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PULSAR

Symphonic Prog • France


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Pulsar biography
In the early 70's the young French Prog scenario was full of competent bands that were being listened in and outside their country, and while most of them ascribed to the "French Theatric Symphonic", early PULSAR decided to re-create the sound of PINK FLOYD with that unique Gaulish sound with a lineup of competent musicians formed by Jacques Roman (organ, piano, synth), Victor Bosch (drums, percussion), Gilbert Gandil (guitar, vocals) and Philippe Roman (bass), but something was missing so they recruited the flutist and string musician Roland Richard.

Their 1974 debut "Polen", was acclaimed by most critics (despite the economic failure in the UK), who saw them as a breeze of fresh air, because they didn't limit themselves to copy a style, but added some Symphonic touches that gave them a special flavor.

But the big change (that justifies their inclusion in Symphonic) starts with their second release "The Strands of the Future" (1976) in which they turn into a quartet after Phillippe Roman left, leaving his brother Jaques in charge of the bass and keys. This new album presents us a new sound clearly influenced by iconic bands as YES and GENESIS with hints of Space Rock and a horror twist, that gained them respect in the elusive Great Britain.

With the inclusion of a new bass player (Michel Masson), PULSAR releases their third album "Halloween" (1977), which is considered by most of the fans af the peak of their career. The LP consists of two multi-movement suites, in which their fascination for Symphonic keeps growing, specially in "Halloween Part II) that reminds me of "Voyage of the Acolyte", with hints of Gustav Mahler, PINK FLOYD and the unique touch of PULSAR.

Normally I have a lot of problems with French albums due to the guttural language, but the guys of PULSAR manage to release an album in English with almost no accent. In my opinion "Halloween" is one of the top 10 albums from the Gauls.

From that point the band takes more time between albums and with less success, that's how they launch "Bienvenue au Conseil d'Administration" (1981) and Görlitz (1989), which are still good but not in the level of their initial three LP's.

Since then, everybody believed they would never give us a new album, PULSAR surprised the world with "Memory Ashes" (2007) featuring Gilbert Gandil, Jacques Roman, Victor Bosch and - Roland Richard, probably their best post "Halloween" album.

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HalloweenHalloween
Import
Musea 1977
Audio CD$17.39
$15.25 (used)
PollenPollen
Import
Musea 1975
Audio CD$12.40
$11.31 (used)
The Strands Of The FutureThe Strands Of The Future
Import
Musea 1976
Audio CD$15.59
$18.98 (used)
The Strands Of The FutureThe Strands Of The Future
Musea 2003
Audio CD$24.75
$18.99 (used)
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Pulsar - Memory Ashes SEALED RARE USD $20.20 Buy It Now 1h 30m
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ARK Listen Up 12" 2 Track B/w Pulsar Mix Pic Sleeve UK Rough Trade 1988 USD $8.15 Buy It Now 2 days
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Milano Violenta OST LP Pulsar Music Ltd Morricone Euro cult Fabio Frizzi USD $30.32 Buy It Now 4 days
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Voices In Latin LP Something Cool Promo Pulsar AR-10601 Near Mint USD $45.00 Buy It Now 5 days
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Grahame Graham Bond Love Is The Law / The Naz 1969 VG+ 7" 45 Pulsar 2405 USD $39.90 Buy It Now 5 days
CHIITRA NEOGY LP The Perfumed Garden - Pulsar AR-10600 USD $34.75 Buy It Now 6 days
RARE Vintage VINYL Record 45RPM SINGLE 12" - MAURO PICOTTO Pulsar 2002 RMX USD $2.88 Buy It Now 6 days
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PULSAR: Halloween LP (France '87 reissue, laminated gatefold cover) Rock USD $30.00 Buy It Now 6 days
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PULSAR discography


Ordered by release date | Showing ratings (top albums) | Help Progarchives.com to complete the discography and add albums

PULSAR top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.53 | 66 ratings
Pollen
1975
3.84 | 99 ratings
The Strands Of The Future
1976
3.90 | 116 ratings
Halloween
1977
3.24 | 17 ratings
Bienvenue au Conseil d'Administration
1981
3.31 | 28 ratings
Görlitz
1989
3.68 | 25 ratings
Memory Ashes
2007

PULSAR Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

PULSAR Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

PULSAR Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

PULSAR Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

4.00 | 1 ratings
Mélodie Boréale (By Jacques Roman)
1986

PULSAR Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Memory Ashes by PULSAR album cover Studio Album, 2007
3.68 | 25 ratings

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Memory Ashes
Pulsar Symphonic Prog

Review by Neu!mann
Prog Reviewer

4 stars The veteran French proggers of Pulsar hadn't released a studio album in almost twenty years before their surprise reunion in 2007. Even more surprising was the fresh charge in their creative batteries, after two decades on the back shelf. This wasn't another aging band taking a final lap around the nostalgia circuit, but an older, wiser Pulsar: more relaxed but no less vital on their belated return to center stage, sounding like they had never been away.

