Progarchives, the progressive rock ultimate discography
Halloween - Part One CD (album) cover



Symphonic Prog

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Bookmark and Share
4 stars Oh, my...! As you know that this superb French Prog Artist has released five albums so far. The first engine to start a car was and is this album, Hallowwn Part One. And nobody mentioning about this surprising debut album from Hallowwen since a lot of people talked about their album Laz and Merlin.

Well, wihout this album, it seems touching the leg of an elephant. All of their album have got faily good crititiism as far as I know. Prog fans used to cateorize thier first two albums are dark vein of symphonic prog and the Merlin is the classic. Well, it's your preference whatever you can put the name of it.

For me the 2nd album LAZ seems jazz oriented and the Merlin seems so story telling album like the Genesis-The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway. Now you got the point. By sound, you can't miss this album and I'm sure this alum shoud be picked if you are fans of Halloween. Or no matter who you are if you are into dark symphonic progressive music.

Still a difficult music that I can't understand and it never will be due to the nuance and the language.However they sing in both Engish and French.

I would like to suggest that this band is like Magma meets Yes or Primus meets Yes especially when you listended to the rhythm section of their playing. Dark and Mysterious sound from the Halloween that I really would like for you guys to checkt it out!

Sure, they are much better than Ange in so many ways but the reputation and the recognition of the name value. Sorry for fans of Ange. I have no regret!

Musically, please enjoy the sound of a violin an the composition of their music.

Report this review (#3337)
Posted Saturday, July 3, 2004 | Review Permalink
4 stars This French band plays a dark but melodic music. They are one of the few who mostly sung in English (only one is fully in French). A tleast on their debut. Their work is closely related with the early Crimsonian mood: symphonic and scary. One of the most heavy tracks is the opener Outsider, but it is almost the only one.

What's In? is almost a pastoral song which holds more from the early Genesis than any heavy rock ensemble.

At times, the use of the violin reminds me Kansas, especially during the dark Beginning and the delicate Never Die which is falls under the symphonic tradition.

One of the best track from this album is Heart Beat. Fully sung in French, it is a theatrical piece of music fully in line with the early Ange. Lyrics are very dark and bizarre. They related to the middle- ages (which was a period which influenced Ange a lot as well). I would have preferred that this album would be fully in French (as they will do later on).

A good example for this is Jester's Dance. It features bilingual lyrics, but the English parts sounds really awful (I don't know if the French accent has been exaggerated but it sounds real bad). Gilles Coppin is much more convincing in this singing role than his band mate J-P Brun. But the later plays a remarkable guitar solo as closing part of this song.

The pièce de résistance is the long Halloween. It is mostly instrumental and if you like moving guitar break and lots of synths: this one is for you. The finale is truly splendid and bombastic. I am voiceless with such a beauty. Really grandiose. The guitar can only relate me to one of the greatest solo in prog music: the fabulous, the charming, the passionate Steve during Firth Of Fifth. Yes, this one is very close to this!

In all, this album is excellent during the instrumental parts (it could have been very good if sung fully in French, but this aspect will be taken care of). If the early Genesis and Crimson, Ange and a little of Kansas can please you, no doubt that this album will do a good job as well. Dark, but not heavy. This is how this work sounds like.

The live tracks are fine as well. Sound is not too bad and the most interesting angle of the live version of Jester's Dance is the violin play which has the leading role. This is probably one of the best assets from this band which holds a very good multi-instrumentalist with J-P Brun.

Four stars.

Report this review (#187366)
Posted Wednesday, October 29, 2008 | Review Permalink
3 stars The French symphonic prog scene is not like any other symphonic prog scene. This is why I regard this scene as one entity, far remote from any other scene.

The most important difference between this scene and the scene in England & anywhere else is the French scene's operatic, melodramatic type of symphonic prog. Ange is the most typical example of this scene and the forerunners of this scene. Halloween is not far behind on this, their debut album though.

The music on this album is concept based melodramatic music with long guitar solos, some both spoken and somehow melodic sung vocals, violin and tonnes of keyboards. It feels like this is scene or film music to an extent. The music is pretty dark and so is the vibe here.

The quality of the music is good throughout. But this album is never breaking sweat and it never takes of into greatness. The sung vocals are pretty sub standard, but the rest of the band is OK. This is a concept album which does not click into gear. But it is a good album nevertheless.

3 stars (barely)

Report this review (#307964)
Posted Tuesday, November 2, 2010 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars One of hidden secrets of the 80's prog rock scene lies in France,named HALLOWEEN.They were formed in Brest in 1983 by five musicans,among them were drummer Thierry Gillet and keyboardist Gilles Coppin.They were soon joined by violinist Jean-Philippe Brun,but this sextet was not meant to be.By 1987 HALLOWEEN reformed as a trio featuring only Gillet,Coppin and Brun on the line-up.So Coppin handled also the vocal section along with Brun,who also took over the guitars and bass next to his violin.The trio recorded the album ''Part one'' to be released originally on Musea in 1988,while in the 1994 re-issue two live tracks were also added.

