Greta Van Fleet kicks off discography with ‘Anthem of the Peaceful Army’

By Parker Otto

Greta Van Fleet released their debut album “Anthem of the Peaceful Army” Oct. 19, and its meaningful lyrics and killer blues rock sound made it well worth the wait.

One standout from the album is the single “When the Curtain Falls,” released on July 17. The song starts with a guitar riff that sends chills down the spine and details the duality of many performers in Hollywood. The lyric “You’re in and out of fashion in a Hollywood of Hell” shows how many stars try to adapt to the changing climate to stay relevant, and those that don’t adapt in time are swept under the rug.

The song also demonstrates performers’ attitudes while on stage as they seem like they own the world, but when they leave, they become hollow shells. This is relevant to the current music climate given the near fatal drug overdose of Demi Lovato July 24 and the fatal overdose of Mac Miller Sept. 7.

Another phenomenal song is the 10th track, “Anthem.” This song asks where songs that bring people together are, stressing the importance of music as a way for people to bond and put aside their differences. The song also uses acoustic rather than electric guitar to create a more relaxed atmosphere, which it does successfully. The main chorus ends with the lyric “The world is only what the world is made of,” which says that humanity can do what it wants but the planet itself will carry on, which is thought-provoking and challenges the listener.

Overall, the album uses the genre of blues rock well thanks to the spiritual lyrics, epic ballads and the excellent use of alternating Jake Kiszka on electric guitar and Sam Kiszka on both bass and acoustic guitar. The songs can be listened to individually but beautifully come together as a collective whole. A motif of the album are the, at times, biblical lyrics which speak of both Heaven and Hell, God and Satan, and redemption battling damnation.

This album, as well as the group in general, is reminiscent of the legendary classic rock group Led Zeppelin because of the two groups sharing similar genres and both vocalists have the same kind of raspy voice. The claim that Greta Van Fleet is Led Zeppelin reincarnated is as close to the truth as it gets, but this is not a cover band. They are a group of talented musicians with new music that speaks to the youth and the generations of rockers that have been around since the early days of rock. When Led Zeppelin drummer John Bonham died in 1980 following a drinking binge, it resulted in the breakup of one of the most popular bands of all time, but out of the ashes, the phoenix of Greta van Fleet arose.

“Anthem of the Peaceful Army” is the first step into a great realm of possibilities for Greta Van Fleet and their career. It provides fantastic songs that are memorable and inspiring, and remind the audience of an era long since gone in music. The album will go down as one of the most fantastic works of this year.