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Pentacle - La Clef Des Songes CD (album) cover

LA CLEF DES SONGES

Pentacle

 

Symphonic Prog

4.08 | 83 ratings

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Anthony H.
Prog Reviewer
4 stars Pentacle: La Clef Des Songes [1975]

Rating: 7/10

La Clef Des Songes was the sole album from French symphonic progressive-rock band Pentacle. This was one of the first discoveries I made during my initial journeys through the obscure realms of ProgArchives. I remember this as one of the first albums that expanded my perception of the progressive-music world beyond my Yes, ELP, and Dream Theater horizons. This is an odd album to hold such a position, considering how obscure it is. Regardless, I have been familiar with this little-known release ever since I was a rookie prog-fan. I'm glad that I stumbled upon Pentacle those few years ago, because this solitary album is a real gem. Pentacle explore the lighter and more folk-oriented side of symphonic-prog, with melodic guitar and ethereal synths being the primary instruments here. The guitar work ranges from light acoustic strumming to Gilmour-esque melodic wailing; both styles sound fantastic. The keyboard playing is centered on superb Moog tones. Unlike other folky symph-prog bands (such as Harmonium), Pentacle's music is somber and melancholic. All of these factors combine to create an excellent piece of symphonic grandeur.

The title track opens the album with an epic synth motif that slowly builds along with the understated vocals. "Naufrage" is a dark piece with excellent guitar work that manages to be both melodic and dissonant at the same time. The abrupt ending adds to the unsettling atmosphere. "L'ame Du Guerrier" features some righteous Moog drones that work perfectly within the context of the groovy middle section. The guitar work also shines here. "Les Pauvres" is a completely acoustic folk piece that fails to fully keep my attention. "Complot" is the album's brightest highlight. The synths are in prime form, but the unforgettable guitar solo is the greatest thing about this track. The 10-minute "Le Raconteur" is a grand closer. The synths are monstrous as usual, and the guitar work is top-shelf as well. The flamenco guitar conclusion ends the album on a fabulous note.

La Clef Des Songes is yet another gem from the treasure trove of obscure 70s prog. Each of these six tracks features a well-developed melodic framework and spectacular (yet subtle) musicianship. Although a few of the tracks are slightly lackluster, the excellence of the better moments evens things out. I wish that the synth presence was more cemented; even though there is some fantastic Moog work here, I often feel like the instrumentation is a bit too restrained. This is not an album without its fair share of flaws, but it is still an immensely enjoyable listen that showcases many of the things I like most about progressive music. La Clef Des Songes is not a masterpiece, but any fan of light symphonic music should find a lot to appreciate here. The melancholic atmosphere is strangely haunting.

Anthony H. | 4/5 |

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