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ZIFF

Neo-Prog • Germany


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Ziff biography
German band ZIFF was formed in 1983 by Achim Frick (guitars) and Michael Gross (bass), and from the start their main focus was to develop a distinct style and sound. In these early days the remaining line-up was rarely constant, but they managed to get some partially lasting line-ups going to be able to play live as well as participate in local and regional band contests. In 1985 the drummer slot was filled by Ralph Frincke, who soon became a central member of the band due to his skills in writing good and imaginative lyrics. Around the same time the band finally managed to find a stable vocalist, as Achim Frick took over the vocal duties.

1987 saw the release of the demo tape "ZIFF - Deutsch", and the same year keyboardist Marco Vogel joined the band. With this addition, ZIFF had had a stable line-up that lasted until the band disappeared out of sight.

After the release of their first demo, the band decided that lyrics for the songs they wrote in the future should be in English rather than their native German, and when their next demo "Children" was released in 1991, they started getting attention outside of their local environment. In 1992 the band had three tunes included on the local compilation disc "Neckar Odenwald Rock", and 1993 saw a new demo, "Sensual", released by the band.

In 1995 ZIFF's debut CD "Stories" was released as the first CD on the Angular label, a label set up by Stefan H. Kost - formerly of Musea Records. Two years later the follow up "Sanctuary" was released on the same label, this time with US singer Lana Lane as guest vocalist on two tunes.

After contributing one song to the PINK FLOYD tribute album "Signs of Life" in 2000 ZIFF have disappeared from the limelight, and the current status of the band is unknown.

WHY IS THIS BAND LISTED AT PROGARCHIVES: ZIFF is a German band inspired by Genesis, Yes, Marillion and IQ; and their brand of Neo Progressive rock has lead to the band being approved for addition to the progarchives database by the Neo-Progressive team.

Windhawk - Olav Martin Bjørnsen

Ziff official website

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ZIFF Videos (YouTube and more)


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Buy ZIFF Music


SanctuarySanctuary
Import
Musea Records France 2006
Audio CD$13.93
$10.99 (used)
StoriesStories
Musea Records 2001
Audio CD$13.39
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ZIFF shows & tickets


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ZIFF discography


Ordered by release date | Showing ratings (top albums) | Help Progarchives.com to complete the discography and add albums

ZIFF top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.93 | 12 ratings
Stories
1995
3.93 | 8 ratings
Sanctuary
1997

ZIFF Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

ZIFF Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

ZIFF Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

ZIFF Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

ZIFF Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Sanctuary by ZIFF album cover Studio Album, 1997
3.93 | 8 ratings

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Sanctuary
Ziff Neo-Prog

Review by b_olariu
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Ziff from Germany is almost un unknown band for many listners, they play a kind of neo prog but not very complex not very easy, something in the middle. This album named Sanctuary from 1997 is their second album and turned to be their swansong either. They disbanded around 2000 and no more news abot them since then. Anyway this second album is a again like the previous a great album, with a lot to offer for neo prog fans and not only. The music here is a little more guitar orientaded than the first, but again not bad at all. The music is quite good with some great moments both as interpretation and and composing. Well on this album Ziff sounds sometimes more like Rush, combined with neo prog elements than on previous album who was more towards Marillion or IQ. So the musicians are again in top form , even on two tracks is invited one of the most known female vocals from prog metal zone Lana Lane. So the most intristing tracks are: the opening track Hellraiser's legacy - an excellent opener if you want to see where was Ziff in neo prog in that period, Exclamation mark - this is almost Rush orientated song, but still good, 19xx - a tune sung in german but keeps the magic moments of the entire album,Night demon (feturing Lana Lane) - great piece, the voice of Lana Lan's is great for this kind of music, grandious and metalic and the final one The lost universe - an almost 15 minutes of great neo prog music. So all in all a great album who desearve a better view, only one vote before my review, strange and in the same time shocking that nobody was intrested till now about this underrated neo prog band from Germany. 4 stars for sure, great album and great pieces., not a weak song here. So the album is available at Musea records, along with the previous one .

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 Stories by ZIFF album cover Studio Album, 1995
3.93 | 12 ratings

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Stories
Ziff Neo-Prog

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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 Stories by ZIFF album cover Studio Album, 1995
3.93 | 12 ratings

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Stories
Ziff Neo-Prog

Review by apps79
Special Collaborator Neo Prog Team

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!

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 Stories by ZIFF album cover Studio Album, 1995
3.93 | 12 ratings

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Stories
Ziff Neo-Prog

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

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Thanks to Ivan_Melgar_M - Windhawk for the artist addition.

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