Anyone who follows Spinning Thoughts and Metal Thoughts knows that Angelo and I have been down with Greta Van Fleet for years now. These guys are crazy talented and very cool. We have been fortunate enough to share a small part of their journey through interviews, album reviews, and concert experiences. So, when we were given the opportunity to get our hands on their new album Anthem of the Peaceful Army a few weeks before the rest of the world, of course we jumped on it!
The album shows incredible growth from From the Fires/Black Smoke Rising, but it is definitely still the same fusion of classic rock and blues with all of the unique elements that fans have grown to love from the band. The opening track, “Age of Man”, is a subdued track that really gives you that classic rock. It is a song that highlights Josh’s vocal range (spoiler alert, its huge) and is a great attention-grabbing ballad to open the record. “The Cold Wind” brings back the full “Led Zeppelin meets Aerosmith, meets Guns n Roses” vibe that GVF have perfected over the years. It has a transition that opens up and holds your attention and a groove that just refuses to stop!
“When the Curtain Falls” is the album’s lead single and has been floating around for a few months. This song has a really solid blues-rock vibe. It is catchy and energetic, but what is often overlooked is the tremendous guitar and bass runs and riffs that work together so smoothly. The other single released, “Anthem”, is a very catchy acoustic sing along. The track ends with a really cool a cappella group vocal that is going to be an instant classic at the band’s already loaded live show.
Literally every song on this album has unique appeal. “You’re the One” is a heartfelt ballad that has acoustic guitar and piano. This song has a huge sound and seems ripe for the arena crowd that this band surely attracts. The organ solo is a great touch and gives the song a standout feel. “The New Day” is another acoustic track, which sounds like the band uses an acoustic or upright bass in the beginning. The musical talent of this group is evident by the sheer amount of musical instruments that they incorporated into this record.
My favorite track on the album is “Lover, Leaver (Taker, Believer)”. It has extremely impressive musical runs and really showcases the excellent bass work present on all of the album. The vocals are gritty and the chorus has stop-chords that leave excellent pauses for the vocals to shine. The song has a heavy build halfway through and intensifies for the second half but maintains all of the musical uniqueness that was built in the first half.
Greta Van Fleet is truly a once in a lifetime musical act. All four of these guys are talented musicians and they are all still very young. While Josh’s vocals draw constant praise and comparison to Robert Plant and Steven Tyler, I must admit I am in awe of the bass lines and talent of Sam. Jake grinds a guitar solo as well as anyone in the industry and Danny (the only member of the band outside the Kiszka family) does a great job pulling it all together; not only with solid fills and beats but also on guitar and several other studio instruments.
Their live show is tremendous and they sound every bit as good in person as they do on your speakers. If by some chance you are still not familiar with Greta Van Fleet, get on board and check out their EP From the Fires/Black Smoke Rising (check out the Metal Thoughts review, here) before Anthem of the Peaceful Army is available on October 19th via Lava Records/Republic Records. And don’t forget to listen to Greta Van Fleet’s appearance on the Spinning Thoughts Podcast for more insight into this amazing band!