The classic line-up from the 1970s was still intact. And the music, as always a melancholy blend of symphonic Space Rock, was richer and more romantic than ever. The four-part, twenty-six minute title track has to be one of the most easygoing epics ever written, trading the atmospheric energy of earlier Pulsar albums for gorgeous melodies and effortless rhythms: imagine a more celestial Bryan Ferry, wearing a NASA space helmet over his usual tuxedo.

It's true the music flirts at times with glossy New Age whitewash, but it also features moments of aching instrumental beauty, first heard in the opening minutes of lush, industrial ambiance (not an oxymoron, with this band). The luxurious keyboards of Jacques Roman, augmented by clarinet, cello, and a guest player credited simply with 'noise', help keep the suite from becoming too superficial. And the whole thing was very carefully arranged, flowing seamlessly between movements while gradually shifting the tempo upward (it never really rocks out, but achieves a nicely assertive groove by Part III).

The pair of remaining long tracks, which I like to imagine as Side Two of the album, are even stronger, and musically more varied. Guitarist Gilbert Gandil rediscovered his inner STEVE HACKETT in the song "Monks", in between the moody Gregorian chants. And the closing "Respire" is a lovely, late-Floydian throwback, beautifully rendered if fairly routine, until it drifts off into a ghostly epilogue: quintessential Pulsar, and showing no signs of tarnish after all these years.

The group has now recorded only six albums in a career approaching its fifth decade, an underachievement perhaps indicating the level of attention paid to every note of music they produce. From intro to coda this one resonates with echoes of Progressive Rock's bygone Golden Age, but in a fresher, more contemporary framework. Unlike the assembly-line recycling of so many Neo-Prog copycat bands, it succeeds in keeping the fading embers of our collective memory alive and glowing.

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 Pollen  by PULSAR album cover Studio Album, 1975
3.53 | 66 ratings

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Pollen
Pulsar Symphonic Prog

Review by Neu!mann
Prog Reviewer

3 stars Pulsar was another continental band that got a late jump in the Progressive Rock derby, releasing their debut album in 1975, not long before the Golden Age of Prog began showing its first signs of rust. Even so it was probably too soon for the group to enter a recording studio. At this stage of their musical evolution they were still a couple of years and at least one session away from producing a masterpiece.

The album is maybe too easy to criticize in retrospect. Keep in mind this was a young and talented band, struggling with their footing at the starting gate. The result was a pleasant but undistinguished collection of nebulous, Floydian space rock, infused with a drifting Gallic romanticism, best heard in Roland Richard's pastoral flute and the Hackett-like guitar sustains of Gilbert Gandil.

Later albums would raise the style to the acme of Symphonic Rock perfection. But this first effort was the cut-rate, economy model, hampered by lazy songwriting and by its typically unsophisticated mid- '70s production, limited to an overgenerous application of reverb and the occasional sound effect: thunder, ominous footsteps, and something not unlike a toy train whistle, oddly interrupting the title track. Listeners of a certain age will smile when hearing the cosmic poetry recitation in "Puzzle/Omen" ("...here we are, prisoners of unknown time and souls..."), and enjoy an affectionate laugh at the cybernetic narration of "Le Cheval de Syllogie", thankfully declaimed in the band's native tongue.

The ambition was clearly there, but lacked a basic grasp of large-scale musical structure and design: even the mini-epic title track is almost impossible to remember in detail afterward. A bigger budget and better equipment might have made a difference, but what the band really needed was a little more time to mature and develop. With hindsight, the album can still be enjoyed as a necessary prelude to upcoming classics, and as a crudely framed but picturesque snapshot of European Prog Rock near the mid-decade height of its popularity.

