Michael Schenker

Arachnophobiac

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Although he apparently shot himself in the foot several times throughout his career, guitarist Michael Schenker always seems to manage to land back on his feet. And the latest "personal victory" came in the form of 2003's Arachnophobiac. After exiting UFO after a several album-long "reunions," rumors spread about Schenker's health and well-being. But the longtime guitar hero silenced his doubters with an extensive tour, as well as an all-new solo release. Schenker has hooked up once more with quite possibly the best vocalist he's worked with since Phil Mogg, a chap named Chris Logan, and also enlists the help of a rhythm section that is certainly not light on technique -- bassist Stu Hamm (best known for his work with Joe Satriani) and drummer Jeremy Colson (Marty Friedman, Steve Vai). Although there is plenty of exceptional guitar work here (after all, it's on the Shrapnel label -- known for its shred-heavy releases), Schenker puts songwriting first, resulting in such standouts as "Evermore" and "Illusion." Although the lyrics become a bit predictable at times, Arachnophobiac (which means one who is scared of spiders, by the way) proves that Schenker is still alive and well.

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