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Planet of Zeus - Faith in Physics

Planet of Zeus
Faith in Physics
by Gary Hernandez at 15 September 2019, 3:07 PM

PLANET OF ZEUS, consummate Stoner Metal band out of Athens, Greece, is hitting us with a new full-length album release, “Faith in Physics,” September 27 on Heavy Psych Sounds Records. This will mark the band’s sixth album since their formation in 2000. It’s also their first original material since 2016. If you haven’t heard PLANET OF ZEUS, I’d say they are in the same neighborhood as CLUTCH or 1000MODS — not a bad zip code at all.

While “Faith in Physics” has obvious political overtones, it doesn’t come across as a series of pedantic lectures. Each of the nine tracks is a groove-laden, fuzz-driven romp set to rock more than preach. Best tracks are “Gasoline,” which can’t help but to recall AUDIOSLAVE’s track of the same name; “Revolution Cookbook,”with Papanikolaou alternating his vocal delivery between clean and raw without descending into cookie monster mode; and “Your Song,” which has an earnest build from soothing to grooving to blasting. “On Parole” is also a solid track that starts off with an edgy, mean riff and ends in a tidal wave of epic noise that just washes out the blues along with your hearing all at the same time.

One of the great things about Stoner Metal is the role of the rhythm section. Giannis Vrazos (bass) and Serapheim Giannakopoulos (drums) are no exception. The guitar work of Papanikolaou and Provis, of course, is excellent, but the hypnotic, bottom-heavy tempo that’s especially prevalent in songs like “The Great Liar” to “Man vs. God” is what really shapes the landscape.

With that said, a number of the songs are a little unbalanced. “Man vs. God,” for instance, drags for the first minute or so before breaking into the catchy chorus and later dropping some seriously funky percussion. The overall impression is good, as the song ends on the upside, but it does take some time to get there. Less successful is “King of the Circus,” which feels like an unfortunate coupling of Prog and Stoner. There are certainly moments of brilliance, but at over eight minutes the not-so-great moments outweigh the genius of it all.

All together, “Faith in Physics” is a good effort and well worth the financial investment and time commitment. Greece is establishing itself as the home to a wide variety of heavy music from Hellenic Black Metal to Stoner. PLANET OF ZEUS with “Faith in Physics” keeps that tradition alive.

Songwriting: 6
Originality: 6
Memorability: 6
Production: 7

3 Star Rating

1. Gasoline
2. Man vs. God
3. The Great Liar
4. Revolution Cookbook
5. All These Happy People
6. Your Song
7. Let Them Burn
8. On Parole
9. King of the Circus
Babis Papanikolaou – Vocals, guitars
Stelios Provis - Guitars
Giannis Vrazos - Bass
Serapheim Giannakopoulos - Drums
Record Label: Heavy Psych Sounds Records


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