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MSG Arachnophobiac Mascot Records
M 7081 2
· Produced By: Mike Varney

· Running Time: 52.22

· Release Date: Out Now

· Released: EU

· Musical Style: Hard Rock

· Links: Mascot
45%
Songs: 40%
Sound: 50%
This review is not an attack on Michael Schenker's talents, or his impressive body of work. But this album is about as flat and uninspired as you could expect any "legend" to put his name to.
The volatile guitarist has long established himself as a ground breaking musician and a performer of immense talent.
But his on stage antics with UFO have received more publicity in recent years. His body of work is unquestioned, but when past albums are held up against this album, I doubt any fan could say this was amongst his better records. I have played this album a dozen times at least, trying to make some headway into it, but it's just not possible. This is a dull record.
I thought the last album was average, but this is even worse. So I'm bound to attract a few hate mails for this, but seriously folks – the average Schenker fan, or melodic rock fan in general is going to find this equally boring.
To open the album with a track as lifeless as Evermore shows just how bad things are going to get. Where is the zest? Where is the urgency? Where is the Schenker that ripped on classics like Perfect Timing and UFO's brilliant Walk On Water?
Illusion briefly picks up the pace, but the title track is just woeful. And what about the mid-tempo ballad Over Now? There is just no passion or heartfelt sentiment there to cling to.
If you make it as far as track 11 – Fatal Strike puts the nail in the coffin.
As with the last album I find it impossible to warm to vocalist Chris Logan. His vocals are as bland as the music they are put to.
And what makes things worse is the production quality. A man as talented and experienced as Mike Varney should have been able to drag a better sound out of this line-up. The recording is stripped right back to base basics – which is fine in itself – but it sounds like it was recorded in one take and is little better than demo quality in places.
The Bottom Line
I really tried hard to get into this album – just to make sure it wasn't me. But it's not. The bottom line is that this album is dull. It's almost impossible to listen to it all the way through in one sitting. And having completed this review, I doubt I'll ever listen to this again.
Naturally the devoted Schenker die-hards will see this as a personal attack and respond in kind, but the fact is that Schenker's best days seem to be long gone. He would be better advised to spend a bit longer making his next album, work with a better songwriter and hire a new producer.
Discography / Previously Reviewed
· The Michael Schenker Group
· MSG
· Assault Attack
· Built To Destroy
· Perfect Timing
· Save Yourself
· MSG
· Unplugged
· Written In The Sand
· The Unforgiven
· Be Aware Of Scorpions
· Arachnophobic

Line Up
· Chris Logan: Vocals
· Michael Schenker: Guitar
· Jeremy Colson: Drums
· Stu Hamm: Bass

For fans of:
· Michael Schenker
Track Listing
· Evermore
· Illusion
· Arachnophobiac
· Rock N Roll Believer
· Into The Sands Of Time
· Weathervane
· Over Now
· One World
· Break The Cycle
· Alive
· Fatal Strike
--*Best Tracks


26/06/05: Farley - 123@123.com
Rating: 100
Two words. FATAL STRIKE

30/03/05: Hammster - tmhamm@yahoo.com
Rating: 1
I had not read any reviews of this CD before buying it. I had looked it over, and saw that Schenker had Stu Hamm filling the bass guitar chair. The Stu Hamm!!! Since I love everything Stu does and have been a Schenker fan for years, I figured this CD had to be great. Wow, have I been disappointed. The titled track has to have the dumbest lyrics ever written. Stu's bass talents aren't hardly used at all!! Overall, the CD is a complete disappointment, and I doubt it will rarely make it back into my player. I hope Stu did this just as a chance to work with the legendary guitar player. Only the MSG collector should put any money down on this, and hopefully you can find it cheap in a "used" bin or on Ebay.

04/03/04: Joao Mendes - jp.msg@
Rating: 85
A Good album. Schenker a good sound, strong riffs, but the vocals is poor. Mr Schenker need others guys ou vocals. Peoples like Mr. David Coverdale... MR. Phil Moog!!!!

