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Zomby Woof

Symphonic Prog

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Zomby Woof Riding on a Tear album cover
3.85 | 73 ratings | 10 reviews | 23% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection

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Studio Album, released in 1977

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Introduction (1:56)
2. Suicide (6:25)
3. Riding on a Tear (5:17)
4. Requiem - Part I (5:17)
5. Requiem - Part II (4:07)
6. Dora's Drive (8:52)
7. Mary Walking Through the Woods (5:56)
8. Walking Through the Woods (5:30)
9. Finale (0:13)
10. Dora's Drive (5:19) *
11. Mary Walking Through the Woods (4:31) *
12. Highwire Dance (5:49) *
13. Back Home (7:34) *

Total Time 66:46

* Bonus tracks on 2002 CD reissue

Line-up / Musicians

- Ulrich Herter / vocals, acoustic & electric guitars, synthesizer
- Heinrich Winter / vocals, acoustic & electric guitars, Hohner D6 clavinet
- Matthias Zumbroich / grand piano, Hammond organ, Minimoog, string-ensemble, synthesizer, Mellotron, electric piano, saxophone
- Udo Kreuß / bass
- Berthold Maier / drums, percussion & tambourine

Releases information

LP Riding on a Tear (Jupiter 25231 OT) 1977
CD Riding On A Tear (Garden of Delights CD 078) 2002 including 4 bonus tracks

Thanks to erik neuteboomfuid=erik neuteboom for the addition
and to projeKct for the last updates
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Buy ZOMBY WOOF Riding on a Tear Music

ZOMBY WOOF Riding on a Tear ratings distribution

(73 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(23%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(59%)
Good, but non-essential (15%)
Collectors/fans only (3%)
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)

ZOMBY WOOF Riding on a Tear reviews

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

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by kenethlevine
4 stars An absolutely stunning German symphonic one-off, this is the work of an accomplished band in every sense, from the well developed melodies to the rich organ/bass interplays to the solid English vocals mixed at precisely the right level. While the keys and rhythym section are to the fore, and no better illustrated than in the brilliant "Walking through the Woods" with its fluid synths that shift into turbo about halfway through, some fine guitar parts appear in such tracks as the bonus closer, "Back Home". This is not a particularly German sounding album although some characteristic spaciness creeps in as well as spoken parts, occasional distorted vocals and rants, but they are so adeptly integrated and understated as to remain eminently listenable at all times. In particular "Requiem Part 2" could lay claim to being Zomby Woof's take on "Solar Music" as immortalized by Grobschnitt. Riding on a Tear is a 1970s gem of German symphonic progressive rock that I cannot recommend highly enough.
Review by b_olariu
4 stars Simply great music by this almost unknown band from the late '70. I descovered this band by reading the review of kenethlevine,and i said to my self to give it a try, they have such a strange name. Now i know is the name of a piece of Frank Zappa. Talking about the music to me is something between Nektar and here and there Eloy, specialy the voice. Instrumental is superb with keyboard driven, 24- carat symphonic rock. This is among the best symphonyc album from Germany, and not only. 4 stars, melodic with full of great keys.
Review by Finnforest
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Amazingly overlooked symphonic title

This wonderful lost gem is one of my recommended German symphonic albums I suppose because the dramatic flair of the composition along with the wonderful piano reminds me of many Italian albums. Thank goodness for Garden of Delights records for rescuing classics like this one from history and doing them up with such informative booklets. The band formed in Reutlingen in the early '70s and played their final gig there in 1980. A second album was made but not re-released by Garden because the material was deemed more pop than progressive. This material was taken from the original master tapes and sounds remarkable good.

The music is dramatic, extroverted, energetic, big and bold. It begins with a huge cascading solo piano introduction leading ironically to a piece called "Suicide" as the album apparently deals with the suicide of a friend, but is not a downer album in any way. For those who can't handle foreign vocals, you can relax as they are in very clear English. The album has something for everyone: mellotrons, piano, plenty of guitars, solid bass and drums, Hammond, even a little sax. Actually there is some monster bass presence on this album which I'm a big proponent of! Composition is quite varied and interesting throughout from the bouncing opening of the title track to the flat-out rocking of "Dora's Drive" to the funky bass sections of "Requiem." "Mary Walking Through the Woods" is a favorite with its sentimental melodies and dreamy synths, even if a bit melodramatic. There are a couple of spots where the jams tend to freebird a bit longer than they need to but this is a minor complaint. Four rare bonus tracks are included and as mentioned the booklet is awesome with complete bio and many incredibly rare photos of this lost band. Fans of big '70s symphonic showy feasts cannot miss hearing "Riding on a Tear" even if it did come a bit late in the game and broke no new ground. There's a very high probability you'll be pleased as punch. 6/10

Review by erik neuteboom
4 stars

Zombie Woof is an extremely overlooked German progrock band from the Seventies, their name is derived from a song by Frank Zappa and his Mothers Of Invention. But their music has hardly anything to do with Frank Zappa, it's mainly keyboard driven, 24- carat symphonic rock, quite original with only some hints from Eela Craig and early Camel.

