LISTEN & BUY # The Gospel According To Zeus – Power Of Zeus (Rare Earth 1970-Motown Reissue 2011)

21 01 2012

You cant count how many re-issues has been made since the rising of the MP3
Eitherway a proper job of records hunt (Sublime Frequencies, Finders Keepers, Now-Again…)
or shit 2lp on 1cd reissues from Warner & Sony….And sometimes aboslute gems, never reissued in 30 years
Here’s what you should consider as the last example, an amazing and absolute must have reissue from Motown
sub label Rare Eath (label not the band) from 1970’s psychedelic band The Gospel According To Zeus (G.A.T.Z.)
Originally named Gangrene, this Detroit based quatuor hadf to change his name to The G.A.T.Z. to be able to release on Motown. Quite a weird attitude for a label, especially when its about MArvin or Stevie one…But thats history and unfortunately, Motown never really pushed this record / band into right directions. Never really promoted it.
Big fans of Black Sabbath or Led Zeppelin will be fully satisfied here as the Hammond is surrounding this LP from the beginning to the end, with my favourite song of the LP The Sorcerer of Isis ending the album as an apotheose.

Arguably the first hard rock album released by the Motown-owned Rare Earth imprint, 1970’s The Gospel According to Zeus was also the first and last recording by Detroit heavy rockers Power of Zeus. Needless to say, these two facts were inextricably linked, as the producers and engineers responsible for fueling the Motown hit factory had little or no understanding of what it took to capture the new decade’s Earth-shaking hard rock sounds in their studios. Interestingly, this wound up pushing Power of Zeus’ psychedelic elements — mostly evident in their vocal harmonies and use of the Hammond organ — to the fore at the expense of a meatier guitar, bass, and drums foundation. Also, unlike many of the era’s incredibly bloated, jam-happy behemoths (e.g., Iron Butterfly’s “In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida,” Deep Purple’s “Child in Time”), tough, punchy songs like “It Couldn’t be Me,” “No Time,” and “Realization” are conspicuously short and concise — as mandated by Motown’s pop architects, no doubt. And if you’re expecting distortion, forget it. The uniquely forceful “The Sorcerer of Isis (The Ritual of the Mole)” offers about the only opportunity for the band to really cut loose with some instrumental overload and actual guitar shredding (fitting that they cited it as the most representative of their live shows). More often than not, however, it was trippy acoustic guitars and harpsichords that had Baroque folk ballads like “Green Grass and Cover” and “Uncertain Destination” breaking up the pacing; and the ominous-sounding “The Death Trip” is actually a rather sleepy, almost Pink Floyd-like swirl of a song. In other words, for a band professing to love the hard psych-rock of Cream and the Jimi Hendrix Experience and the proto-metal of Led Zeppelin and Black Sabbath, The Gospel According to Zeus is obviously a sonically stunted effort. And yet ironically, what at the time doomed both the band and album’s chances of success has since transformed it into a true original outside any identifiable genre. (allmusic)




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