09/11/03: jesse kye - jessekye@hotmail.com
Rating: 75
old school 80's metal,sound a little muddy but good.new singer i dig needs too slow down mikey is push too much stuff that is way i think sharks (ufo) was weak.jesse kye

13/10/03: Nesty - clear_voice@yahoo.com
Rating: 80
This album is not the best in MSG catalog but a few spin in my cd player make my day.....is a cool cd with good melodic blues rock songs.....some people need to listen this cd for what it is and not comparing with the classics MSG or UFO albums.....this melodic rock.com review almost made me do not buy this cd...but a respect his opinion......the singer is not the best compare with Gary Barden, Graham Bonnet, Robin McAuley but in this days music dominated by a bunch of crap like linkin park and limp bi@#$ , this guy Logan is a god

31/08/03: Todd Carper - metalhead7@msn.com
Rating: 89
I have been an MSG fan since day one. I own every MSG disc that has a lead singer. I am a HUGE fan of Melodic Rock.com, it is a melodic rock fan's dream with all the reviews and information about hard rock, melodic rock, and metal. That said, the negative reviews I read on the last 2 CD's from MSG caused me to wonder if I listened to the same discs as the reviewer. Even some of the really low fan reviews caused that same reaction. I was taught to always say something positive, so I will not bad mouth the reviewers, everyone has an opinion. I can say after 25 years or more of following Mr. Schenker, this is the CD I have been waiting for him to make for years. For point of reference, I divide MSG's work into 2 eras: the smoother AOR sounds made with talented crooner Robin McAuley (Never ending Nightmare is the best power ballad MSG ever put out!!) and the classic heavy metal sound which was more in a UFO vein made with Gary Barden, Graham Bonnet, Kelly Keeling and others. The double Disc MSG story that spans Michael's whole career is essential listening, I would rate that a 93. The two highest ratings I would give MSG are the one from 1981 which features Mad Axe Man and On and On. That is the high point at 98, with the 3rd disc made with Robin McAuley from 1992 (the one featuring Never Ending Nitemare) is a 96. With those as a point of reference, let's get to the present MSG. I liked the last MSG disc with Chris Logan Beware of Scorpions, it was a solid disc. It had one slower song, and the rest were rockers; my take on it was an 82. This time out, MSG went for an edgier sound without keyboards. This is a guitarist's CD, the songs are classic metal with classic solos courtesy of Mr. Schenker and Night Ranger shredder Jeff Watson. The production is not bad, I would call it clean. Not the ultra smooth sound of Ron Nevison, Max Norman or Steve Mann but a chunky, clean sound. If you like thick power chords, excellent solos that do not stray to be too indullgent, and great musicianship then this is a very good disc. Chris Logan is much maligned in the reviews I have read, but he is a talented singer in the Kelly Keeling vein. His vocals have just the right amount of rasp with occasional peaks and valleys, kind of a cross between Paul Roger's smooth rasp and Ozzy Osbourne's nasal high pitches. Comparisons aside, Chris is obviously more comfortable this time out and the songs fit his talents well. High points are the rockers Evermore which is a great lead track, Arachnophobiac, and Fatal Strike. My personal favorite is the only "ballad" Over Now which lends the shade and contrast to the rest of the cd's songs which are all heavier more rocking numbers. Definitely a step up from the last disc and certainly the best disc so far with Chris Logan. MSG will likely never make another Built to Destroy, Assault Attack or Attack of the Mad Axe man which are all favorites of mine, but as long as he employs talented vocalists like Chris Logan and continues to write songs that show his continued growth (instead of retreading the same ground) as a guitarist/songwriter, I will be a fan and keep buying the music. Very good stuff indeed!

