Greta Van Fleet: ‘Anthem Of The Peaceful Army’

To be released on October 19, 2018 (Republic Records)

Baby Led Zeppelin are back with their first full length album — the weirdly titled Anthem Of The Peaceful Army. Baby Led Zeppelin you may ask? Well, obviously there was the original Led Zeppelin who would be on their 50th year had they kept going. You have Led Zeppelin Jr. in Kingdom Come who kept the Zeppelin sound going and in particular with their self-titled debut album released back in 1988. Finally, you have Baby Led Zeppelin also known as Greta Van Fleet. The original Led Zeppelin set all sorts of records, are regarded as pioneers in the rock genre and have arguably come up with the greatest ballad of all time in “Stairway To Heaven.” Led Zeppelin Jr. came out when hard rock / heavy metal was in its golden era and although their debut album fared well, Kingdom Come released a number of records after their first two in relative obscurity. Clearly, adopting or “ripping” off the Led Zeppelin sound did not translate into lasting success for Kingdom Come. I must confess having never really listened to Kingdom Come‘s material after their first two albums Kingdom Come and In Your Face so perhaps they strayed away from the Zeppelin sound after that.

Greta Van Fleet are seemingly at the root of a possible rock n’ roll resurgence. While other bands struggle to sell albums and get people out to their concerts, the Michigan youngsters seem to sell out venues left and right throughout North America in record time. Greta Van Fleet‘s brand of Led Zeppelin rock n’ roll seems to be getting lapped up, which is a great thing. Considering that Led Zeppelin called it quits back in 1980, I think it’s time to accept that although Greta Van Fleet may sound a heck of a lot like Led Zeppelin, it has been almost 40 years since the pioneer group has released a new studio album. Accordingly, although Greta Van Fleet may sound like an excellent Led Zeppelin tribute band playing its own original material, I don’t really care about the Led Zeppelin similarities as long as the music holds up.

Anthem Of The Peaceful Army is a pretty good album but doesn’t justify the hype that Greta Van Fleet are receiving. That being said, I am glad that Greta Van Fleet are receiving so much press and adulation because good quality hard rock deserves to be at the forefront of the music world again and if Greta Van Fleet are the catalysts in that regard, so be it. While Greta Van Fleet‘s Black Smoke Rising and From The Fires EPs contained the standouts “Highway Tune” and “Safari Song”, Anthem Of The Peaceful Army does not boast such killer tracks. In fact, there are only a few songs on the record that are really memorable. “When The Curtain Falls” is the best track with an infectious guitar riff, a faster pace compared to the other songs on the album (which doesn’t say that much) and some vintage killer Robert Plantish vocals from Josh Kiszka. “Lover, Leaver {Taker, Believer)” is another faster paced rocker but seems a bit plain to me in terms of the variations throughout the song. “The New Day” is an enjoyable acoustic number with a cool guitar solo, an upbeat feel and some stellar singing from Josh Kiszka.

The rest of the songs on Anthem Of The Peaceful Army simply aren’t that great. The beginning and overall feel of “You’re The One” reminds me quite a bit of “Knockin’ On Heaven’s Door.” Most of the songs on Anthem Of The Peaceful Army are rather slow paced plodding type tracks such as the opener “Age Of Man,” “The Cold Win,” “Watching Over,” “Brave New World” and “Anthem.” Don’t get me wrong, none of those songs are awful by any means (well, perhaps “Anthem”) but at the same time, none seem to set the world on fire for me in any way. Perhaps my expectations were too high? I will say that Greta Van Fleet seem to have discovered what their musical identity is as there is a real identifiable sound to all of their songs. While others might think Led Zeppelin when hearing the songs on Anthem Of A Peaceful Army, I think Greta Van Fleet with Josh Kiszka‘s piercing vocals, the bombastic drumming from Daniel Wagner and Jacob Kiszka‘s identifiable guitar sound.

Is this the album of the year? Definitely not. Is this the rock n’ roll album that might sell the most copies this year? Perhaps. Will the Greta Van Fleet phenomenon continue? Time will tell. At the end of the day, I don’t hear anything that special on Anthem Of The Peaceful Army and if it wasn’t for the Greta Van Fleet hype, I probably wouldn’t pick up this album. However, I will say and concede that Greta Van Fleet seem to have come up with a real classic rock type album that can likely appeal to numerous people across many genres of music. Let me put it another way, I could picture hearing any of the songs off Anthem Of A Peaceful Army coming from the radio, a grocery store, the waiting area at a doctor’s office or an elevator.

Track List:
01. Age Of Man
02. The Cold Wind
03. When The Curtain Falls
04. Watching Over
05. Lover, Leaver (Taker, Believer)
06. You’re The One 
07. The New Day 
08. Mountain Of The Sun 
09. Brave New World 
10. Anthem

Band Members:
Joshua Michael Kiszka – vocals
Jacob Thomas Kiszka – guitar
Samuel Francis Kiszka – bass
Daniel Robert Wagner – percussion

Band Websites:
Official Website

Reviewed by Olivier for Sleaze Roxx, October 2018

Greta Van Fleet‘s “When The Curtain Falls” song:

Greta Van Fleet – When The Curtain Falls (Audio)

When the Curtain Falls (Official Audio)Song available here: with Greta Van Fleet:http://gretavanfleet.comhttps://w…

Greta Van Fleet‘s “Watching Over” song:

Greta Van Fleet – Watching Over (Audio)

o Watching Over (Official Audio)o Song available here: Pre-Order Anthem of a Peaceful Army here: https://gretavanfleet.l…

Greta Van Fleet‘s “Lover, Leaver (Taker, Believer)” song:

Greta Van Fleet – Lover, Leaver (Audio)

Lover, Leaver (Official Audio)Anthem of a Peaceful Army now available: with Greta Van Fleet:http://www.gretavanfl…

Greta Van Fleet‘s “Anthem” song:

Greta Van Fleet – Anthem (Audio)

Anthem (Official Audio)Song available here: of a Peaceful Army now available:…