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Album Review

Zior, hailing from England's Southend, was formed in the late '60s by a quartet of local R&B scene veterans. They were a popular local live act in their day, not surprising considering their wild stage shows and satanically themed set props. Legend has it that unlike the more coy Black Sabbath, Zior were serious practitioners of the black arts, for all the good it did their career. The band never did break through, and this, their 1971 self-titled debut, remains their sole recording. Apparently the Devil never told them that R&B was finished in the U.K., or perhaps he did, but damned them to keep on playing it regardless. Of course, the group members weren't total idiots, and they did take a few stabs at the new genre, à la Cream, Sabbath, and occasionally even ELP, but the heaviness of the genre was beyond them, and the result is quite pathetic. So instead of thick slabs of the heavy metal one expected, listeners were instead treated to some limping bandwagon-jumping. They were one hell of an R&B group, though, and on those numbers, of which there are many here, they absolutely shine. But whoever heard of or wanted a Satanic Brit beat band, least of all in 1971? Damned to obscurity and doomed from the get-go, Zior were totally out of time; the Devil has a lot to answer for.

Zior, Zior
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