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Monument / ex Zior picture
Monument / ex Zior biography
More than an independent band, MONUMENT are an offshoot of British hard rock band ZIOR, who released two albums in the early Seventies. Their only album, "The First Monument", is the result of an all-night, drunken jam session involving the four members of ZIOR. The album features a heavy, distorted, Hammond-drenched sound, and ZIOR's trademark occult lyrical themes.

Raffaella Berry (Raff)

Why this artist must be listed in :
MONUMENT are a fine specimen of early Seventies Heavy Prog.

The First Monument (1971 - studio album)

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MONUMENT / EX ZIOR discography

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2.61 | 23 ratings
The First Monument

MONUMENT / EX ZIOR Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

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 The First Monument by MONUMENT / EX ZIOR album cover Studio Album, 1971
2.61 | 23 ratings

The First Monument
Monument / ex Zior Heavy Prog

Review by GruvanDahlman
Prog Reviewer

2 stars There is no real point in denying the fact that obscurity and darkness holds a fascination with me. The more obscure an album, the more intrigued I get. Having said that, I must confess that I bear within me the bitter knowledge that only a handful of these obscurities holds up to scrutiny when it come sto the actual music. I have learned, the hard way, that obscure albums many a times linger in the dark pits of the musical universe for a reason. For the most part the reason being that the music lacks in quality but there are those few gem-like albums that glimmer like stars in the dark. Alas, too few are cut from that cloth.

Zior. Now there's a band that time threw a big, wet blanket on ages ago. They made two half decent albums in the wee hours of the 70's, shrouded in some kind of occult fog. Yes, there was quite the thing back then, dabbling in the occult. Black Widow and Black Sabbath are probably, correct or no, associated with that thing. Black Widow was famous for their mock sacrifices and what not. There were several witches covens and magical societies and even more interest in summoning demons of the nether world. In that crowd music played a vital part. Anyway. Zior became Monument and from what can be gathered the album was a product of one nights drunken jamming. As such not much can be expected and the result is a meager one.

Heavy prog is a nice old genre displaying a very evident kinship between hard rock and progressive. Many a times the shear noise and heaviness can be enough but there are plenty of bands that made outstanding albums in this genre. Monument is not one of them, I'm sad to say. The material is really inferior and acts more as evidence to what drunkedness and music making leads to: a substandard album. At least that is true in many cases.

I spoke of the occult and I will return now. Monument is a band that is very much associated with that movement. According to one tale I reac somewhere, one member of the groupp was found hanging from a tree after a debauched occult gathering at some mansion in the 70's. That alone is enough to build a reputation. And while that may be so, that is not enough when it comes to building a muscial legacy.

The music of Monument is very dark and ominous but also basic. It really seems as though the songs are made in the moment and the result is not very good. There are better and worse tracks but not really any great ones. Sometimes it sounds as though Iggy Pop has entered the studio and recorded substandard material. Overall the sound is the same from track to track. Shaky and not very pleasant vocals drenched in some kind of echo, spewing some occult mumbo jumbo. There is very little dignity and substance to the music, quite the opposite from, say, Black Widow or Dr. Z.

By large it is not a very good album at any rate. There is a few tracks that actually are quite interesting, such as 'Stale flesh' or 'Boneyard bumne', but for the most part it is uninspired and lacklustre rock'n'roll based stuff. If you are looking for progressive music you won't find it here, not to any great extent anyway. The vocals are sadly very shaky and annoying, hidden away in a sea of echo and some other effect. This fact makes the album even less enjoyable. The best thing about this record is the cover, which is nice.

Being an album with said occult approach, the only track that seems fitting and inspired is 'Overture for limp piano in C'. That song is somewhat scary in it's askew execution. It is by no means a track to marvel at but perhaps it is the best one on the album. Being instrumental it lacks the annoying presence of bad vocals. I hear similarities to Don Bradshaw, though not nearly as soundscape-ish.

All those words and what is the point? The point is that this album is one of true obscurity but lacks everything that makes an album worthwhile and enjoyable. It is what it is, a drunken stupor caught on tape. As such it is a glimpse of a second in the oceans of time but no more. I would not suggest anyone to really dive into this murky pool. There are so many albums out there that are greater than this, obscure or no. Look elsewhere, I say.

 The First Monument by MONUMENT / EX ZIOR album cover Studio Album, 1971
2.61 | 23 ratings

The First Monument
Monument / ex Zior Heavy Prog

Review by GDA9

3 stars I found a passing reference to this band in the book Lucifer Rising by Gavin Baddeley. It's truly a rare gem of early 70's heavy prog.

While the music whitin is unremarkable by any standards, and despite the songs' silly occult lyrics, it still manages to please and I'd highly recommend it to any fan of bands like Atomic Rooster, Nosferatu, Orange Peel, Asgard (UK), etc.

Thanks to raff for the artist addition. and to NotAProghead for the last updates

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