21/08/03: Francisco - fjavier_mj@hotmail.com
Rating: 70
Todas las opiniones son respetables, pero casi todas marcan baja nota o altísima. Ni lo uno ni lo otro. Es cierto que Michael debe de descansar una temporadita o quizás tocar fuera del ámbito MSG/UFO y coger nuevas inspiraciones. Desde WOTS hasta Arachno...se pueden escoger 10 o 12 temas para hacer un buen y sólido trabajo, pero, en fin.
Respecto a este disco, hay un gran trabajo de guitarra rítmica con acordes muy del estilo Schenker, aunque en la mayoría de los temas la letra parece en sintonía con la música, circunstancia que en los últimos álbumes no se acoplaba. Algunos cortes, rockanroleros o con marcada base blues. La voz no es gran cosa pero no desentona. No es Gary Barden. En suma, el disco, salvo los temas 5 y 6 que son horrorosos, tiene un "pase", llegando al notable.

29/07/03: Charlie - mjseascas@yahoo.com
Rating: 0
One of the first things that hits me about this disc is the serious lack of fire on any ones part. I have been a fan of Michaels since his first appearance with UFO. Yes I am an old man, but I still love metal and melodic rock. Needless to say I have spent almost 30 years searching out everything Michael. I'm the fan who has to have it all the second I find out about it. That's why after the last few CD's of Michaels I am seriously thinking about taking a vow of musical silence. This is the WORST disc the man has ever released, the singing is on a par with an inner ear infection. Why stick with Chris Logan is it because no other singers will work with him any more due to his problems or as Ron stated maybe he's just cheap. The rest of the musicians all sound like they phoned it in from the beach. Michael has never played this bad in all the years I have listened to him. Maybe it is time for him to take a couple of years off (Ok maybe 5 Years). He needs to stop releasing discs and wait until he really has something to say. It's time for Michael to get out and actually see the world so that he can find a sound that he can really stick behind. Oh as for the songs the only one's I like are "Alive" and the "Illusion". The rest of the songs wouldn't even rate a second listen.

26/07/03: Brian Burgess - brianburgess1@yahoo.com
Rating: 90
Okay all of you MSG bashers... Firstly I respect your opinions about the new MSG cd "Arachnophobiac". Even so I am still staying with my initial rating of this cd. If the production was better my rating would be higher. If you are looking for Mike to record a classic cd such as "Assault Attack" or "Perfect Timing" it's not going to happen. All groups reach a peak area in their careers and its asking too much for a group to continously make music at this level. My reaction to his new MSG output: here is a guy well into his forties who can still rock out and put down some serious riffs. I like Chris Logan's vocals...he may not be Gary Barden or Graham Bonnet but christ that was twenty years ago! He may not be an elite vocalist but his style fits this cd well....bottom line: good melodic rock tunes, great guitar, solid singing. Sir Michael still can rock...

20/07/03: Richard - richard@poontang.com.au
Rating: 0
I'm back...here's a couple of other reveiws I found...advice - just check out the MP3 samples before you buy.


From AOR Heaven's newsletter....


MSG Arachnophobiac
The MICHAEL SCHENKER GROUP is back with a new album entitled "Arachnophobiac" that offers a lot of elements from the blues which suits shouter Chris Logan's voice a lot. The songs though suffer from a lack of melodies and - with 2 pretty much decent exceptions - all are very mediocre and for die hard fans only. Also, the production on this album was very much reduced to the minimum and sounds extremely dry. No complaints though about the musicianship – Stu Hamm (bass) and Jeremy Colson (drums) are doing a good job here. Over all a strange effort which doesn't really appeal to the group of listeners SCHENKER used to have please in the past.


From: www.rockreport.be
Nowadays Michael Schenker looks like a tramp, but he's still able to let some famous musicians do the dirty work for him. Currently the line-up of MSG consists of Michael Schenker on guitars, Chris Logan on vocals, the legendary Stu Hamm on bass and Jeremy Colson (Marty Friedman, Steve Vai) on drums. "Arachnophobiac" clearly bears the stamp of Logan's contribution. Together with Michael Schenker he wrote all the songs and most of them remind me of Thunder, albeit less good. No, this is not really the kind of album that will bring MSG back on the map again. My advice: buy Thunder's comeback album instead.

