Highly collectable and exceptionally underground Hard Rock outfit. Vocalist Keith Bonser is ex-ESSEX FIVE and CARDBOARD ORCHESTRA. Peter Brewer had been a member of THE NIGHTRIDERS. Bassist Barry Skeels had once been a member of the delightfully named BUMS. ZIOR's debur 1971 album, issued on the Nepentha label, drew similarities to higher profile Heavy Metal bands, not just due to the heaviness of the music but also the album cover, designed by the same studio that had shot the fist BLACK SABBATH album. ZIOR switched to Intercord for the release of another obscure 1972's masterpiece 'Every Inch A Man' on the Global imprint. Released only in Germany this album featured an intro of pseudo-occult ramblings and the track 'Entrance Of The Devil' replete with maniacal laughter and terrified screams.
The members of ZIOR released a black magic flavoured Hard Rock album under pseudonyms as MONUMENT on the Beacon Label in 1971. The first ZIOR album was given a re-release through the Italian Akarma label. In later years Bonzer gained notoriety by dressing up in a giant dragon suit to appear on the BBC TV series 'Jim'll Fix It'. He would also try his arm as a puppeteer and open his own nightclub in Southend.
Well Known for their Interest in Black Magic and the Occult, their Wild Live Performances Helped them Grow a Strong Fan Base, Especially in Germany Where their Second Album, "Every Inch a Man", was Originally Released in 1972.
Keith Bonsor (vocals, keyboards, bass, flute)
Peter Brewer (drums, piano, harmonica)
Barry Skeels (bass, vocals)
John Truba (guitar, vocals)
1 Entrance of the Devil 2:10
2 The Chicago Spine 4:10
3 Have You Heard the Wind Speak 3:10
4 Time Is the Reason 2:44
5 She’ll Take You Down 3:45
6 Dudi Judy 2:50
7 Strange Kind Of Magic 3:21
8 Ride Me Baby 1:55
9 Evolution 3:55
10 Every Inch A Man 4:35
11 Cat’s Eyes 3:20
12 Suspended Animation 3:15
13 Angel of the Highway 5:55
I’ve read a few reviews of this UK four-piece’s self-titled debut, and more than once it is declared as a sound akin to Sabbath. A few shining heavy moments aside, if this sophomore release is any indication of a Sabbath blueprint on the first, then people haven’t heard enough bands to compare Zior to. In all reality, except for tinges in the first and final song, it’s about as BS as my grandmother’s bicycle. Sometimes I think reviewers get bogged down if not lazy, the record or cd in hand seems about as interesting as a pipeline, they read other people’s reviews for a brief overview, flip through tracks just to say they listened to the damn thing, and whallah…a review. Now where’s my paycheck. The band gets a reputation from all these like-minded reviews, and the result is a lot of disappointed music-loving consumers. In reality, the only thing these country mates have in common are some witchcraftian lyrics and an artist called Keef who painted the lurid covers for both band’s debuts.
Less obscure than the band’s moniker (named after a mountainside city in the Bible) and the album’s title (let’s just sit back and ponder this title, eh…) is the band’s music; a mixture of blues, progression, old-time and heavy rock, and some light psych and folk to fill out these 13 tracks. The band does a decent job tossing this mixture around within the songs as well as the overall procession of tracks, intermingling the diverse with the driven most of the time so as to not sound similar. From what I can pick apart, their lyrics are part dark-stained poetics, part straightforward, depending on the mood of the song. Their musical structures and diversity brings Australian band Blackfeather to mind, though lacking a little of the outbacker's refinement and the vocals are 95% night and day.
Rip from CD 256@ (full artwork included)