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Pentacle biography

Another one off band, Pentacle was formed in 1971 in Belfort, France. Their one album "La Clef des Songes" was released in 1975, and was produced by Ange's Christian Decamps. The lineup consisted of Claude Mentrier on keyboards, Michael Roy on Drums, Richard Tribier on bass and acoustic guitar, and Gerald Reuz on guitars and lead vocals.

The music is described as elegant, avoiding the bombast of some of their contemporaries. There is also a spacey component. That does not necessarily mean completely soft.

The vocals are emotional, and there are bits of guitar lashing. Passages evoke early King Crimson, and Moody Blues. There are the trademark symphonic tempo shifts, but complexity is not a hallmark.

The album was re-released by Musea, and includes three live bonus tracks.

H.T. Riekels (bhikkhu)

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Ancient DeathAncient Death
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Cristal Records
Pentacle - Bl(U)Ck Basis (2CDS) [Japan CD] EYCA-10933Pentacle - Bl(U)Ck Basis (2CDS) [Japan CD] EYCA-10933
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4.03 | 102 ratings
La Clef Des Songes

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Showing last 10 reviews only
 La Clef Des Songes by PENTACLE album cover Studio Album, 1975
4.03 | 102 ratings

La Clef Des Songes
Pentacle Symphonic Prog

Review by VianaProghead
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Review Nº 175

Pentacle is a French symphonic progressive rock band formed in 1971 in Belfort, France. They released only one album, their debut studio album "La Clef Des Songes", who was recorded in 1975. It's interesting to mention that their album was produced by Christian Descamps, the vocalist of one of the best and most known French progressive symphonic rock bands of the 70's, Ange. About their music, we can say that it's simple and not very complex, in contrast with some of their contemporarie compatriots. Their music has some influences of Genesis, Moody Blues and of the early sound of King Crimson. The lyrics of the entire album are all in their mother tongue, French.

Pentacle was a band formed by four musicians, Gerard Ruez (lead vocals, electric and acoustic guitars), Claude Menetrier (organ, moog, elka string ensemble and piano), Richard Treiber (bass and acoustic guitar) and Michel Roy (backing vocals and drums).

According to Pentacle, the recording of the band's debut album was earmarked for February 1975 at the Citadelle Studios in Besançon. Pentacle's repertoire consisted of six tracks with French words, written mostly by Richard and sung by Gerard. The recordings were made over eight days and were put onto a 16 track tape. As the group didn't have much time to record, they worked from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. every day, sometimes dragging the sessions out till midnight.

Pentacle have decided to call their album "La Clef Des Songes" based in one of the tracks and asked Yvan Campello, who was an amateur painter, to design the art cover of it. Pentacle suggested some ideas and from Yvon's three projects the group chose a drawing of a man suspended in mid-air, superimposed on a surrealistic dreamy background and holding a key in his hands, the key of dreams, surely. The album was released in May 1975 and sold 3.000 copies.

"La Clef Des Songes" has six tracks and my CD version has also three live bonus tracks. The first track "La Clef Des Songes" with music by Menetrier and lyrics by Treiber, who gaves its name to the album, is a good song to open the album. It's a very beautiful song, very energetic and with very good guitar work and is also very well accompanied by nice synthesizer and drumming workings. This is a very interesting track. The second track "Naufrage" with music by Ruez and lyrics by Roy is another very good and interesting song. It's a solid track with a nice keyboard and drumming workings. It has also great electric guitar working and where soft vocals take over. The third track "L'Ame Du Guerrier" with music by Roy and lyrics by Treiber is, in my humble opinion, a better song than the two previous tracks. This is a more progressive song with good development, very dynamic, with good vocal working, and once more, with great guitar job and the organ working is also very good. This is really a very interesting and amazing track. The fourth track "Les Pauvres" with music by Ruez and lyrics by Roy is a pastoral ballad and melodic song with good acoustic and electric guitar workings. It has also a good organ performance. This is a very beautiful song, really. The fifth track "Complot" with music by Menetrier and lyrics by Treiber is a splendid song. This is a very good and melodic track with great keyboards and guitars and where the vocals are very sweet and passionate. This is a song with great instrumental parts and where the final result is great. This is another wonderful track. The sixth and last track "Le Raconteur" with music by Ruez and lyrics by Menetrier is the lengthiest and epic track of the album and represents a great closing for it. This is really a very good song with grandiose, melodic and extraordinary moments. All band's members did fantastic, individual and collective workings, and thus they made of this track one of the highlights of this excellent album.