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 Halloween by PULSAR album cover Studio Album, 1977
3.90 | 116 ratings

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Halloween
Pulsar Symphonic Prog

Review by apps79
Special Collaborator Neo Prog Team

3 stars Kingdom Records organized a huge promotion tour for Pulsar's second album next to a new group named Sunset Wading.But as Sunset Wading's debut album was continuously canceled the French group had to hit the road alone with a shortened schedule of around 10 gigs.They were enough to earn the band full publicity and raise the sales of ''The strands of future'' up to 40,000 copies.At the end of the year Michel Masson joined Pulsar on bass and the band was in search of a new label, as the contract with Kingdom Records had expired.They signed with CBS, which immediately pushed the band to write down some new material.Pulsar headed to a farm in the mountains of the Savoy region, where most part of their upcoming work was written.They revisited the Aquarius Studios in Geneva with Yes' Patrick Moraz helping out in production.Release month was December 1977 and the third Pulsar album was entitled ''Halloween''.

''Halloween'' was the most ambitious effort ever created by the group, consisting of two sidelong pieces, which were also linked to each other.''Halloween Part I'' clocks at 20 minutes and it is definitely the best of the pair.A Symphonic-Space Rock tour-de-force with massive instrumental and mood changes, featuring extended hypnotic undelines with powerful, cosmic synthesizers and melancholic acoustic colors, but also some big symphonic washes with dominant Mellotrons and nervous electric guitars.Among the best creations of the group, this one is divided in four sections, being largely instrumental with only some female narration in the opening seconds and some male vocals at the end, combining the PINK FLOYD approach with the old KING CRIMSON/GENESIS aesthetics.Even so Pulsar had come up with a very personal sound, having plenty of dramatic and fairytale atmospheres in the same track.Fantastic and clever use of synthesizers, very deep, spacey soundscapes and great orchestral work on Mellotron.A piece of music to admire.

''Halloween Part II'' is just one minute shorter than the opening piece, but not exactly on par with the ultimate inspiration of the band during the first 20 minutes.Of course it is not bad at all, actually this is another fine epic delivery by the group, even more diverse and flexible with the addition of some sax, flute and violin parts, but fails to reach the instrumental depth of the opener.Pulsar will again offer laid-back, spacey and highly symphonic music with the focus on atmosphere, limiting the presence of the melodic, electric textures in the sake of long, keyboard-led soundscapes, which prevail throughout the track, acccompanied often by Gilbert Gandil's vocals.This one comes very close to CLEARLIGHT at moments, especially during the second part, which features jamming electric power next to some angular electronics.Overall its first part is pretty great with strong PINK FLOYD/GENESIS/CAMEL resemblances, while the second sounds just a bit directionless, even if the atmospheric outro with the impressive male chant-like voices is again beautiful.

The more balanced mix between Symphonic and Space Rock.Strongly recommended, the opening piece is absolutely great, the following one is pretty nice as well even if not that consistent.Approach with comfort...3.5 stars.

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 The Strands Of The Future  by PULSAR album cover Studio Album, 1976
3.84 | 99 ratings

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The Strands Of The Future
Pulsar Symphonic Prog

Review by rfill1

4 stars The first time I heard "The Strands of the Future", I was blown away by the mystic, grandeur and tragic aspects of their music. Their approach is similar to Pink Floyd's while retaining a distinct french symphonic flavour, with nods to Genesis and '69/ '70 King Crimson from time to time. You'd expect this to be either a mess or one more of those unimaginative symphonic french bands. They're neither of it. Perhaps it's just a matter of personal taste, but I feel Pulsar offers here lots of evocative soundscapes that speak to me in a way few other bands (or albums, for that matter) ever did.

If upon hearing the mesmerizing "The Strands of Future" suite you're not overblown with epicness and grandiosity and feeling goosebumps down your spine, there must be something wrong with you. It's such an intense and moving track, conjuring up tension and then releasing it in so many satisfying ways! It features some lyrics in french and the emotional delivery is just mesmerizing. I'd like to highlight Gilbert Gandil's guitar playing, which here seems to lie somewhere between Fripp and Hackett.

The second side begins with "Flight", a short Baroque-themed instrumental showcasing Gandil's traditional non-lyrical vocalizations, Jacques Roman's choral mellotron and Roland Richard's flute. It's simply flawless, as it sort of reprises the title suite.

The last two songs are very similar in mood and approach: both 8 to 10 minutes slow-to-mid tempo mellotron-led tracks, and both sung in English. "Windows" presents a mysterious and nostalgic mood, while "Fool's Failure" is more cynical and quite obscure at times.

