progressive symphonic rock bands of the 70's, Ange. About their music, we can say that it's simple and not very complex, in contrast with some of their contemporarie compatriots. Their music has some influences of Genesis, Moody Blues and of the early sound of King Crimson. The lyrics of the entire album are all in their mother tongue, French.

Pentacle was a band formed by four musicians, Gerard Ruez (lead vocals, electric and acoustic guitars), Claude Menetrier (organ, moog, elka string ensemble and piano), Richard Treiber (bass and acoustic guitar) and Michel Roy (backing vocals and drums).

According to Pentacle, the recording of the band's debut album was earmarked for February 1975 at the Citadelle Studios in Besançon. Pentacle's repertoire consisted of six tracks with French words, written mostly by Richard and sung by Gerard. The recordings were made over eight days and were put onto a 16 track tape. As the group didn't have much time to record, they worked from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. every day, sometimes dragging the sessions out till midnight.

Pentacle have decided to call their album "La Clef Des Songes" based in one of the tracks and asked Yvan Campello, who was an amateur painter, to design the art cover of it. Pentacle suggested some ideas and from Yvon's three projects the group chose a drawing of a man suspended in mid-air, superimposed on a surrealistic dreamy background and holding a key in his hands, the key of dreams, surely. The album was released in May 1975 and sold 3.000 copies.

"La Clef Des Songes" has six tracks and my CD version has also three live bonus tracks. The first track "La Clef Des Songes" with music by Menetrier and lyrics by Treiber, who gaves its name to the album, is a good song to open the album. It's a very beautiful song, very energetic and with very good guitar work and is also very well accompanied by nice synthesizer and drumming workings. This is a very interesting track. The second track "Naufrage" with music by Ruez and lyrics by Roy is another very good and interesting song. It's a solid track with a nice keyboard and drumming workings. It has also great electric guitar working and where soft vocals take over. The third track "L'Ame Du Guerrier" with music by Roy and lyrics by Treiber is, in my humble opinion, a better song than the two previous tracks. This is a more progressive song with good development, very dynamic, with good vocal working, and once more, with great guitar job and the organ working is also very good. This is really a very interesting and amazing track. The fourth track "Les Pauvres" with music by Ruez and lyrics by Roy is a pastoral ballad and melodic song with good acoustic and electric guitar workings. It has also a good organ performance. This is a very beautiful song, really. The fifth track "Complot" with music by Menetrier and lyrics by Treiber is a splendid song. This is a very good and melodic track with great keyboards and guitars and where the vocals are very sweet and passionate. This is a song with great instrumental parts and where the final result is great. This is another wonderful track. The sixth and last track "Le Raconteur" with music by Ruez and lyrics by Menetrier is the lengthiest and epic track of the album and represents a great closing for it. This is really a very good song with grandiose, melodic and extraordinary moments. All band's members did fantastic, individual and collective workings, and thus they made of this track one of the highlights of this excellent album.

As usual, I will not make a review of the bonus live tracks of the album. However, I'm going to write some lines about them. Despite the quality of the tape recordings, which aren't properly very good, I was very impressed with the quality of the live performance of the group. In my opinion, the live versions of the songs are great, and in generall, they're better performed than their studio versions, especially the live version of "La Clef Des Songes", which is simply superb.

Conclusion: I must confess that I only just heard of Pentacle on Progarchives, but I'm very glad to have found them. I bought my CD, "La Clef Des Songes", a couple of years ago. So, for me, "La Clef Des Songes" is a great symphonic progressive rock album. It's very well balanced and very beautiful. "La Clef Des Songes" doesn't shame any French progressive rock fan. This is an album that most fans of French symphonic progressive rock will really like, a quartet solid in the vein of Atoll, Ange, Mona Lisa and Pulsar. It's a pity that Pentacle has released only one album. They would have a long and great promising career through the universe of progressive rock music. This is one of the better one-shots around with great arrangements, lush keyboards and a warm spacey atmosphere. Despite some mediocre quality sound of the album, sometimes, the quality of the three bonus live tracks is remarkable. I'm very impressed with it.

Prog is my Ferrari. Jem Godfrey (Frost*)

VianaProghead | 4/5 |


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