From rockunited.com
The man with the Gibson flying V started his career with the Scorpions(Lonesome Crow, 1972). Then it was UFO-time and with that band Michael made one of the best live-albums ever(Strangers In The Night, 1978). The Michael Schenker Group was founded in 1980 and their debutalbum is still a real rockclassic; in 1991 Michael was in a band called Contraband and in 1995 he was “back” with UFO and the album “Walk On Water”. From 1996 he focused on his solo-career and now he releases “Arachnophobiac”, with a band full of celebrities. Singer Chris Logan, drummer Jeremy Colson(Friedman, Vai), and last but not least bassplayer Stu Hamm(Satriani, Vai) join Michael in the “return” of the Michael Schenker Group.
Michael turns out to become a real workaholic, as this is his fourth album already this year. But is it just quantity or is there also enough quality on this album. Well, there are no surprises on this cd but you can still enjoy 11 melodic rocksongs with ofcourse outstanding guitarplaying by Michael. Just as you think, e.g. in “Into The Sands Of Time” that this song becomes very boring Michael is there to save the track with a splendid guitarsolo.
Best tracks are “Evermore”, “Illusion” and the heaviest track “Alive”; songs that remind me of the good old days of the MSG. A band, just like UFO, of which I have always been a fan. But I really don’t understand that if you have worked with super vocalists like Graham Bonnet, Robin McAuley and Gary Barden why Michael choose Chris Logan to be the leadsinger on this album???? Check out the “commercial” radiosong “Break The Cycle”, with a good old fashioned UFO guitarriff!!! I still think, know that Michael can do better than this……

20/07/03: Richard - richard@poontang.com.au
Rating: 35
It’s funny that the positive reviews aim criticism at the negative ones for wanting Barden back.
I’m not in that category, but something needs to be done. Sure, the singer is possibly the worst Schenker has used, but it’s not all his fault.
Schenker has been releasing too many records and just hasn’t put enough effort into his music. 2 or 3 instrumental CDs, the crappy Plot CD and the last UFO are all examples of a guy who is uninspired and seriously only playing music by numbers.
What is on offer here that hasn’t been done 10 times before? And better each of those times?
This is a crappy sounding record too. Just listen to the sound of the music – there is no crispy sharp definition, it’s just thud thud thud.
And before I sign off, I do agree – the songs are boring. Sure there are some snappy guitar riffs, but 2 or 3 of them on a Schenker record???? It’s supposed to be FILLED with snappy guitar riffs.
As for these crazy 99% marks – c’mon, get serious! That smacks of fan boy blind praise – if not an organized set up to make this CD look better than what it is.
Take a good look at this album compared with other Schenker albums from almost any other period. It just doesn’t stack up.
I’ll stick to all albums pre-1995…that’s right, not 1985 or 1975, just compare this latest stuff with anything else and be honest with yourselves.

18/07/03: JasonR - papa_bear70@hotmail.com
Rating: 88
Very good album - some corkers in 'Illusion', 'Rock 'n' Roll Believer' & the title track. Chris Logan is a very talented vocalist and with Jeff Watson adding guitar you can't go wrong.

17/07/03: stelios - rat68@hotmail.com
Rating: 75
Well a lot of bad reviews and disappointment, from people who still fond the G.Barden days.Sorry guys the best dayswere those of G.Bonnet and still wont come back.M.Schenker has a lot of personal problems,call them what you want, but even if he has become predictable as a song writer he is still a great guitar player, and with Logan along with him, gives some good examples of classic hard rock , in a decent way.Listen to the self explanatory "Rock n roll believer' to see what i mean.Bring Graham back,untill then i will go back to the "Assault attack" lp

