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horus_in_monoxyde Mar 16 2015

 Outstanding, extremely well produced (by french standards..) Classic of late 70's, slightly weirdo prog. It's not as futuristic sounding as the cover seems to imply, though - more a kind of sophisticated, slightly dark theatrical prog with much in the way of radical invention.

Reading the sleevenotes in the CD booklet again, I suddenly realized that these guys were exactly from the same area as me - the Seine et Marne area, some 70 km away at the East of Paris, where the "far suburbs" actually give way to the countryside, with its small villages and endless stretches of rapeseed (colza) fields. 

 The 13 minutes-long opener is the closest french prog ever got to the boundless creativity of something like King Crimson or "Wolf City" era Amon Düül II. This goes through so many moods and ideas, and is so perfectly executed... Incredible record. If you only have one french prog album in your collection, make it that one !

"C'est le grain de sable qui peut faire chuter le caillou..

Le caillou qui peut faire chuter le rocher..

Le rocher qui peut faire chuter la montagne.."

Aaaaahhhhhhh... BRILLIANT !



CooperBolan Feb 23 2015

Arachnoïd released just this one LP and it's a very good totality overall. The album is kinda odd and strange and even dark in some parts. The material is very diverse and these six tracks are all more or less impressive. "Toutes ces images" which opens the B-side could be my biggest favourite here. But the other tracks are mainly awesome too and if you ask me this album is a very balanced totality even if it has elements from so many different styles.

I like this S/T only Arachnoïd album. It's not a flawless masterpiece but all in all it does it's job really well. I'll rate it with a solid rating of four stars. Recommended for every progressive rock fan out there. If you're looking for some strong pretty obscure prog then this album is definitely worth checking out.

Published [Rating67194907]


siren05 Dec 16 2014

Towards the end of the seventies, where most of Europe were experiencing the dying days of Progressive/Experimental music, French artists found an untapped vessel of creativity and experimentation in the forms of Electronic, Symphonic and Avant/Zuehl, that produced some of France’s finest releases. Taking the cosmic and the dark and broody influences from luminaries such as Magma, and Univers Zero and twisting those Jazz and classical infused stylings into some powerful Rock-In-Opposition and Avant/Prog music.

'Arachnoids' sole self titled album released in 1979 fits right in there. A spacey cosmic, symphonic Progressive approach to some beautifully arranged tracks. With some dark and aggressive moments that draw on the primal eeriness of some contemporary zeuhl bands, as well as paying homage to the Prog giants of the early seventies like mid period King Crimson, Van Der Graaf Generator and Magma. 

Its a mostly instrumental album with some brief and irregular outbursts from the vocalist (All sung in French). It’s a classy and clean sounding recording despite the budget production and fans of Prog will enjoy the instrumentation and the overall mix which was crafted by none other than the renowned producer Philippe Besombes and released on the very small Divox label. 

Though an obscure French record, it is fairly well known amongst Progressive Rock fans and collectors and is well regarded as a great example of the ‘Symphonic Prog’ sound even though it came a little later than the bulk of the innovative stuff of that genre. Fans of French Progressive, Avant/Prog and experimental music will dig this.

Published [Rating65500857]


thrasher2809 Apr 29 2014

 Hmm… somewhere between Red-era KC and Van der Graaf Generator, but doomier and darker. It's compelling, that's for sure. I haven't heard this sort of screaming accompanied by prog this brutal.

Published [Rating60478969]


siLLy_puPPy Dec 06 2013

A strange freaky album by a band that released this one sole album and then disappeared into the nether world. A highly addictive symphonic take on the darkness of Univers Zero mixed with zeuhl and influences from King Crimson and the spaciness of Pink Floyd, it's one of those albums that you can hear influences but the sum of the parts results in a sound that reminds you of none other partly because of the multiple keyboards in use and the eerily spooky symphonic effects that would surely be appropriate for haunted houses! 

Mostly instrumental but some French vocals similar to Christian Decamps from Ange do pop up occasionally. This album is predominantly about keyboards whether it be symphonic or dark and sinister sounding piano runs but there are also some good guitars. Very interesting and unique and demands several listens for it to sink in. The tracks are long and take their time to fully play out. I have the CD with bonus tracks and they are well worth having. It says on my CD and the band's website that this was released in 1978.

Published [Rating57356889]


Goregirl Oct 07 2013

Despite the fact that I am generally not a fan of progressive rock, this album cover called to me in a big way.  It's in French, it's very trippy, strange, piano & keyboard infested, and spacey.  This has film soundtrack written all over it for some reason despite it's bizarre nature.  They are sometimes instrumental, sometimes some vocals but generally the music is the star.  It's clear these are some very talented individuals and the fact that they experiment a bit makes them all the more likeable.  Just like the album cover this album is full capable of giving me the creeps ("La Guêpe").  I'm still not really into this style of music but this album is worth a gander, it's better than expected.

