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    Posted: October 29 2007 at 16:18
ARACHNOÏD - Arachnoïd
What a wonderfully dark and theatrical album! KC inspired along with some references to other French contemporary like Pulsar and Shylock.
Le Chamadère itself is a great example of the theatrical nature of the rock-progressif of French bands.
 
Allow me to quote several sources.
 
Their PA bio:
ARACHNOÏD is a French major progressive band whose music was combined the strengths of other French symphonic groups and dark progressive rock that recalled KING CRIMSON. The dark sound, almost like UNIVERS ZERO, is accomplished mostly by melodic structures in the vein of KING CRIMSON's "Larks' Tongues In Apic" and dramatical vocals similar to that of Christian DECAMPS from ANGE. ARACHNOÏD's music express a continuous tension with flashing guitar's parts and tormented keyboards interventions. A unique band with nods to KING CRIMSON, PULSAR, SHYLOCK & PINK FLOYD!

ARACHNOÏD's 1978 self-titled album is one of France's finest progressive albums of the 70's, but not classic. The first four tracks of the seven original are the best, but also the most complicated and intriguing. Classically-inspired instrumentals, but their vocalist is weak. Recommended for all adventurous progters
 
 
Reviews:
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
The reviews here in PA:

ARACHNOÏD "Arachnoïd" reviews

(ratings with reviews of more than 200 characters)

Collaborators Reviews

ARACHNOÏD — Arachnoïd

Review by Prognut (Jose Gabriel)
PROG REVIEWER

4%20stars One-shot French band of 1978. Ange meets KC (mid-period) meets ?UZ. Superb effort!!!!, but very difficult to digest...I would not recommend this to the casual prog listener. Very French at times,even symphonic and in other passages very dark and beautiful not as much as UZ; with layers of keys, and ocassional dissonant drifting......definitively for the open minded progheads, this one in a grower and for me deliver 100%!!!!!

Posted Sunday, April 11, 2004, 14:59 EST | Permanent link

ARACHNOÏD — Arachnoïd

Review by lor68
PROG REVIEWER

4%20stars This is one of the best dissonant and experimental works in the vein of King Crimson and with such a typical dramatic and dark romantic mood-often "Ange-oriented"- ever produced in France!! The similarities with a few albums from the "Zehul Music" is evident here, talking about some less harsh aspects of this latter school, but in my opinion it doesn't reach the same inspiration as within for example works like "Eros" by Dun.Nevertheless actually, unlike "Eros","Arachnoid" sometimes is more accessible for whom is not into the most dissonant music passages of this "crimsonian" style, which seldom is pure avant- garde music inside the present album, despite of maintaining a great tension...at the end you could also add another half star at least,because this issue dated 1978 is close to the genius of a masterwork!!

Posted Saturday, August 07, 2004, 02:43 EST | Permanent link

ARACHNOÏD — Arachnoïd

Review by loserboy (James Unger)
PROG REVIEWER

4%20stars ARACHNOÏD were a short lived 70’s band whose debut album marked another excellent example of French dark progressive rock. ARACHNOÏD were obviously heavily influenced by the music of KING CRIMSON as well as that of PULSAR, SHYLOCK and ANGE. The end result is one of my favourite albums from 70’s France Prog and IMOH is a masterpiece. Musically this band were excellent with tons of vintage keyboards via the 2 keyboards in the band (Pierre Kuti, Francois Faugieres playing Farfisa organ, mellotron, piano, Fender electric and Korg synths). The vocals are well done and very aggressive and resonate for me in a similar vein to that of ANGE’s Christian DeCamps. The clear KING CRIMSON comparison comes totally from their sound and musical transitions which echo with a dark yet symphonic flavours. Lead guitarist Nicolas Popowski also adds his FRIPP –like fret work throughout the album. Overall a fantastic album and one I would suggest any fans of bands like SHYLOCK and PULSAR will definitely love this work. Highly recommended.

Posted Saturday, October 23, 2004, 18:20 EST | Permanent link

ARACHNOÏD — Arachnoïd

Review by sinkadotentree (john davie)
PROG REVIEWER

4%20stars This is a dark,synth laden record from France.This was their one and only release,and it is truly amazing!The first song "Le Chamadere" is one of the best songs i have ever heard! Opening with eerie synth notes for about a minute,we are then graced with a guitar melody that is incredible.The melody of this song is great, as are the synth passages."Piano Caveau" opens with spoken words and piano.As the drums are keeping the beat we are treated to waves of mellotron and bubbling synths.We are graced with more piano as things get quiet."In the Screen Side of your Eyes" features flute and gentle vocals,and the synths sound great."Toutes Ces Images" has gentle vocals for about two minutes, then guitar and drums come in creating a wonderful sound, with synths and mellotron making things sound even better."La Guepe" has such a heavenly sound thanks to the mellotron and synths,sax comes in later, and as words are spoken a driving rhythm greets our ears.Synths dominate the final two songs which isn't too surprising given that there are two keyboardist's.This is an absolutely amazing release,that is very easy to recommend.