As usual, I will not make a review of the bonus live tracks of the album. However, I'm going to write some lines about them. Despite the quality of the tape recordings, which aren't properly very good, I was very impressed with the quality of the live performance of the group. In my opinion, the live versions of the songs are great, and in generall, they're better performed than their studio versions, especially the live version of "La Clef Des Songes", which is simply superb.

Conclusion: I must confess that I only just heard of Pentacle on Progarchives, but I'm very glad to have found them. I bought my CD, "La Clef Des Songes", a couple of years ago. So, for me, "La Clef Des Songes" is a great symphonic progressive rock album. It's very well balanced and very beautiful. "La Clef Des Songes" doesn't shame any French progressive rock fan. This is an album that most fans of French symphonic progressive rock will really like, a quartet solid in the vein of Atoll, Ange, Mona Lisa and Pulsar. It's a pity that Pentacle has released only one album. They would have a long and great promising career through the universe of progressive rock music. This is one of the better one-shots around with great arrangements, lush keyboards and a warm spacey atmosphere. Despite some mediocre quality sound of the album, sometimes, the quality of the three bonus live tracks is remarkable. I'm very impressed with it.

Prog is my Ferrari. Jem Godfrey (Frost*)

 La Clef Des Songes by PENTACLE album cover Studio Album, 1975
4.03 | 102 ratings

La Clef Des Songes
Pentacle Symphonic Prog

Review by maryes

2 stars I lament disagree from the majority of PA collaborators which made an review about this album ( who gives a high quotation - 76 °/° above 4 stars) and I wish to stay clear my absolute respect to all, however, I must say that : In very few moments I thought to give the minimum rate for an album , in really, I never make it ! But, in the case of PENTACLE "Le Cleuf des Songes" , ... almost I make this ! Only by my respect for any artist that try to express their feelings and thoughts, I can't due it ! The album in question is simply monotonous, with very previsible passages. Sounding more like a pop ballad music album than a progressive music effort ! The scanty different moments as in track 3 " L'âme Du Guerrier" and track 5 "Complot" with some rhythmic variations and good instrumental solos, but in my humble point of view, is not enough to captivate my mind. My rate is only 2 stars !!!
 La Clef Des Songes by PENTACLE album cover Studio Album, 1975
4.03 | 102 ratings

La Clef Des Songes
Pentacle Symphonic Prog

Review by J-Man
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Like many one-album wonders from the seventies' progressive rock scene, the music of French symphonic prog act Pentacle didn't receive very much recognition until fairly recently. A CD reissue from Musea Records and a legion of prog fans expressing their love for the album through internet forums have all helped Pentacle finally get some of the attention they deserve, but their sole effort La Clef Des Songes still remains pretty obscure over 35 years since its release. A real shame, as I consider this one of the best French albums released during the golden age of symphonic prog. As history would prove, this rather short album would end up being the only work ever created by Pentacle, but at least the band has left us with a half hour of splendid music. La Clef Des Songes is a forgotten gem that deserves to be heard by every progressive rock fan.

La Clef Des Songes opens up on a high note with its powerful and downright haunting title track, and the rest of this 34 minute album is every bit as good. "L'âme Du Guerrier" is another highlight, with its chilling builds and excellent synthesizer melodies drawing me in from the very beginning, and the epic "Le Raconteur" is a perfect way to close the album. Pentacle definitely took the saying 'quality over quantity' to heart, as all six tracks on La Clef Des Songes are superb - it's a real shame that the band didn't go on to release more albums in the coming years. If this debut is indicative of anything at all, these guys would've had a very bright future ahead of them.

La Clef Des Songes was originally released in 1975, and in many ways the album sounds like it couldn't have been from any other time period. The heavy use of synthesizers makes it feel different than many early seventies' symphonic prog albums, but the rather raw production and very progressive compositions means that it doesn't sound like a typical late seventies' album either - in many ways, Pentacle's pastoral and spacey approach to symphonic prog sounds like a combination of Genesis, Premiata Forneria Marconi, and Pink Floyd with a heavier dependence on lead synthesizer tones than any of the aforementioned acts. The keyboard palette is also made up of plenty of organs and mellotrons, but it's really the chilling synthesizer that sets Pentacle apart from many other progressive rock acts from the mid-seventies'. The band's unique arrangements make this a pretty original album in many regards; it doesn't sound specifically like any single other band, but instead like a mix of the very best sounds that progressive rock has to offer.

Although La Clef Des Songes was only Pentacle's debut effort, this is a mature and all-around exceptional album that should be heard by every symphonic progressive rock fan. In spite of its rather obscure status, this is one of the most essential French prog albums from the 1970's, and deserves to be regarded as such - this can only be described as a beautiful, haunting, and compelling journey.