Published [Rating56157648]


Juno_w_setsbrig Sep 15 2013

clandestine confessions

This is an interesting historic artefact. Can't think of much music quite like this. The guitars and most of the keyboards has me think '69 not '79. And so does this early jazz rock / canterbury prog style of playing with its tingly piano and percussion, those tempo shifts and this diving from one instrumental patch into the next. 

But the often angsty-angry French lyrics are appropriately '79 gloomy. The old Ultravox-like synths and unsubtle sound effects also radiate '79.

This unlikely combination - plus the cheap and harsh recording quality gives this release a clandestine 'secret church' feel. Jazz and prog were an embarassment in those days.

Published [Rating19826986]


psychedelist Aug 19 2011

The French King Crimson.

 Only better. I don't want to sound like a heretic, but I do find myself enjoying this album more than anything by KC. Maybe it's that I'm not into mainstream prog bands, or it's more likely because of the undeniable French part of Arachnoid's music which basically means that the album is considerably crazier than the same kind of album would have been, had it been recorded by a non-French band. It's also one of the very few albums where I do like electric guitar work. I wouldn't necessary call it an avant-prog album, although there're hints of avant-prog here and there. What matters is the compositions and the arrangements which are very strong.

The first long track is dark sympho prog with zeuhl undertones in a couple of places. The band's vocal abilities are obviously very limited, but the good thing is that they don't pretend they sing properly; the shouts are used relatively effectively. "Piano caveau" with its contemporary classical influences is a clear stand-out, but the best track on the album is "La Guèpe". It has just one short part towards the end which isn't particularly anything special, while other parts are brilliant, with guitar blasting some terrific sequences being the most prominent instrument; it's got to be some of the best acoustic guitar work ever.

When I really think about this album, if feels like strong 4 stars. However, as a matter of fact, I return to it a lot, therefore it's a decent candidate for a 4.5 upgrade in the fufture.


 Reginod Jun 02 2011

Dark yet dreamlike, delicate symphonic tendrils floating against a spacey backdrop; no overwhelming influences, but the likes of King Crimson and Pulsar should come to mind, with hints of Canterbury and Magma, and a light dash or two of experimental French proto-RIO.

 This is another album-out-of-time; 1979 seems a bit late for an album of this type. But Arachnoid's single, self-titled, highly stylized album served notice that the progressive music mentality was thriving nonetheless, in more esoteric circles. 

The compositions are very good, not necessarily brilliant or completely captivating, but good enough to recommend Arachnoid to the typical Progressive Rock Antique Road Show collector.  


Published [Rating38060101]


supersister Feb 12 2011

Avec cet unique disque,ce groupe français développe un prog aventureux associant symphonisme et dissonances à la KC...

Published [Rating35689625]

101732 CD (2010)


alysterc Jan 23 2011

Мрачный и изобретательный авант-прог. Немного портит все слабый вокал.

Published [Rating35257275]


apps79 Dec 15 2010

Arachnoid came from the suburbs of Paris, a band which only earned some cult status over the years, struggling to find stability due to series of line-up changes, financial limitations and a slow development.They started in 1967 as the duo of Patrick Woindrich (bass, guitar, vocals) and Michel Pilot (guitar), evolving through the years to a Prog Rock band and adding members to the line-up.One proof of their slow development was the fact they hit the stage only in 1975, at a time when Pilot had quit due to lack of time.Woindrich then gathered a new line-up with Francois Faugieres (already a member since 1972) and Pierre Kuti on keyboards, Nicolas Popowski on guitar/vocals, Marc Meryl on vocals and Bernard Minig on drums, the band recorded an album in late-70's, released only on the newly established Divox label in 1979, an organization searching for new groups for its roster.

Arachnoid played a mysterious, very French-sounding and pretty unique Progressive Rock, which had its roots in Classical Music, but borrowed elements from a wide spectrum of tastes, only to showcase that this group was experienced enough and had a pretty long career, before launching this record, as their debut not only contains the early spirit of French Prog Rock but was flavored by jazzy, psychedelic and even some light Zeuhl moves.I can only compare them to ACINTYA in terms of originality and a heavy keyboard-led sound, although the two bands are far from similar.Arachnoid created muti-themed lengthy tracks with irritating vocals, slow moving guitars, Classical orientations performed on synthesizer and organ but also some strong jazzy passages with soft electric guitar and electric piano, revisiting the dark vibes of KING CRIMSON pretty often, producing some theatrical branches with narrations and keyboard experiments and somewhat getting lost in a labyrinth of complex ideas and poetry.There are even some evident links to PULSAR and CATHARSIS throughout the listening, featuring haunting spacious themes and obscure psychedelic acoustics, the album is far from consistent, but the band managed to produced some serious intensity and sinister atmospheres through these diverse influences.Actually I find myself struggling to catch up with all these mood variations, going from romantic lyrics and acoustics to a progressive mysticism with full-blown intstrumental interactions in a doomy execution, based on long keyboard plays and irritating electric guitars.