Concluding, no matter how much I'm fond of this album, it still has two major flaws: firstly, the production is a bit faulty. I mean, I doubt more than half of french native speakers would be able to discern the buried-in-the-mix lyrics of the title suite. Secondly, Gandil's English singing sounds exactly like what you'd expect from a frenchman...

Nevertheless, you ought to give this album a go, even if just for the superb title track, which alone's worth buying the entire album.

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 Halloween by PULSAR album cover Studio Album, 1977
3.90 | 116 ratings

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Halloween
Pulsar Symphonic Prog

Review by agla

5 stars "Halloween" is surely one of the most fascinating and intriguing album, released at the end of the seventies, a time when the prog was about to be buried by the punk . Recorded in Geneva with the new bassist Michel Masson and based on a surreal dialogue between a girl and a mysterious entity, an idea of drummer Victor Bosch, the cd pulls out a meticulous sound and a great team spirit, the evident result of a long search.

It starts with the childhood chant of "Halloween Song" and immediately enter into "Tired answer", a rarefied song, nestled in a dimension really exciting full of delicate inserts of acoustic Guitar and dreamy keyboards, with the flute Richard in evidence. The piece takes shape and force, the aggressive rhythm of drums, and guitar sounds distorted to art, while Jacques Roman juggles the best among its many keyboards, masterfully to emphasize several points. "Colours of childhood" offers warm Gandil voice, singing in English (as in the remaining pieces) before of stunning space-rock of "Sorrow in my dreams", vibrant and full of pathos.

The second part of the concept opens up on bleak images of loneliness ("Lone fantasy"), a singing accompanied by cello, piano and acoustic guitar, and a nice game of assorted percussion, that flow gently in the beautiful and airy attack of "Dawn over darkness" electric guitar of Gandil salt to the stage, while the usual atmosphere and liquid suspended, and a voice that grows in intensity toghether music, on the carpets of flute and keyboards and the addition of syncope percussive. A jewel that is perhaps the culmination of the cd after the brief interlude of "Misty garden of passion" is the night ride "Fear of frost", a frantic dance of ghosts, in the heart of a childhood nightmare, the voices fade into the organ of the Roman conclusive "Time".

"Halloween" is the masterpiece of the Pulsar and a whole genre of symphonic rock and romantic, customized by electronic touches and misterious keyboards , that someone wanted to pull over to Pink Floyd 's more mature phase.

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 Memory Ashes by PULSAR album cover Studio Album, 2007
3.68 | 25 ratings

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Memory Ashes
Pulsar Symphonic Prog

Review by tszirmay
Special Collaborator Crossover Team

5 stars There are some progressive rock fans who are unafraid to chill and get mellow, after all one cannot dream a theater all the time! In fact, prog has always had a steady following among the more atmospheric crowd, contrary to metallic world which depended on out right rockers to be balanced out by what cynics call 'sugary power ballads". There have been historically a massive selection of artists who prefer more subdued symphonicities and create recordings that range from the pastoral to ambient, folk, electronic or even space. For many veteran musicians who seek to expand their craft, the notes in the spaces between are often even more exciting that the clichéd ones. Robert Fripp was once asked what was his favorite note or chord ever played, to which he wryly answered "Silence!" unsure whether it was a proper retort or an admonition (clever Bob!) .

Pulsar is a much storied French symphonic legend that was once called France's answer to Pink Floyd, releasing a series of critically acclaimed and very diverse albums such as the naively lovely "Pollen", the majestic "Halloween", the incredible "Strands of the Future", the strange "Bienvenue au Conseil...", my favorite the bustling "Görlitz" and after a very long hiatus, the supreme "Memory Ashes". The core members are all is still devoted to the cause, with Gilbert Gandil still holding down the guitar parts (a fluid player of the very highest calibre), Jacques Roman on the sweeping keyboards, Rolland Richard on winds and the ever muscular Victor Bosch on drums.

The title suite "Memory Ashes" is divided in 4 parts, all quite brilliantly constructed, totalling nearly 26 minutes of seamless progressive space rock , though decidedly more atmospheric than boisterous. Soporific, ponderous, suave and sensuous, the mood is like a trickling rivulet of crystal water, meandering with placid fortitude. Gandil weaves superb threads, including some slide guitar amid riveting piano modulations, fluttering synth backdrops, a steady bass and Masonic drumming. He also has a romantic-tinged gentle voice that, while not an opera star, has a vibrant originality that is most appealing. A sultry oboe makes a brief appearance with hushed choir (like 10cc's "I'm Not in Love") and really gets the dream factor involved.