Posted Thursday, November 23, 2006, 21:25 EST | Permanent link

ARACHNOÏD — Arachnoïd

Review by Finnforest (James)
PROG REVIEWER

3%20stars Very dark and forboding French synth prog that is like music for a seance or for your kids haunted house on Halloween. Complex rich textures that make this a must for lovers of keyboard albums. If you like generally happy or upbeat melodies you will want to pass on this one even though it is critically acclaimed. As always, the folks at Musea have done an outstanding job and there is a thick and tasty booklet with a history of the band and photos in the CD release. There is also a generous slate of bonus tracks to enjoy.

I don't understand the Shylock comparisons although I can hear some of the Ange and Pulsar ones. Good album even though it's a bit of a downer.

Posted Wednesday, April 11, 2007, 16:53 EST | Permanent link

Guests Reviews

ARACHNOÏD — Arachnoïd

Review by slowfire85

4%20stars My favorite album of the french dark prog subgenre. Comparable to the works of Ange, Pulsar, Flamen Dialis, and Shylock, but heavier and darker than any of those in my opinion. Most people don't seem to care for the french/spoken word type lyrics, but I think they work to make the album sounds creepier. The band employs two keyboard players, two guitar players, several different vocalists on each song, and of course a tight rhythm section. The symphonic parts are constantly changing between the two keyboardists, building layers of dark atmosphere atop each other's work. The symphonies come from a mixture mellotron, farfisa, MS 10, Korg Synthesizers, and piano, and dominate most of the album. Some nice spaced out guitar riffs build upon the symphonic atmosphere with some nice fuzzy distortion. The first song, Le Chamadere, is a nearly 14 minute long dark, atmospheric masterpiece that gets the album off to a great start, showing the fullness of the bands abilities. Piano Caveau starts with a nice piano solo, then the mellotron and synthesizers interupt to send the song spinning into darkness, only to return to the same piano solo as at the beginning. Lyrical content varies from song to song, some vocal parts are sung, chanted or read agressively like spoken word. If you can get past the french lyrics anyone who likes dark/symphonic prog will enjoy this little known gem.

Posted Wednesday, March 01, 2006, 01:16 EST | Permanent link

ARACHNOÏD — Arachnoïd

Review by progressive

5%20stars This is it! French prog sound! Dark jazzy-kind of Pink Floyd, Mike Oldfield, Banco del Mutuo Soccorso and Yes. This is art. Nice pianos, flutes, guitars, drums, vocals (at last pure French, like from movies) and sounds - each of those are interesting, and the symphonic compositions are just essential. High and low everywhere, synths and mellotron layers, I can's see why this could be too weird for some people. I'm surprised there's so little listeners for this gem. The music is also progressive enough for me. This is not Italian Symphonic Prog,this isn't Zeuhl, this isn't Psychedelic Rock... this is quite much space symphonic rock. But which is convincing me about Arachnoïd is the darkness of it.

Posted Monday, October 23, 2006, 08:14 EST | Permanent link

ARACHNOÏD — Arachnoïd

Review by laplace (Hyphen Abuse)

4%20stars Arachnoïd's only album is a late addition to the original prog period and threatens to outdo most of what came before - too late to be considered revolutionary but in good standing to be considered the best example of refined symphonic progressive rock.

"Le Chamandere" starts a little coyly, but soon blossoms into a buzzsaw of Ange-tinged guitar and synth fury; any part of the song would be an appropriate leitmotif for a moody anti-hero, as it is both heroic and ugly, disciplined yet hectic. This lengthy song about a word I can't seem to find in my french dictionary is composed of many segments and shifting moods, but it flows correctly - unlike many of their peers, Arachnoïd's songwriting could never be said to be hasty and slapped together, and there are no unnecessarily contrived moments on the album. Considering that it was written in the disjointed era of post-punk, that touch might win it a star just by itself.

"Piano Caveau" is perhaps more unsettling, with a sequence that snatches the root chord away from you immediately, and then suspends you in frosty church organ chords and sudden attacks of strained vocals that fade in and out. All the musicians have a lot of space to impress during this track, and impress they do. "In the Screen Side of Your Eyes" initially feels a little traditional in comparison, as though a troubadour with a taste for King Crimson's early albums had seen fit to write a tribute, but don't distress - there are still surprises in store, and for those still not satisfied, a succession of fragile melodies awaits - at the last, it's another Arachnoïd song rather than the sum of their influences. "Toutes ces Images" follows on more or less immediately (although perhaps not on the LP version - I have a feeling that the split lies between these songs) with a similar feel and consistency but progresses to rock out with plenty of soloing over busy rhythms boosted by solemn choruses. Despite the power of the song, it remains in a minor key throughout and gets downright sinister in places. The piece gets so tempestuous and apocalyptic that only King Crimson's "Fracture" can be comparable in menace and quality. This isn't the longest song, but for me, it is the centrepiece.

