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Pentacle - La Clef Des Songes CD (album) cover




Symphonic Prog

4.02 | 98 ratings

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Honorary Collaborator
3 stars This French quartet's only album is paradigmatic of what was happening to rock musicians faced with both overwhelming odds and the astounding musical breakthroughs of the 1970s. Like many, the group probably figured this whole art thing would last forever. Rock would surely continue to expand into even greater areas previously unrealized. I mean, how could things go back? The public seemed to agree as evidenced by progressive rock's impressive chart listings and perfect storm of inspiration and timing. And it would be all but over by the end of the decade.

Pentacle's music is both intracate and humble, and the material here seems to have been composed in a flurry of activity during 1974/75 when the band - founded by friends Michel Roy (drums) and Gerard Ruez (guitars) - had after several years of gigging found the right line-up of gifted keyboardist Claude Menetrier and the rare talents of bassist/composer Richard Treiber. Evidently so turgid were the compositions that producer Jean-Claude Pognant [Ange] asked that they be shortened, a request warily agreed to by the band. But on stage they were able to expand their work with three of those live versions added to the Musea reissue. The opener starts unremarkably and the Ange comparisons are fair though the sound may also remind of Italians Le Orme with wafts of Bo Hansson in the background. Trieber's bass parts are the star along with Menetrier's synths supported admirably by founders Ruez and Roy. 'Naufrage' is better, ending solidly with a nice keyboard/drum exchange followed by full-powered symph rocker 'L'ame du Guerrier'-- 6 minutes of thematic development, good vocals and a great sense of soft-to-hard dynamism, Ruez's minstrel acoustics, and plenty of feeling. 'Les Pauvres' is French romance at its most poignant featuring Gerard Ruez's whispers of longing. Menetrier's elegiacal organ leads plodder 'Complot' and it wraps with eleven-minute 'Le Raconteur', a piece with good moments as well as disappointing ones.

The band deserves the love, of that there is little doubt, though this album's legend may only grow so large. Pentacle are a band that causes all weepy-eyed prog romantics to warm to them, and to want to extend a hand if 35 years too late.

Atavachron | 3/5 |


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