On Part 2 , Roman's piano twinkles brightly, the pace is thoughtful with the bass more apparent , as Gandil searches out some nifty very "recherché" leads, the choir still swirling in the wind. The beat suddenly hardens, introducing a typical Gandil solo, somewhere between Gilmour and Latimer and Hackett, full of unassuming emotion. Pools of synthesized beauty, wisps of lush mellotron, insistent piano and the voice returns for another melancholic bow on Part 3. The pulse (oops!) gets more intense, the pace slightly more focused, with some amazing rhythm guitar riffs that are simply to expunge over. Howling mellotrons and pummeling beat really ratchet up the sweat factor, the vocals supplying only brief respite as Gandil rips out a sizzler solo. Easily one of the most underrated axemen around. The piano joins in with the squealing volume-pedal fueled guitar leads.

On part 4, the grandiose choir work provides even more excitement, the binary bass and drum beat becoming ultra-solid, the fiery solo is simply ravishing, as it duels brilliantly with the massed voices. This is buzz music, to say the least, highly intoxicating and dream- inducing. Halfway through, a moody acoustic guitar enters the silence, a brief clarinet passage giving the piece a sense of experimentation, with some slicing electric playing as well. Mournfully beautiful! But the supreme masterpiece is the thrilling "The Monks", nearly 11 minutes of the very finest space rock in its mellowest form, combining church bells, Gregorian chants, sultry flute, massive keyboard extensions and Gandil's searing guitar playing. This at first appears to be like a proggy version of Enigma but the beat is decidedly Floydian, the guitars adventurous in both acoustic and electric version, giving this stew more meat than potatoes. A brief Middle Eastern flute vibe, as well as Edith Chaffard's lovely cello (what a pretty instrument that is!), provide a sun-drenched vision of shifting sands and implacable heat. The chorale returns us to colder climes, echoing off the monastery walls, to put this piece to rest.

"Respire" is not a "Breathe" tribute to Pink Floyd but rather a more ethereal adventure with squealing almost Hawaiian guitar, whispered voice lamenting breathlessly, which suddenly gets heavier with a marshalling beat and the Gandil magic kicking it up a notch. The man's is truly a marvelous musician, just doing his own thing to perfection. A fantastic and well deserved sax interference comes into play, with some female backing vocals adding impact. Okay, so maybe it is a homage to the Ummagummans after all! Nothing wrong or surprising there! The piece just flutters on serenely, extremely peaceful and serene. Great music!

Finish with one of the most attractive cover artwork and you have a precious asteroid in your prog galaxy, orbiting unflinchingly around your musical universe. There is no doubt that some will find this perhaps too soft, but as far as I am concerned, the 'stellar' (sic) musicianship and the melancholic nature of the arrangements are both right up my warp factor. I adore all of their albums and am a big fan of this one. If you are looking for progressive chill music of the mellower variety with killer guitar, this is a great place to invest.

5 Memorial Remains

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 Halloween by PULSAR album cover Studio Album, 1977
3.90 | 116 ratings

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Halloween
Pulsar Symphonic Prog

Review by wjgs

4 stars Halloween is the third album by this seminal French band. An essential work for any serious prog fan. In fact the first 4 albums are excellent. Originally 2 tracks, parts 1 & 2 comprising 9 'mini pieces'. From the opening bars of Halloween song, Pulsar take you on an extended sonic journey. Gilbert Gandil's guitar work along with Jacques Roman's keyboards give a spacy, pre-DSOTM feel. Sorrow in my dream is a stand-out track. Unfortunately released as Punk was taking over the world and a lack of support from their label meant that the band did not receive the exposure they deserved. Check out 'Bienvenue au Conseil d'Administration!

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 The Strands Of The Future  by PULSAR album cover Studio Album, 1976
3.84 | 99 ratings

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The Strands Of The Future
Pulsar Symphonic Prog

Review by apps79
Special Collaborator Neo Prog Team

3 stars The year between ''Pollen'' and the next album ''The Strands of the Future'' was quite intense for Pulsar.The band was really unhappy with the debut's poor promotion and distribution.However some great gigs, especially the ones with Van Der Graaf Generator and Patrick Moraz, earned them full publicity, but even so original bassist Philippe Roman also quit later, struggling to catch up with the hard life of touring.Reduced to a quartet and with Jacques Roman taking over also the bass duities, Pulsar started recording their sophomore effort, which was completed in early 76' at the Aquarius Studios in Geneva, Switzerland, eventually released again on Kingdom Records in September 1976.

