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Greta Van Fleet - Anthem of the Peaceful Army

Greta Van Fleet
Anthem of the Peaceful Army
by John Paul Romero at 05 November 2018, 7:26 AM

Rock quartet GRETA VAN FLEET is currently one of the hottest and most anticipated bands in the world. They gained so much underground and mainstream attention couple of years ago for their work “Highway Tune” – and their very huge similarities with legends LED ZEPPELIN. Their debut effort “Anthem of the Peaceful Army” is all about what its title indicates – peace, love and Rock & Roll. This 2018 offering has lots of 70’s vibe in it, including blues chops and classic hard rock ala LED ZEPPELIN.

Talking about the aforementioned elements, those are all present in the track “The Cold Wind” featuring a bluesy intro and riffs combined with Josh Kiszka’s high-pitched and powerful vocal technique. Energy is what “When the Curtain Falls” is all about. It is the fastest track in the album, bragging 4 minutes of pure classic hard rock with guitar sound and riffs that can be compared to that of LED ZEPPELIN for good. “You’re the One” comes in right in the second half of the album which also signals the change of pace for the rest of the songs. It contains acoustic guitar additions and the tempo is slower than the earlier songs. It also has a catchy, easy and sing-along-able chorus. Meanwhile, “Mountain of the Sun” is like a combination of the energy of the tracks in the first half of the album and the love and peace anthem theme of the second half of the album. Again, like “You’re the One”, it has a big and catchy chorus. Adding to its overall beauty is a brief but epic guitar solo. The closing song (before the extended version of “Lover, Leaver”) “Anthem” can easily be the favorite in the album with its acoustic appeal, slow pace, and a very peaceful approach and lyrics, just as the title of the album says. To give a hint – it’s one of that songs you raise your lighted lighters to at live shows.

Last to mention is the first track and probably the best song in the album, “Age of Man”. The song is played generally on a very solemn approach. It has lots of short guitar and bass transitions in between lines, which beautifies its overall structure. These short licks, again, are very akin to Zeppelin and “Stairway to Heaven” in particular. Being mentioned as the best song of the album, of course it comes down to its chorus. The chorus is short but epic, nonetheless. The balance between Josh’ high notes and baritone hits are also perfect, making it more “swingy” and avoiding monotony. The thing that makes it stand out among the rest is that it is way more eventful than the others. It may not have a long solo, but it has the thickest instrumental parts in the album.

There are only two problems in the album. First, it lacks the bombastic energy essential to every rock album. It’s not that it’s not energetic at all; it simply doesn’t hit the right amount of energy in it. Second and most importantly is the concern on originality. It’s always good to pay respect to the bands that influenced you as a musician by reflecting their shadows on your work. But you also have to make sure that you are not turning into a tribute band, which is a clear case in GRETA VAN FLEET. They might say that it was all original and genuine, but their similarities with LED ZEPPELIN in terms of sound and execution are crystal clear. The talent is already there for these young fellas, and it’s only the beginning of the road for them. Better things will fall if they finally establish their own unique and distinct sound.

Songwriting: 8
Originality: 5
Memorability: 8
Production: 9

4 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. Age of Man
2. The Cold Wind
3. When the Curtain Falls
4. Watching Over
5. Lover, Leaver
6. You’re the One
7. The New Day
8. Mountain of the Sun
9. Brave New World
10. Anthem
11. Lover, Leaver (Taker, Believer)
Lineup:
Josh Kiszka – Vocals, Acoustic Guitar
Jake Kiszka – Guitars, backing vocals
Sam Kiszka – Bass, Keyboards, Piano
Danny Wagner – Drums
Record Label: Republic Records
     


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