 La Clef Des Songes by PENTACLE album cover Studio Album, 1975
4.03 | 102 ratings

La Clef Des Songes
Pentacle Symphonic Prog

Review by Life Line Project

5 stars They don't have a five star guitarist, they don't have a five star drummer, they don't have a five star bass player, nor is their keyboard player among the world's top virtuosos, but all the same the French band PENTACLE have succeeded in producing a five star album. All on "La Clef De Songes" is pointed at making beautiful symphonic rock. Their unselfish way of only serving the band's need to create beautiful music has been the true key to reach a five star album.

The music is never pushed forward, the arrangements are well taken care of. Every song, no matter if it's short or long, is supplied with the necessary guitar and keyboard solos, to emphasize the lyrics' needs.

Right away title song "La Clef Des Songes" has a beautiful and well executed Moog solo, while the following solo, played on a Gibson SG fits in with the song perfectly. The song starts with a majestic symphonic rock theme by the complete band, soon joined by the excellent vocals by Gerard Ruez.

Contrary to most French bands from this period who all have very theatrical vocals, the vocals in the songs of Pentacle are more restrained and have a more dreamy and poetical character. The lyrics are all well written and fit to the music perfectly. It's hard to believe that this album was produced by Ange front man Christian Decamps, hysterical and theatrical singer par excellence. "Les Pauvres" is the shortest, but it's also one of the most poetic and beautiful songs.

Again in a song like "L'âme Du Guerrier" the interplay between synthesizers and guitars is well chosen. Despite its compactness (the song is only a bit longer than six minutes) the song contains many beautiful themes. The added acoustic guitar parts contribute to the subtlety of the song, which is well supported by the drums and bass.

Highlight on the album is undoubtedly the over ten minutes lasting "The Raconteur", another very melodic song full of warm harmonies. There is a huge number of beautiful themes, full of tempo and character changes, to be enjoyed between the several vocal segments. The song ends with beautiful solos on the Gibson SG of Ruez, alternated by the subtle and very melodious Moog parts supplied by Claude Menetrier. This chain of solos is ended by a beautiful acoustic guitar solo in a fade out, putting a worthy conclusion to a very beautiful album.

The early seventies showed an outburst of creativity in the French progressive music scene with bands like Ange, Mona Lisa, Atoll & Metabolisme and Pentacle have added their bit with their alas only album.

"La Clef Des Songes" is a must for everyone who likes French symphonic rock from the seventies and I think it's one of the best albums in the genre. It's obvious that I can honour this album only with five stars !

Erik de Beer

 La Clef Des Songes by PENTACLE album cover Studio Album, 1975
4.03 | 102 ratings

La Clef Des Songes
Pentacle Symphonic Prog

Review by Warthur
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Driven by the excellent Gilmour-like guitar skills of Gerald Reuz, Pentacle's sole album is an intriguing product of the French prog scene which manages to attain an intriguing balance between indulging in symphonic prog complexity and maintaining sufficient accessibility to give the music broad appeal. It's precisely this sort of balancing act which five to six years later would give rise to the neo-prog scene, and there are points where the music does drift into territory reminiscent of early recordings by Twelfth Night and The Lens (the band who, in case you don't know, eventually evolved into IQ). That isn't to say this is a full-on neo album, but it is a fascinating reminder that even before the punk wave hit there were still plenty of bands producing prog in an accessible manner that was open to mainstream audiences, if they but had the inclination to listen.
 La Clef Des Songes by PENTACLE album cover Studio Album, 1975
4.03 | 102 ratings

La Clef Des Songes
Pentacle Symphonic Prog

Review by ZowieZiggy
Prog Reviewer

4 stars If you have read some of my reviews, you might be aware that I quite liked the French scene from the seventies. Not only because of the French lyrics (French is my mother tongue) but mainly because the quality of the music combined to great and often irreverent texts were a perfect combination and marvelously highlighted the symphonic feel one could get while listening to so many great bands.

This "Pentacle" one and only jewel is not different from its great predecessors (and followers). The music they proposed was a brilliant combination of Crimson / Yes & Genesis in terms of instrumentation. As far as the vocal department is concerned, I have to say that they don't show too much to share with the usual and theatric French style.

Gerald Reuz is much more discreet but very effective though. And he is surrounded by a bunch of excellent musicians. Just listen to the gorgeous guitar solo available during "L'Âme Du Guerrier". Brilliant, really.