''The Strands of the Future'' marks the first attempt by the band to produce a full-blown sidelong epic.So, the 22-min. long eponymous track has its moments, still played under a spacey/symphonic atmosphere, but also lacks coherence with a bit too many pointless interruptions.The GENESIS and PINK FLOYD influences are still apparent, as well as the inspirations from Electronic Music and this composition offers plenty of dramatic instrumental themes with great guitars and spacey synthesizers, while the flutes parts of Roland Richard are just excellent.It is also the only track to feature still some French lyrics, but the long and stretched hypnotic moods here and there hurt its consistency.

The flipside opens with the fantastic but too short symphonic instrumental ''Flight'', where the gears are up, consisting of some nice interplays and a beautiful atmosphere.''Windows'' is just classic PULSAR.Hypnotic Space/Symphonic Rock with strong PINK FLOYD hints, based on atmospheric organs, an extended slow-paced flute solo and decent guitar playing.The closing 10-min. ''Fool's Failure'' has strong resemblances with the eponymous track, except for the English lyrics.Dramatic French Prog with alternation between grandiose Mellotrons and cosmic synthesizers with an overall very dark approach, but still the interesting guitar solos of Gilbert Gandil and the ethereal flute of Roland Richard soften things a bit to create a number of changing instrumental climates.

All these negative facts during this hard year seemed to have an impact on Pulsar's inspiration.Maybe too much went on in just a short time.Even this way this is pretty good Space/Symphonic Rock with some great instrumental ideas here and there and warmly recommended.

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 Halloween by PULSAR album cover Studio Album, 1977
3.90 | 116 ratings

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Halloween
Pulsar Symphonic Prog

Review by Gooner
Prog Reviewer

2 stars Not the masterpiece it is said to be. Way overhyped. By this point, the spacey has been replaced with the standard "prog synth"(late '70s STYX?), and they've lost their "french sound". Obviously geared to a larger market - even the heavily accented english vocals sound like they were phoned in as an afterthought. By this point, they could be compared to a "french Pink Floyd", because it sounds like a former Canadian Prime Minister vocalizing the Ricola commercial in the Gasp�©sie region through a vocoder. More like "Wish You Weren't Here"...the poor man's Floyd from Shawinigan. I'm so worked up of how overrated "Halloween" is, it's got me writing gibberish. OK, Not my cup of tea...but someone here might like it if you can get past the vocals. Pulsar should stick to their native tongue. This is 2 stars because the music is not that bad. This would normally garner a 3 star rating, but it's the vocals I find so irritating. Stick to the first 2 albums "Pollen" and "The Strands Of The Future" if you want to hear the legend of Pulsar. The aforementioned deserve all the praise the world over.

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 The Strands Of The Future  by PULSAR album cover Studio Album, 1976
3.84 | 99 ratings

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The Strands Of The Future
Pulsar Symphonic Prog

Review by stefro
Prog Reviewer

3 stars Slimming down to four-piece after the exit of Philippe Roman, the second album from Pulsar maintains the same sonic course set by debut release 'Pollen', offering up another dreamy helping of cosmic rock obviously influences by the likes of Pink Floyd. However, whilst 'Pollen' proved a pretty if somewhat underwhelming listen, 'Strands Of The Future' provides a more textured approach, featuring many of the stylistic hallmarks that would come to be emphasised on the group's classic 1978 release 'Halloween', the album that pretty much sealed Pulsar's reputation. Featuring heavily-synthesized keyboards, fuzzy guitar squalls and occasionally ominous keyboard drones, 'Strands Of The Future' isn't quite in the class of it's follow-up, yet there is still much that impresses on an album packed with atmosphere. Blending the worlds of British-style symphonic prog and cosmic space-rock, Pulsar were always a rather unique European outfit - their sound wasn't dominated by the strains of jazz or folk like many of their European colleagues - instead looking west for their inspiration. The results were a deeply-ambient and carefully-crafted sound that slowly grew into the magnificent forty-minute composition that spreads across 'Halloween'. Both 'Pollen' and 'Strands Of The Future' can be seen as the building blocks for their highly-rated third album, with both featuring the same ethereal style and woozy instrumental passages that make their music so appealing. Of the two, this 1976 effort is undoubtedly the superior release, yet both are recommended to fans of dreamy synthesized rock. Impressive. STEFAN TURNER, STOKE NEWINGTON, 2012

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