16/07/03: Lou - work@cant.com
Rating: 89
Quality Melodic Hard Rock lives on ! Just got this album
from a friend for my 40th birthday . Michael never runs
out of quality riffs . Not much for this vocalist Chris
Logan , but by todays standards the guy is Pavoratti .
I'm a UFO / Schenker fan since ' 79 so being somewhat
of a purist , Gary Barden to me is the vocals of Schenker
although i thought "assault attack" w/ Bonnet on vocals
was brilliant . 45% melodicrock.com dude ??!!!! PLEASE !!!
This ranks at 85% - 90% my friend . Best release of 2003
next to DIO "killing the dragon" .

15/07/03: BELL PIPER - BELLAPIPER@EARTHLINK.NET
Rating: 99
I GIVE THIS A 99% BECAUSE MICHAEL PUTS HIS HEART IN ALL HIS EFFORTS !
MY FAVE IS # 10 ... IT ROCKS AND HAS A MESSAGE FOR THOSE WITH READY EARS!!! WATCH OUT FOR ESSENZ UND CHINUA SCHENKER AS THEY ARE TEAMING UP WITH JUSTIS MUSTANE .........

14/07/03: Quersey - quersey@hotmail.com
Rating: 0
Well, just grab this one at the store after the positive reviews i saw here (negative ones too)and because i'm a fair listener of michael's work since the barden/mcauley era (the best to my taste); i'm not a fan but i like his good music when he makes it. Well, unfortunatly for me and my wallet i should have put a ear on this one before buying it. After a few spins i must admit and i write this with a obvious displeasure, this is the best effort of Michael in the wrong way (just my taste though), be aware of the scorpions was a disapointment for me but this one makes it even bigger. First the singer Chris logan doesn't fit at all, he reminds me the voice of the third singer of alien (alien 1993 record) which was a total failure. His tone just don't make it with the music. Is he the one who sung on the second lynch mob record ? if so i liked his voice back then but here...nope... Sorry i don't like to be rude but that's the major failure of the record. Then the music, perfect timing was my first msg album i bought and after hearing it i bought all his previous efforts with barden, it was great, then came save yourself and msg92 and it was a blast for me, mcauley voice + the craft of michael surrounded by great musicians at that time especially mitch perrry or steve mann wowww i learned most all of my licks on the guitar listening to these fine gentleman. Here, the music is boring, it misses something that would catch your attention to play it again in the machine but perhaps i'm asking too much of msg now and the era i was fond of could not be matched now because it's a different time and men are growing old, so the inspiration too ( it's just my taste again). In my dreams i'm still looking for a macauley/schenker reunion album, i hope it will happen. But again i have a lot of respect for the musicians playin' on this album despite the fact that i don't like it, but who cares of my opinion...long live to MSG

14/07/03: Jerry - joliver2001@attbi.com
Rating: 15
The only reason I'm NOT giving this a 10 is because it's not as bad as Corey Haim's "You Give Me Everything" album...barely...
Michael is a very talented musician, but he's playing and writing like he's bored on this album. Get Gary back on board so we can get a vocally pleasing album, at least......I've heard better singers at karaoke (first timers) then Logan's output on this album & the previous one.

13/07/03: Steven Barrera - steeeeeevieb@yahoo.com
Rating: 95
Woah...Evidently Damon aint a member of the fan club!! Neither am I, but this album really is great! There are 3 songs on constant rotation in my head right now and I've had the album for 2 days. I'm fully enjoying it. I love it when bands like this come out with truly great music for me to sink my teeth into. Michael is in great form on this album along with the rest of his mates. I couldn't disagree more with the website review. The songwriting is better than anything you can find on the radio today...that's for dern sure! Michael hasn't lost that magic touch. If you are a true "Rock & Roll Believer" don't pass this cd up...It's one of MSGs best in years!

