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Arachnoid - Arachnoid CD (album) cover




Symphonic Prog

3.86 | 146 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
2 stars France's eclectic progressive rock scene produced a handful of impressive groups during the 1970s, the likes of Pulsar, Atoll, Ange and Magma each cooking up of their own distinctive brew of Gallic art-rock to usually excellent effect. However, whilst those groups managed to cultivate long(ish) careers and loyal fan-bases, the little-known collective Arachnoid were one of the many who belong that large club of groups who made just one album before disappearing into rock 'n' roll obscurity. A difficult, arty, overly-complex affair, Arachnoid's addition to the prog canon is a typically European concoction, both heavy on atmosphere and intricate wordplay yet light on melodic hooks and fist-pumping riffs. Ignored during their prime, Arachnoid are just one of the thousands of European acts who have gained from the creation of the French label Musea, an imprint designed to house groups as un-commercial as these. As a result, the group's one-and-only release is now regarded as an important part of the French scene, though just why it is remains(to this reviewer at least) a bit of a mystery. Unlike, say, 'Halloween' by Pulsar or Ange's first two abums, this high-brow courting collection lacks any real punch, proving a decidedly impenetrable and tedious listen. Certain tracks, such as the gothic opener 'Le Chamadere' occasionally flex the group's instrumental muscles, yet all too often the slow pace and overly fussy arrangements merely frustrate. This is deliberately obtuse prog-rock featuring the very essence of why so many people find the genre pompous and unfathomable, whilst also showcasing exactly why many European acts struggle to find any kind of audience outside of their homelands. Yes, there's talent behind 'Arachnoid', and yes, the album does suffer from poor production values, yet plenty of groups have overcome these barriers to create complex and accessible music. A fundamentally flawed release, this is one of those overly-praised items that has remained obscure for a very good reason.


stefro | 2/5 |


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