The nine compositions from the original album (1977) sound pleasant and melodic featuring flowing shifting moods and lots of wonderful vintage keyboards: a sparking Grand piano with wonderful string-ensemble waves in Introduction, a beautiful blend of string-esemble, Hammond organ and mellow choir-Mellotron in the varied titletrack, lots of swinging Hohner D6 clavinet in Requiem - Part I, exciting interplay between fiery electric guitar and swinging clavinet and a splendid build- up guitar solo in the jam- like song Dora's Drive and an exciting, long synthesizer solo (with echoes from Peter Bardens) in Walking Through the Woods. One of the most beatiful tracks on this CD is Walking Through the Woods: a short intro featuring warm twanging acoustic guitar, then a slow rhythm with fluent synthesizer flights, the atmosphere becomes lush symphonic delivering great interplay between sparkling piano and senational synthesizer. The English vocals on this album sound often pleasant and warm with a slight German accent. The CD release features four bonustracks including two alternate versions from the album and two previously unreleased tracks (studio rehearsals, no more or less than fine Zomby Woof music).


Review by Tarcisio Moura
4 stars A really surprising one shot band from germany. Zomby Woof release this jewel in 1977, and it is no surprise there was no follow up. The times were not good for prog acts any more, specially new ones that relied too much on the traditional symphonic sounds that were so popular early in that decade. Well, there was a second album, but I heard it was a much pop oriented one and I don´t know if it was released or not. Whatever happened to their sophmore efford, this one is really good. And if you´re into the german prog scene of the 70´s, it is one you should not miss.

The first thing I noticed was the high quality of the production and the music that comes from the CD. Garden Of Delights did a great job on the remastering. It sounds fresh and very clear. For some time I thought Zomby Woof was a contemporary retro group. The band itself proved to be quite good too, at least at the instrumental part of the CD: terrific vintage keyboards, fantastic bass, good drums and guitars. The vocals are the weakest part, but they are not bad either. In fact, they compensate their lack of technique and range with passion and conviction.

The tunes are all good, the band had fine songwriters. The CD as whole is quite varied and the arrangements are very tasteful. And good as they are, they hardly sound like anybody else I know. As a reference I can cite only Eloy and maybe Grobschnitt, but they had their own personality already. Quite energetic compositions, with strong emphasis on melody and rhythms (the instrumental Dora´s Drive is maybe the best exemple of that). The CD version comes with four bonus tracks, two being edit versions of songs from the original LP and two unissued. the new songs are as longer than the others, not so well produced, but showed they were getting even better. The group was indeed a great promise, what a shame Zomby Woof didn´t make it!

Rating: 4 stars. Another fine band that had a short career. But should not be forgotten and Riding On A Tear is an excellent addition to any prog rock music collection. Highly recommneded.

Review by apps79
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Zomby Woof came officially to life around 1973 in Reutlingen from the ashes of a no-named early-70's band, featuring guitarists Heinrich Winter and Udo Kreuss, bassist Frank Keinath and drummer Thomas Moritz.When Keinath left the band, Kreuss moved to bass and Ulrich Herter had joined as a second guitarist, while Matthias Zumbroich and Matthias Seelmann-Eggebert joined Zomby Woof on keyboards and organ respectively.After a long period with several lives Moritz and Seelmann-Eggebert quit in 1976 and ex-Puppenhaus' drummer Bea Maier joined the band.The following year they released their debut ''Riding on a tear'' on Jupiter Records, captured in a former cinema in Dachauer Strasse in Munich.

Zomby Woof played a refined Symphonic/Art Rock with lots of melodious passages, somewhat moving away from the typical spacious Teutonic sounds of the era or the Baroque approach of Novalis and Triumvirat and sounding a bit like CAMEL flavored by the interim, slow-tempo proportions of GROBSCHNITT, based on light Hammond organ parts, elaborate guitar moments, plenty of synth lines and managing to creating a laid-back, epic sound with complex arrangements and well-connected thematic variations.The material is quite often vocal-oriented, but even the shortest track contains a bunch of breaks and stylistic switches, they even recall GENTLE GIANT at the funky/psychedelic effort of ''Requiem (Part I)'' or the long ''Dora's drive''.Keyboard work is awesome, characterized by Mellotron, clavinet and electric piano injections and endless organ and acoustic piano interludes, I am bit surprised they had two guitarists, because the material is mostly keyboard-oriented with quirky grooves and moves and some blistering, grandiose orchestrations.The music is mostly dense with lots of interplays and influences even knocking the doors of Fusion.This certain approach has its exception on ''Mary walking through the woods'', this one sounds a lot like NOVALIS with Classical references on piano and symphonic keyboards all the way along with the dramatic, atmospheric singing of Ulrich Herter.