12/07/03: Daniel - seemann39@hotmail.com
Rating: 90
This is a very good & solid album. I feel that 45% is a very poor rating and that this one deserves more. Anyway, taste is a very personal thing. After having read the review on this page I was not sure about getting this album, but then I bought it anyway and I really like it. I am sure that people who like Michael will not be disappointed by his latest output. The overall vibe of "Arachnophobiac" is very positive, the guitar playing is also first grade. To my opinion there are no weak songs on this album, but a variety of great rocksongs. In an era of so called "Nu Metal" and all those Limp Bizkits, Mansons and Korns, it is great to have musicians like Michael Schenker, who deliver great rock music. Keep up the excellent work Michael!!!

10/07/03: V - HardRockMusic@MySearchCow.com
Rating: 95
I think that Chris Logan did a Great Job with Vocals, as for Jeff Watson from Night Ranger playing lead in a few tracks: Was cool to hear some of that! Now all they need to do is Tour the USA and show off there Rockinability!

10/07/03: Gary - garjentaylor@msn.com
Rating: 95
To put it simply, the best offering since perfect timing IMO. I have been a fan since the early days with Barden, and while he is still my fav MSG singer, chris logan is coming into his own. The title track is very infectious. Weathervane is another great track. This may not be Michaels best guitar offering but it does'nt disappoint. I wonder why he has a guest guitarist doing solos however. This disc easily smokes anything being done by present or former UFO members. I just pray Michael can keep his sanity for the sake of my auditory sences!

08/07/03: Brian Burgess - brianburgess1@yahoo.com
Rating: 90
As always, alot of different opinions on the latest Michael Schenker cd. Personally I really like this cd. I thought Chris Logan did a good job vocally on "Beware of Scorpions" and his vocals are very solid on "Arachnophobiac". The riff master Michael is all over this cd with his signature sound though I was a bit surprised to see that Jeff Watson(Nightranger) had some leads on various songs. When Michael does put his amazing chops on display its classic Schenker, no surprises. Stand out tunes include "Break The Cycle" with its awesome fast, melodic beat with some great guitar work from both sir Michael and Watson. "Sands of Time", "One World" and "Illusion" are also great melodic rock tunes. The cd has a good flow to it with a good mix of melody, hard rock and quality guitar solos. I'm sorry Andrew, I love "Over Now". It reminds me of a classic power ballad with great rythym guitar and some great solos. The title song is a tongue-in- cheek song about Michael's experiences at his home in Arizona where scorpions run rampant. Though the lyrics are kind of silly the song still rocks out. One complaint is the mixing of the drums and bass...way too far back. I still think Michael Schenker has a place in melodic rock today. I think too many unfairly compare him now to when he was on top of the hard rock scene back in his hey day. Hey the guy still can rock! Enjoy him while you can....

07/07/03: DLA - TheRockinCactus@aol.com
Rating: 0
As IM listening to the Album for the 6th time today I can tell you that this Album is Fantastic! I can really say that finally Michael Schenker has done good on this one, For many years I stopped buying his records but this Album has really brought back some of the Rock that you cant get but with Schenker and a good singer. I didn't like track #5 but besides that track the whole CD really rocks! I enjoyed the last Album but this one really should get better reviews then what was said above, I really think that this new singer really highlights Michael's legendary playin. As for Gary Barden those were the days I stopped buying MSG Albums : ) Glad to see Michael back on track again! I think it was about time MSG caught up to what people want to hear. Regarding Mike Varney, Not too many people out there that know the Business like he does. Keep up the good work guys. Back to Listening to MSG again! : )~

06/07/03: Ron Jeremy - ron@jeremy.com
Rating: 4
Michael has totally lost it. This album is just MSG paint by numbers. The songs are forgetful & the solos, although good, are just cut n' paste Schenker solos. Chris Logan is just not a good singer, but I guess he works cheap & takes good direction from herr Schenker. The lyrics from Arachnophobic are simply the worst lyrics I have heard in a long time & plain embarassing. Bring Gary Barden back & get back to the Built to Destroy sound Michael.


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