Of course Divox was not the right choice for a heavy promotion, but apparently the band found only closed doors when dealing with other labels.After some further line-up shakes Arachnoid became Color in 1980, sweetening their sound to more simplistic Rock formats, recording also an album, which was never released.Marc Meryl passed away in 1987 and Francois Faugieres died a few years later, battling for some time with a disease after getting wounded in a trip to Brazil.

 Extremely serious progressive music with a dark and muddy sound and links to the more atmospheric French Prog bands like Carpe Diem, Shylock and Acintya.Not an everyday listening, but trully imaginative, psychedelic and instrumentally captivating.Recommended.

Published [Rating34384046]


Fastro Oct 16 2008

 Very nice dark sound, psychedelic, even electronic.. spacey/symphonic! Also for zeuhl/avant-prog fans.

Structures are brave and diverse in an original way.

Published [Rating18413864]


Tovan Aug 28 2007

 Definitely recommended avant-prog/zeuhl. The track "Piano Caveau" is a masterpiece.

Published [Rating10881476]


bnoring Mar 27 2007

French prog outfit that were unique to say the least. Lots of stops and starts, tempo and volume changes. I hated it the first few listens, but have grown to appreciate it very much. The vocals being in French might have been the reason for putting me off for awhile, but this being 75% instrumental it really shouldn't matter. A must for the obsessive prog fan. Cd reissue on World Music offers up four bonus cuts.

Published [Rating8756696]


anglagard05 Nov 23 2006

Excellent album to have. Kind of reminds me of Carpe Diem but the music is much darker. Influenced by King Crimson obviously but has its own flavour. If you already have the basic French bands in your collection than this one is a "must have".


thx Apr 20 2005

Fantastic dark progressive from France.  Complex arrangements shift from beautifully haunting melancholia to sinister intensity!  A lush symphonic masterpiece of both acoustic and electronic keyboard wizardry.  RECOMMENDED!

Published [Rating1914169]


Lethe Jul 02 2003

Well this French work is suitable for the lovers of such "Experimental Progressive music" in the vein of bands like Univers Zero or any other ensemble from the Zeuhl School...often "crimsonesque" and symphonic too, the present album is characterized by some dark tones, a talented and aggressive vocal style, but with a very rough timbre, according to a complex symphonic genre. This latter is never represented by beautiful charming moments, because its focus is more on the experimentations than on the melody...moreover the opening track is epic, almost perfect,nevertheless by ending on a pessimistic disposition, despite of maintaining an ethereal, ghostly mood throughout,is anyway a bit depressing. The third track instead is somewhat strange and at times sounds almost like a sort of such melodic italian prog album, in the vein of Locanda delle Fate, thanks also to the sweet performance at the flute and a different mood, which is finally less cruel. 

Their theatrical effort were a secure imprinting during their appearance in the course of 1979, but unlike Ange , They were not able to give new birth to such ghostly and at times melodramatic "prog acts"...

Published [Rating296887]


Dark and brooding late seventies progressive 24 août 2007

Par GrandWazoo94 - Publié sur Amazon.com

Unlike most French progressive acts from the 1970s, Arachnoid didn't rely too heavily on fiery instrumentation and overly theatrical vocals. Rather, the band builds up several layers of tension and brooding through harmonized guitar and keyboard lines. The music never rests too comfortably, but neither does it tire the ears.

Tracks such as the opener "Le Chamadere" develop more as a slow burn, but always with an atmospheric edge. The production may not be stellar, but it doesn't detract to any major degree. In fact, it probably adds to the somewhat raw feel found throughout the album.

There will be ineveitable comparisons to King Crimson since the band is A) French and B) dark, but I also hear a mix of Twelfth Night (particularly "Live at the Target") and to a certain degree, Joy Division (who were in action at the same time as this release). The addition of bonus live tracks are a nice touch and make this album well worth checking out.

French prog with an avant-garde edge 27 juin 2006

Par Jeffrey J.Park - Publié sur Amazon.com

 I stumbled upon this French band purely by accident and bought the album (released in 1978) on a whim - which turned out to be one of the smarter moves I have made. The 7 tracks range in length from 0'57 to 13'49" and mix elements of British prog with a healthy dose of the European avant-garde. That is to say that the music alternates gloomy and haunting sections dominated by synthesizers (mostly Korg) and (tons of) mellotron with some very heavy, "avant-gardish" guitar/bass/drum playing. With the exception of a little screaming here and there, the vocals are excellent overall and are highly melodic. All vocals are in French. In general I would have to say that this is very good late-period French prog with some great playing (the keyboardist is excellent) and very imaginative arrangements. I happen to like my prog with a bit of an edge to it so this stuff really worked for me. The four bonus tracks are pretty good too and include a mix of live tracks and a single studio outtake. Strongly recommended.


Very worth having 11 février 2004

Par Noel Pratt - Publié sur Amazon.com

This is a cool avant-prog record, esp. when they just "shut up and play." But actually, their French singing is much better sounding than many other French rockers of any kind. It's only on about 30% of the 66 min album. Seriously talented musicians and arrangements.

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