"Pulsar" (Hansel & Gretel; 2016)

Reviewed by R. Scott Bolton


Counter-World Experience's "Pulsar" is a stunning collection of eleven instrumental soundscapes that manage to tell stories as well as any album with lyrics. It plays like a soundtrack to a movie you're watching in your head, and surprises here and there with unexpected instruments (horns, etc.) and ethereal vocalizations (not lyrics) that guide your mind through the journey that is "Pulsar."

For the most part, "Pulsar" is a pretty heavy album, with chunky guitars, Satriani-like solos, and driving rhythms. But when it comes time to change pace, the album doesn't hesitate, adding lighter music and atmosphere to ignite a completely different emotion.

Self-proclaimed as  "jazz metal," "Pulsar" feels just like that, with a deceiving free-form sound that envelopes you from start to finish. Although this album is best listened to via headphones, it also sounds great on long highway journeys (trust me, that's how I first heard it).

If there's any downside here, it's that, by album's end, "Pulsar" tends to lose a little energy, either due to the album's length (48 minutes of instrumental music can be challenging) or because it starts to sound a little same-y. But don't let that stop you. You'll be amazed and engrossed by the music on this CD.

Also featured on "Pulsar" are special guests "Steve DiGiorgio, Hannes Grossman and Fountainhead.

For more information, check out

Rating Guide:

A classic. This record will kick your ass.

Killer. Not a classic but it will rock your world.

So-so. You've heard better.

Pretty bad. Might make a nice coaster.

Self explanatory. Just the sight of the cover makes you wanna hurl.

Back to CD Reviews Home

Back to Home

Copyright 2016 by R. Scott Bolton. All rights reserved.
Revised: 09 Dec 2018 12:03:12 -0500.