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STORIES

Ziff

Neo-Prog


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Ziff Stories album cover
3.88 | 16 ratings | 3 reviews | 6% 5 stars

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Studio Album, released in 1995

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Intro - The Book Of Life (1:10)
2. Lady With A Past (5:43)
3. Soliloquy (5:02)
4. Genocide (5:38)
5. Crash Kids (4:52)
6. The Grim Reaper (4:57)
7. Hunter (3:07)
8. Old Man's Mirror (3:09)
9. Poem For You (6:29)
10. Swamp (4:42)
11. Power Of The Sun (4:53)
12. Mystic (6:40)
13. Kristall (7:31)

Total Time: 63:53

Lyrics

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Music tabs (tablatures)

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Line-up / Musicians

- Achim Frick / guitar and vocals
- Marco Vogel / keyboards
- Michael Gross / bass guitar
- Ralph Krinke / drums

Releases information

CD Angular Records SKAN 8200.AR (1995) Germany

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Import
Musea Records France 2001
Audio CD$21.89
$20.19 (used)


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ZIFF Stories ratings distribution


3.88
(16 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(6%)
6%
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(56%)
56%
Good, but non-essential (19%)
19%
Collectors/fans only (12%)
12%
Poor. Only for completionists (6%)
6%

ZIFF Stories reviews


Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by tszirmay
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Crossover Team
4 stars What a strange album! Nothing really here to indicate all the pleasures inside: standard neo- prog line up (gt, k,b, d) that has no real "wunderkind" : a decent guitarist in Achim Frick who can sing okay, an efficient keyboardist, a good bassist and a very "ein-zwei" drummer who is unremarkable. The artwork is average, so what gives? A great menu, that's what! Of the thirteen cuts than span this hour long disc, there are a some VERY interesting and appealing songs that have the hooks, the melodies and that little something that pleases the ear. "Lady with a Past" "Soliloquy", "The Grim Reaper", "Crash Kids", "Genocide", "Poem for You" , the exhilarating and unforgetable "Mystic" and the elegant historical closer "Kristall" . The common theme here is war, prejudice, fascism, totalitarianism, suffering and pain . Basically lots of very gloomy fare. As I said, this album is loaded with faults and any progfan will find them glaring. But the material is truly amazing, played with enough passion and zeal to make this a prize. Their next album, though more polished , just doesn't have the meaty hooks, the emotive angst & the frisky delivery. I have listened to this record 20 times and still can't shake the thrill and I have never encountered such a bi- polar prog offering. Anyone feel the same way? 4 surprised stars
Review by apps79
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars A total neo surprise coming from Germany!

Reroptedly the band was formed in early 80's Achim Frick (guitars) and Michael Gross (bass) and started performing in pubs and clubs with German-sung material.Entering the 90's and after a couple of demos ZIFF decided to write english lyrics,so they gained much attention,especially when their debut ''Stories'' came out in 1995.The english-sung tracks seems to fit them very well,as the vocals are quite strong and without evident signs of their German origin.

Surprisingly for a neo-like sounding band,ZIFF's arrangements aren't that easy listening,as you would expect.Their sound is characterized by the grandiose,sometimes bombastic synths of Marco Vogel (reminding the Japanese symph bands of the 80's) and the elaborated guitar melodies of Achim Frick,featuring also numerous interplays and complicated breaks,resulting a style very close to COLLAGE's works.Of course,there are also some more straightforward songs based on grooves and rhythms,but again you'll be astonished by the superb musicianship ,the strong melodies carried by keys and guitars and the rich,dynamic sound of ZIFF.Then is when bands like GREY LADY DOWN,CASTANARC or PALLAS come to mind and in fact ZIFF sound often more english than the English!...As for conclusion,I only can recommend this work more than highly for any prog rock fan,especially those who search for the best combination between melody and atmosphere!4 ultra-shining stars!

Review by b_olariu
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars Ziff is a german band who beggins their career in the mid '80's. The luck didn't struck them untill 1995 when they release first album entitled Stories. Well majority of the pieces from this album were composed in the late '80's and only fiew were fresh (composed in 1994-1995). So the music on this album is very pleasent, with nice harmonies on guitar made by the main composer and lyricist Achim Frick, and above all the keys passages are very well executed and very good made by Marco Vogel. As I said the music is very well composed, neo prog with some influences from old school of prog like : Genesis, Iq and even in places Marillion. The strongest point of this album is the melodic aproach of the pieces, very strong are the interplays between guitar and keys, aswell as thge voice on some tracks is really great and warm. Tunes like Lady With A Past, The Grim Reaper,Mystic and the last one Kristal are real treat for any neo prog listner, with catchy arrangements and good lyrics. So all in all a great debut by this german neo prog band, who desearve 4 star for sure, kinda underrated by many but if you put the hand on both albums, this one and the next one , for sure you will end up likeing both very much. The cover art is an intristing one that make the listner to apreciate even more this great work of Ziff. Both albums are released on Musea Records, so don't hesitate to listen to this great but in the same time almost forgotten band.

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