The "naked" emotional "Les Pauvres" is a great example of this French style I praise so much: simple, moving and featuring some great musical skills (guitar here is superb again: both acoustic and electric). A passionate moment indeed (but French knowledge is an add-on).

When you listen to the intro of the epic from this album ("Le Raconteur", - the story-teller) there is only one word to use: splendid! Vocals are sweet and passionate, keyboards are outstanding, melody is strong and the song quickly evolves into superb territories. Instrumental parts feature a great fight between the lead guitar and the rhythmic section: the result is absolutely wonderful.

On top of this, there are some extraordinary melodic moments available as well! What a great track this is. This song is THE highlight of course (but most of the songs featured on this album are excellent). The closing guitar solo is fantastic.

The bonus live tracks are quite interesting as well (even if the sound is rather average). This is quite a good album in my standards. Just shy of the masterpiece status but four solid stars without any problem.

 La Clef Des Songes by PENTACLE album cover Studio Album, 1975
4.03 | 102 ratings

La Clef Des Songes
Pentacle Symphonic Prog

Review by Thiago Hallak

2 stars 2.5 stars actually!

Pentacle is a french symphonic band and it really has lots of symphonic elements like vocal in native language, melodies on keys, some space themes, etc. But it is quite simple: There are no ecstasy moments, unusual instruments or great solos.

The band reminds other frech symphonic bands like Taï Phong or Carpe Diem and also reminds Novalis.

"La Clef des Songes", "Naufrage" and "Le Racounteur" are nice songs but haven't any highlights. The others are just disposable.

I've got to admit that its climate is nice and delightful, a really coloured music. But it does not provides a worth listening, unfortunately.

 La Clef Des Songes by PENTACLE album cover Studio Album, 1975
4.03 | 102 ratings

La Clef Des Songes
Pentacle Symphonic Prog

Review by Marty McFly
Special Collaborator Errors and Omissions Team

4 stars Somebody already know, I struggle a little bit with French language (in music of course), after all, I state it almost in all review of album sung in French language. Seems like a lot of Canada bands and almost all French ones are singing in this French language, as they can be proud of it. Actually, they can, it can be beautiful language (even sometimes unbearable, depending on speaker / singer in this case). There, just pleasant voice, lyrics (that I don't understand, but still it makes me happy) and sheer optimistic energy shining from it. In this point, "La Clef Des Songes" is making success. As many other one-wonder band from this era, they're in strange situation of being debut-final album, so they have no time to be mature, only fresh. And it's recognizable here.

4(+) is the least I can do to express my impression that this album made. Maybe it came little bit late, but year or two doesn't matter much (to me at least). Live songs are even better by my opinion.

 La Clef Des Songes by PENTACLE album cover Studio Album, 1975
4.03 | 102 ratings

La Clef Des Songes
Pentacle Symphonic Prog

Review by Area70

4 stars A solid release that does what it says on the tin. Not a wildly original outing, but one where the songwriting has a strong flow from beginning to end and the musician's stick to their strengths. The main ingredients are haunting keyboards and biting guitarwork. The guitarist is somewhat apart from his six string cotemporaries in that he doesn't altogether abandon blues based phrasing.

The vocals are not what I would consider the typical theatrical style that's familiar to a lot of other French bands, more subdued and melodic. Overall the album is distinctly French with its dark undertone, but as other reviewers have noted, there's a drop here and there of space rock.

 La Clef Des Songes by PENTACLE album cover Studio Album, 1975
4.03 | 102 ratings

La Clef Des Songes
Pentacle Symphonic Prog

Review by tmay102436

4 stars This is a truly enjoyable album. All of the beauty and power of the traditional French groups of the era, plus a bit more melody in the softer/English styling. There's been so much written about this from other proggers, I won't go into detail, but there is just something very unique here that transcends what one might expect. Yes, wonderful French language sung beautifully, great string (non mellotron I think) backing to fine percussion/bass work, but the guitar - that's the key here. It's more in the American/English style. Which, in my opinion, gives the strength to this type of music that is lacking in some other efforts.

In fact the only complaint I have is the added tracks - poorly recorded "live" performances. The performances seem fine, but the quality is unacceptable - so the answer - don't listen to them. I wish there were no added tracks on most of these re releases, as they just tend to detract from the listening experience - again, just my opinion.

So, overall this is what the 70's era French progressive rock is all about.

Buy this one - got mine from the wonderful Greg Walker - Syn-Phonic Music site.

Thanks to ProgLucky for the artist addition. and to Ivan_Melgar_M for the last updates

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