Greek stoner road warriors Planet Of Zeus have been grinding away since forming in Athens back in 2000, releasing 5 albums and covering plenty of miles in that time. All this has lead the seasoned band to slowly build from, garnering favourable mentions off Bruce Dickinson on his BBC 6 Music show, to supporting Clutch on their Psychic Warfare European tour and playing their biggest home town gig by headlining in front of 85,000 people!
Their latest release, out on Heavy Psych Sounds, sees the band tackle thoroughly modern themes in the lyrics of their retro inspired music, ramping up the heavy fuzz they’ve previously employed whilst trying to combine a more accessible side.
Gasoline opens the album up with robust high octane riffing that wasted no time in getting down and dirty before Babis Papanikolaou’s laconic raw voice asks if you would believe in him. The powerful rhythm section helps drive the track onwards as Giannis Vrazos (Bass) and Serafeim Giannakopoulos (Drums) combine to lay the foundations for the highly charged atmosphere.
This is particularly noticeable on Man Vs God with its pulsing bass , all swagger and swing, the huge stomping, chanting chorus stomp of The Great Liar and the 70s homage with added muscle of Revolution Cookbook that can at times recall the smash mouth stylings of MC5.
The more accessible side adds flavour to this hard edge as evidenced in the melodies of All These Happy People where the band takes a lead out of early Queens of the Stone Age as guitarist Stelios Provis goes for hooks rather than heavy.
Faith In Physics is a solid effort, it’s not going to tip the world off its axis, but Planet Of Zeus ply their trade with competence and confidence…
Elsewhere they slow the pace, but keep the intensity on Let Them Burn with its thick brooding atmosphere that relies more on groove, than speed, to get their point across before closing out the album with some more thick fuzz.
Over the course of the albums 46 minute running time, Planet Of Zeus use their more than capable musical chops to talk about addiction, religion, social media and its influences. This is an ambitious move and shows they have aspirations other than cranking out left over Sabbath riffs and talking about getting stoned.
Faith In Physics is a solid effort, it’s not going to tip the world off its axis, but Planet Of Zeus ply their trade with competence and confidence that’s well deserved considering the miles and time they have put in. Sometimes stoner rock can be like flavours of ice cream, there’s nothing to dislike, but you really love certain flavours more than others and this latest offering is indicative of that. If you are already a fan of the band then you will definitely love Faith In Physics as it probably their most refined effort yet; if you’re not yet a fan and like well like executed, intellectually leaning hard edged stoner rock then I would recommend you give them a listen.
Scribed by: Mark Hunt-Bryden