Ziff — Sanctuary
(Musea Angular SKAN 8205.AR, 1997, CD)
by Peter Thelen, Published 1997-10-01
This is the second time out for this German neo-progressive four-piece, operating in a similar territory as their debut Stories from a couple years ago. At the heart of their sound is a dense wall of keys and guitars, a mite on the metallish side, comparable to a crunchier version of the current edition of IQ. Vocalist / guitarist Achim Frick is very typical of the genre, but does a far better than average job of singing the English lyrics. After the 12 minute opener “Hellraiser’s Legacy” works through its numerous sections, “Exclamation Mark” takes a bit more aggressive stance, with crunching guitars and numerous timne signature changes. Following that, the disc tempers a bit, with keys and melody speaking more prominently on subsequent tracks. Singer Lana Lane guests on a couple of the album’s best tracks. Drums: mostly lots of ‘boom-fap’ heavy-handed bashing; one might suppose that fans of the genre like this style of drumming because it is so prevalent, but to these ears it weighs everything down like a boat anchor. To his credit, drummer Ralph Krinke does occasionally offer some evidence of far more interesting rhythm patterns, but it never seems to last more than a few measures, like “oh, yeah, I almost forgot, I’m supposed to be a neo drummer.” That said, fans of IQ, Final Conflict, Jadis, and the like might do well to check these guys out.
Ginger Baker RIP – Legendary English drummer Ginger Baker has died at the age of 80. After coming to fame with Cream in the 60s alongside Eric Clapton and Jack Bruce, he became one of the most recognized and influential drummers of the rock era. On September 25, his family announced that he was critically ill, and on October 6 his death was confirmed. » Read more
Alex's Hand Seeks Spa Treatment – American / European band Alex's Hand has a new album in the works called Hungarian Spa, which looks to be their biggest and best yet, featuring a large roster of guest musicians. They're seeking funding to take the project on the road, and are looking for help from the crowd of wisdom. » Read more
Legendary Co-Founder of The 13th Floor Elevators Passes Away at Age 71 – Sadly, Roky Erickson passed away on May 31, 2019. Known as the father of psychedelic music and co-founder of the ground breaking 13th Floor Elevators, Roky had a profound influence on music from the 60s to today. Plagued by his own personal demons, Roky had a difficult life and is now free of these burdens. » Read more