Next, we have "Le Guepe" which opens in a fashion not dissimilar to Art Zoyd's flights of doom-laden fancy, before introducing a rather bluesy guitar component. No vocals until you're three minutes in, at which time you're treated to a somewhat muffled conversation. I'm no good with the french language so I might be missing something essential - and that's always a worry with these theatrical progressive outfits - but the tone of the voices do well to amplify the intimidating approach of the music beneath. Oh, and there's that scream.

"L'Adieu au Pierrot" attempts to re-introduce moments of less macabre beauty - the song is thoughtfully composed and not over-orchestrated. Finally, we have the appropriately named "Final" which opens in a manner similar to our contemporary post-sludge bands such as Isis; however, once the song gets going it reveals itself to be another hectic storm based around alternating, vicious solos. It's a great closer with a justifiable amount of bombast. (Bonus tracks come next, but I never review those things, and frankly it's better for the albums score if I don't consider them at all.)

If you like your progressive rock as black as night, alchemically inventive and mostly unsullied by vocals, Arachnoïd won't fail you.

Posted Friday, June 29, 2007, 15:30 EST | Permanent link

 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Track Listings

1. Le Chamadere (13:49)
2. Piano Caveau (7:18)
3. In the Screen Side Of Your Eyes (4:03)
4. Toutes Ces Images (8:04)
5. La Guepe (8:39)
6. L'Adieu Au Pierrot (0:57)
7. Final (3:02)

Bonus titles:
8. L'Hiver (4:14)
9. Le Pierrot (5:07)
10. L'Adieu (3:20)
11. Piano Caveau (instrumental) (7:15)

Total Time: 66:25

Line-up/Musicians

- Francois Faugieres / organ, Mellotron, vocals
- Pierre Kuti / acoustic and electric pianos, synths
- Bernard Mini / drums
- Marc Meryl / lead vocals, tambourine
+ Philippe Honore / flute, saxophone
- Yves Javault / vocals
- Christine Mariey / voice
- Martine Rateau / voice
- Patrick Woindrich / bass, guitar, vocals
- Nicolas Popowski / guitar, vocals

Releases information

Musea Records # FGBG 4126.AR



Edited by avestin - October 29 2007 at 19:32
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: October 29 2007 at 23:11

Very nice record, one of the few French one's I've heard aside from Shylock and Ange.  Although the KC influence is noticeable, this stuff  goes to another dimension with it - as the reviews point out, it maintains a theatrical element in French-prog fashion.  This one will surely creep its way onto my Halloween compilation cd, those synth sounds and trons are so brooding! 

Anyone from Magma fans to Genesis fans should enjoy this record, there is much to impress the artistic-minded listener here...just don't expect any happy Yes-like vocal harmoniesWink

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Direct Link To This Post Posted: October 29 2007 at 23:35
One of my favourite Symphonic releases, surprise surprise, it's from France, though I will admit some of my Italian releases are not too far behind. I was luck enough to find this gem in the sale bin at my specialty prog (/experimental) store, though I do hope to track it down on vinyl sometime, to do justice to the fantastic cover artwork.

For some reason I have always put Arachnoid not to far from Archaia. Though not as intense, I receive a similar vibe from both albums, could just be imagining things though, as they are quite different records.
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: October 30 2007 at 01:52
I'm glad you mentioned "Archaia", because in curiosity, I punched them in on Myspace, and lo and behold, there actually IS a zeuhl band that I like...fancy that (I'm sure there are many but I just haven't looked enough)Tongue
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: October 30 2007 at 18:49
Originally posted by jimmy_row jimmy_row wrote:

I'm glad you mentioned "Archaia", because in curiosity, I punched them in on Myspace, and lo and behold, there actually IS a zeuhl band that I like...fancy that (I'm sure there are many but I just haven't looked enough)Tongue
 
To go off-topic for a bit here, which other zeuhl have you tried and which would you like to try?
 
Back on topic, any other fans of this wonderful album?
 
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: October 31 2007 at 22:09
You've started so many threads on so many great bands such as this that I have often not commented on the music, even favourites such as Arachnoid's.  It being Halloween here, I'll give this a bump.

If someone asked what my favourite album is in the symphonic Prog category, this is the album I'd name.  It's also one of my favourite albums period.  Great.

This is one of the albums that really turned me on to French progressive music, and though many albums pall over time for me, this one still sounds fresh and interesting to me.


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