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Arachnoid - Arachnoid CD (album) cover

ARACHNOID

Arachnoid

 

Symphonic Prog

3.85 | 126 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Progfan97402
4 stars I finally got me a copy of this album, an original LP on Divox, no less! I've been aware of this group for many years, probably since about 2000. This French group put out their one and only album in 1979, but the original LP is extremely hard to find, and it's been said only 300 copies were made. Hans Pokora, who published a series of Record Collector Dreams books gives a one to six disc rating to all titles listed, one disc meaning a rare LP that's really not impossible to find, and you might be lucky to find it at a reasonable price, to six disc which are so rare that you likely don't own a copy (usually LPs that rare are test pressings, acetates, or very limited amount of pressings, maybe 50 or so copies). The Arachnoid LP is given three discs from Pokora, on the same league as Museo Rosenbach's Zarathustra, Jose Cid's 10.000 Anos Depois Entre Venus E Marte, L'Uovo di Colombo's only album, Jumbo's DNA, and so on (I have no LPs in my collection Pokora rated higher than three, which means image finding LPs rated higher!). But years later Musea reissued the Arachnoid album, and for good reason, to let more progheads get the chance to hear this without having to bend over backwards trying to find an original LP. For some reason, there seems to be that certain characteristic common within French prog. Like theatrical vocals, angular King Crimson-type guitar riffing, spacy synthesizers, and odd sounding phased organs. Arachnoid has been frequently compared with the likes of Ange, Pulsar, Shylock, and King Crimson, which sounds about right. It's strange how several of these French albums I've heard feature that same fuzz lead guitar Gilbert Gandil used in Pulsar, like this group, as well as Archaia. This album also has some nice use of Mellotron. Synths appear to be a Korg, as it definitely does not sound like MiniMoog or an ARP Odyssey. Although there are vocals, they don't dominate, although there's one passage where the vocalist starts screaming. This is the kind of prog that would cause the regular Huey Lewis & the News (or any other such similar ultra-mainstream pop/rock act) fan running and screaming for the hills. I am not too surprised this was Arachnoid's only album, given it was released in 1979, when there was a declining interest in prog by the public, not to mention the limited amount of copies pressed of the album meant it was obscure right from the start (if Arachnoid recorded a few years earlier, they might have had a bigger label backing them up and a probable chance of recording more than one album). For all the years I've heard great stuff about this band, well they are right! One of the best prog albums I've heard from 1979, and is essential.

By the way, since I own the original LP, just to let everyone know, the mix differs from the reissue on Musea. The opening cut, for example, around the part where you hear a little girl speak something in French and those synths kick in, on the original Divox LP, you hear these "Ahhhh" choruses in the background. The Musea version omits those "Ahs" and replaces them with some sort of organ or harmonium. It's luckily not as drastically altered as Neuschwanstein's Battlement, but enough to warrant seeking out the original LP (if you can find and afford a copy, that is).

Progfan97402 | 4/5 |

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