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Pulsar - Halloween CD (album) cover

HALLOWEEN

Pulsar

 

Symphonic Prog

3.89 | 110 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

stefro
Prog Reviewer
4 stars Often clumsily referred to by some critics and fans as the French equivalent to Pink Floyd's seminal 1973 release 'Dark Side Of The Moon', this luminous third album from the symphonic outfit Pulsar is an excellent example of the highly-eclectic progressive rock scene that blossomed throughout France during the mid-to-late-seventies. Alongside the likes of Magma, Ange and Atoll, Pulsar, who originated from the bustling metropolis of Lyon, were one of the country's leading progressive lights, releasing their highly-regarded debut album 'Pollen' in 1975 and an equally-lauded follow-up, 'The Strands Of The Future', a year later. The latter would prove to be a sizeable commercial success, selling almost 50,00 copies in it's first year alone and, thanks in part to to a subsequent tour and solid support from their label, winning themselves a large fan-base that stretched across France and reached into other French-speaking territories such as Belgium and Switzerland. Signing on with major label CBS, the group were now considered a major act in their homeland, and the success of their second album afforded Pulsar the opportunity to take their time in writing and recording their next album, choosing to base themselves in the lush surroundings of the 24-track Aquarius Studio's in Geneva. Assisted by multi-instrumentalist Jean Ristori, a former member of the short-lived progressive outfit Mainhorse(famous for helping to launch the career of ex-Yes keyboardist Patrick Moraz), Pulsar spent five weeks perfecting 'Halloween' before disaster struck. Returning home, the musicians discovered that the musical landscape had shifted dramatically. Seemingly overnight Punk was now the hip new musical force and as a result CBS decided on a drastic change of management. The label's new team had little love for Pulsar's brand of classically- influenced rock, and as a result the group's upcoming tour was cancelled and the album's slated release date postponed indefinitely. No money was made available for promotion and, unsurprisingly, 'Halloween' sold poorly. The group had managed to pull off the remarkable trick of producing a lush symphonic album at exactly the wrong time. Despite the album's failure, however, the recent upsurge of interest in all things progressive has seen 'Halloween' subsequently re-evaluated. Featuring two lengthy extended pieces, 'Halloween' is a hauntingly beautiful evocation of the French sound, blending elements of Genesis, PFM and Pink Floyd with a unique Gallic twist into a classically-tinted mixture that gives the album a uniquely-theatrical edge. The pace is slow, and it is by no means an immediate piece, needing several listens to truly grasp before the many layers start to reveal themselves. Those who persevere, however, will be richly-rewarded by an album that is ranked by many as not only one of the great French prog-rock albums, but as one of the great prog-rock albums of all-time and an excellent entry-point into the wonderful world of classic European prog. STEFAN TURNER, STOKE NEWINGTON, 2012
stefro | 4/5 |

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