STYLE: As guitars and bass were not Brun's main instruments it is reasonable the album to be heavily based on keys,pianos and violins.While one expects ''Part one'' to sound deeply symphonic for this reason,that's only partly true.The album has a mysterious atmosphere in the instrumental parts,dominated by dark synths,violin passages and in a second role come the surrounding guitars.There is also heavy doses of lonely pianos in this album.There is an attractive blending between atmospheric parts based on guitar solos and symphonic synths and more complicated material with some great breaks,which make the album quite personal.Strangely, vocals come in English (except for Jester's dance) with some French spoken pats next to the sung lines.

INFLUENCES/SOUNDS LIKE: Hard to compare,the album ranges from Dark Prog to Symphonic Rock with a theatrical taste.So if you combine the violin-based KING CRIMSON motives with some ANGE thetrical taste and some JACULA's dark atmospheres,the picture is about to be completed.

PLUS: The overall atmosphere sets the listener into the general mood quite easily.Despite not being a guitarist,Brun delivers some really interesting solos.The violin work holds a lot of Classical influences and is very well executed.Most of the keyboard work is also quite exciting.I find the theatrical side of the band to be among the best to be heard around.

MINUS: Vocals are not that good,although non-accented.The production is also weak with lots of uneven parts.Keyboards sound very plastic and cold at times.Why I have a feeling that this album would be much better if lyrics were delivered in French?

WILL APPEAL TO:...Fans of the darker side of prog,anyone into Theatrical Prog nostalgia and of course lovers of symphonic keys.

CONCLUSION: Clever enough,HALLOWEEN placed the disadvantage of not having a gifted bassist or guitarist aside by basing their sound on a fascinating atmosphere which I loved on first sight.The year of the release makes the album even more worth owning,yet the vocal section holds the album a step back among my first preferences regarding the 80's.Warmly recommended,''Part one'' deserves no less than 3.5 stars.

Report this review (#325722)
Posted Thursday, November 18, 2010 | Review Permalink
siLLy puPPy
PSIKE, JR/F/Canterbury & Eclectic Teams
3 stars Neck in neck with the British neo-prog scene, the French band HALLOWEEN obviously had its pulse on its cousins across the English Channel given that it was situated in the city of Brest on the far western tip of Brittany. The band was founded in 1983 and proved to be one of the 80s most promising prog rock bands but didn't release this debut PART ONE until late in the game in the years of 1988. The band produced a sensual symphonic prog sound that sounds like a mix of the homegrown Ange and the other French act Pulsar, whose beloved album of 1977 provided the inspiration for a moniker.

While not quite as accomplished as the band's most lauded work, the third album titled "Merlin," PART ONE showcases the talents of Gilles Coppin (keyboards, vocals), Jean-Philippe Brun (violin, guitar, bass, vocals) and Thierry Gillet (drums) finding their sound out of the Pulsar playbook and leading things in a new direction. The Ange influences come in with the dramatic theatrical vocals and the album adds a bit of gypsy swing with the occasional outburst of the violin that also adds some seriously scary screeches. Much more assertive than the aforementioned influences, HALLOWEEN had no problem rocking out with a more bombastic guitar heft albeit always pacified by a menagerie of synthesized counterpoints and a vocalist who's not sure if English is the language de jour or the homegrown variety of French. Most of all part one excels in moody often turbulent atmospheres that allow the guitar, bass and drum attacks to sneak around and the music is often mysterious and foreboding with the occasional spoken word dialogue to give a sense of epic grandeur.

For the neo-prog comparisons, there are often Marillion type constructs that add a sense of dramatic rock moments with the vocals imitating the great Fish along with the expected keyboard heft and bouncy bass lines and sailing guitar riffs. This is particularly true of the track "Halloween" which always makes me wonder why a band would name a song after its own name but not as uncommon as one would think (uh, Iron Maiden!). The compositions have a complexity that make this a true proggy discourse and in the end everything about PART ONE is excited quite well save a few of the vocal parts that sound a little ragged.

Generally speaking HALLOWEEN did a pretty good job at crafting a decent 80s prog album that took the symphonic touches of the UK's neo-prog scene and blended them with the homegrown sounds of Ange and Pulsar but in the end the band doesn't come off as very original wearing its influences a bit too clearly on its sleeves. This is indeed a worthy listening experience but it doesn't really deliver any tracks that knock your socks off either. While the band would reserve its pinnacle prowess for the third album "Merlin," PART ONE is certainly no debut to be ashamed of and in fact in the right mood this will scratch that symphonic prog itch big time.

3.5 stars rounded down

Report this review (#2477857)
Posted Friday, November 20, 2020 | Review Permalink

HALLOWEEN Part One ratings only

chronological order | showing rating only

Post a review of HALLOWEEN Part One

You must be a forum member to post a review, please register here if you are not.


As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

Forum user
Forum password

Copyright Prog Archives, All rights reserved. | Legal Notice | Privacy Policy | Advertise | RSS + syndications

Other sites in the MAC network: — jazz music reviews and archives | — metal music reviews and archives

Donate monthly and keep PA fast-loading and ad-free forever.