The allbum sold pretty well, around 5000 copies reached the hands of buyers, followed by a rare nowadays single.In 1979 Maier and Winter left to form Alarm, replaced by drummer Achim Czech and lead singer Harald Horvath.David Hanselmann also joined Zomby Wood prior to the recording of the second album ''No hero'' at the Galgenberg Studio in Schwabbach.This work eventually never saw the light, sounding more poppy and accesible.The band split up in 1980.

German quirky and polished Sympho Rock in the vein of Ramses and Shaa Khan.Melodic compositions with non-stop keyboard showering and occasional entries into complex exercises.Warmly recommended...3.5 stars.

Review by Aussie-Byrd-Brother
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Instead of adding your sixty-seventh copy of the latest reissue of `In the Court of the Crimson King' or `Close to the Edge' to your collection, why not look into the wealth of underappreciated prog-related albums lurking in obscurity out there? A fine case in point - German band Zomby Woof. In their early Seventies heyday, the band performed alongside other German progressive music notables such as Embryo, Birth Control and Kraan, and despite taking their name from a Frank Zappa tune, the Woof were firmly planted in the Symphonic prog style. Their sole release came in 1977, and `Riding on a Tear' is a melodic and vibrant English-sung prog gem, that reminds of everything from Camel, Yes, Pink Floyd and Eela Craig, with little touches of Novalis, Eloy and Grobschnitt worked in as well.

After the opening `Introduction's dramatic and fancy spiral of piano and low-key organ, the eclectic `Suicide' surges with up-tempo bursts of Yes-like acoustic fancy and thickly grumbling bass, and the reaching Pink Floyd-like guitar strains and sobering vocals both hold a thoughtful compassion. The title track is mostly whimsical and warm with only fleeting darker flourishes, and a delirious instrumental break in the middle full of wild Moog races and snappy tempo changes could have popped up on a Camel LP. Side A then closes with the first section of `Requiem', the two-parter bristling with funky bass, rattling drums and wild Hammond organ whirls that briefly call to mind `Six Wives...'-era Rick Wakeman.

The flip side's instrumental second part of `Requiem' floats with evocative sax musings, and the introspectively rumbling bass, haunting choir and trickles of spacey electric piano remind of legendary German rockers Eloy. The schizophrenic `Dora's Drive' is one of the lengthier cuts on the disc, and this relentless and propulsive rocker with plentiful instrumental breaks glistens with an eclectic variety of playful, funky and grandiose touches.

The two-part, eleven minute `Mary/Walking Through the Woods' is a symphonic stunner with expertly executed reprising themes, where delicate Steve Hackett-like acoustic strains, sparkling piano and whirring Moog fancy are all wrapped between a warmly sung and lyrically romantic tune blessed with a gloriously silken chorus (although the classical-aping `Finale' in the final seconds of the LP sounds a little out of place!).

Part of the band would go on to record a follow-up with a reworked line-up and the involvement of singer David Hansellman, who had history with German prog-related acts Message and Triumvirat, but no interest from record companies led to it remaining mostly unreleased (save for popping up as a few bonus tracks on CD reissues of this one) and the group imploding shortly after. It just helps to make `Riding on a Tear' even more special, and this underappreciated German rock treat is long overdue for some more attention from prog fans.

Four stars.

Latest members reviews

3 stars A nice surprise ! This German band only relased this album (and recorded an unreleased more pop orientated second album). The music is down the Grobschnitt and Nektar alley with some hints of Eloy and Yes. A krautrock influenced symphonic prog album, in other words. The wide range of instru ... (read more)

Report this review (#220637) | Posted by toroddfuglesteg | Thursday, June 11, 2009 | Review Permanlink

5 stars I purchased this album by chance, without even listening to it before. I'm not even the greatest fan of German Space Rock in the first place (although I do love Grobschnitt and Eloy, for instance). Well, really, I played the disc for a friend of mine during a Scrabble game, and she said, "it's r ... (read more)

Report this review (#138759) | Posted by Nao/Gilles | Monday, September 17, 2007 | Review Permanlink

4 stars Zombie Woof is an extremely overlooked German progrock band from the Seventies, their name is derived from a song by Frank Zappa and his Mothers Of Invention. But their music has hardly anything to do with Frank Zappa, it's mainly keyboard driven, 24- carat symphonic rock, quite original with o ... (read more)

Report this review (#68236) | Posted by | Friday, February 3, 2006 | Review Permanlink

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