Planet Of Zeus – Loyal To The Pack


When they’re good, they’re very, very good…

Released through I Have A Drum Records on 13 May 2016, Allan Jones is caught on the horns of a dilemma…

Hailing from Greece, this four-piece have presented me with a dilemma in the very classical sense of the word. For me, this album is very much a tale of two musical sides – and the dichotomy is basically tracks I like, and tracks I don’t. When they’re good, these guys rock very, very hard. Tracks like ‘Little Deceiver’ and ‘Scum Alice’ epitomise everything good about this band. They’ve got a big, solid, thumping groove that rifles its way through in a manner that the likes of Clutch or Kyuss, and walls of fuzz pile up until you’re headbanging away with gleeful abandon. Then they throw in some curve-balls like ‘White Shroud’ or ‘Devil Calls My Name’ where there’s a bit more of the classic rock style riffing going on. Now, these are still pretty good tracks, with some great dynamic range and the softness gives a great contrast to the groove.

Unfortunately, other tracks don’t seem to work so well. Opener ‘Loyal To The Pack’ sees the otherwise excellent Babis Papanikolaou turn into some sort of gravel-gargling shouty monster. The song itself is incoherent, and never really gels into anything resembling a tune. Yeah, I get that some people like that – but it’s not a style I enjoy, and when it is used to great effect by the likes of Pantera, it’s combined with the output of the rest of the band to give it punch and power. Here, it just doesn’t seem to fit well to me at all. The fact that it goes on for five minutes in this vein, never really resolving into anything in that time, just highlights this disparity.

Other tracks should work, but just drag on that little bit too long such as ‘Your Love Makes Me Wanna Hurt Myself’. It’s got all the bits that should work – singalong chorus, big riffs, great vocal, some awesome rhythm section work – but it never quite gets all the way there. ‘Retreat’ is another slow-burner, with a pretty introductory guitar riff that just goes on that bit too long – nearly two minutes of the same riff before they kick up the distortion a notch, but then it just backs off and carries on again, and the song never really gets into gear during the remainder of its five and a half minute length.

When they’re good, they’re very, very good. But when they’re bad? They’re average, and it’s that side of things that drags the album down. With a little more focus and a lot more polish, there’s a lot of potential here. But given that this is their third album, they should really be setting their sights higher by now.

Planet Of Zeus – Loyal To The Pack6 out of 10

Track List:

  1. Loyal To The Pack
  2. Devil Calls My Name
  3. Them Nights
  4. Little Deceiver
  5. Your Love Makes Me Wanna Hurt Myself
  6. Retreat
  7. Sea Bastards
  8. White Shroud
  9. Scum Alive
  10. Indian Red
  11. Athens