Home » A+E » Album review: Greta van Fleet’s talent was enough for a good, but not great album with “Anthem of the Peaceful Army”

Album review: Greta van Fleet’s talent was enough for a good, but not great album with “Anthem of the Peaceful Army”

Sam Kiszka and Josh Kiszka of Greta Van Fleet at The Sylvee on Oct. 11 in Madison, Wisconsin. Credit Courtesy of TNS

In the EP “From The Fires,” Greta Van Fleet showed the world that it’s possible to make classic rock in the modern day. In its debut album “Anthem of the Peaceful Army,” it showed itself to be a band that will stay in the spotlight for a while.

I had two general expectations of the album. First, Josh Kiszka’s vocals were going to blow me away, and Jake Kiszka was going to shred the guitar. Both of these were true in almost every song.

With a voice that sounds like a mix of Led Zeppelin’s lead singer Robert Plant and Rush’s Geddy Lee, Josh Kiska can just wail out his lyrics.

Greta Van Fleet walked a tightrope of self-identity in this album and while in some places they did well, in others they stumbled.

If you know the band from its EP, “From The Fires,” then you would know why this group is constantly being compared to Led Zeppelin. Greta Van Fleet’s biggest criticism for the talented, young band, has been that the group seems to be a Led Zeppelin wannabe. While I can see the comparison, it has not stopped me from being a fan.

The first and my favorite song of the album, “Age of Man,” flat out shuts down this criticism. The way the song breaks down, its pace and overall sound is nothing like Led Zeppelin. However, the following song “The Cold Wind“ did sound like it could have been written by Led Zeppelin. To me this means that it was going back to what has made it this successful so far, but it was still good.

The biggest problem I had was with their lyrics. I was hoping for something better to come out of them. Not to say their lyrics were generic, but it’s not something new that I was hearing either. For instance, look at the theme from “Lover, Leaver.”

“Oh my holy Lord. Sets my soul on fire. Flames of love and sweet perfume. She’s my heart’s desire. She’s an angel straight from hell. Draws me to the deep. In the darkness way below. It’s my heart she’ll keep.”  New words, but not really a new theme — especially when thinking about hard rock.

So I think conceptually, this album could have been better, especially with the group’s outstanding talent. As much as I love this album, if it’s Greta Van Fleet’s best, then that will be a disappointment.



  1. Good review, with good insight and know-how. However, the last thing a new band like this needs is to be labeled a ‘new Led Zeppelin’ or any moniker like that. LZ is LZ. And RUSH is RUSH, I’ve grown up with them and seen them live 5 times. There will never be another band like them! And Greta Van Fleet is —- Greta Van Fleet.

    Alright, their new CD isn’t a ‘big iconic statement’ but then again they may be just getting their momentum and potential up. They practically have just lifted off. I have hope these guys will reach greater heights. After all, the debut albums from many of the acts I grew up with and seen like Springsteen, U2, Genesis, RUSH, Mellencamp, Motorhead, Peter Gabriel, Bryan Ferry, INXS and even Prince were spotty, awkward but not bad. All those acts I just listed (and others) went on to greater and bigger things because they worked at it and honed their craft. And hopefully it will be for Greta Van Fleet too.

    The best may be yet to come.

  2. Barry Rosenschein

    When I first heard Highway song I was blown away by the vocals. After listening to more songs and some interviews I’m not such a fan. They are pushing the LZ label as hard as they can. Bell bottoms and flowers in the hair. In some of their interviews they come across as pod people sticking to their script. If that today’s formula for being a success in the music industry I’ll pass and just listen to classic rock.

    • These guys hold their own. So you notice Josh gesticulates like Plant? Don’t you crawl on all of your fours like your ancestors and occasionally raise yourself onto two? Maybe you’re afraid to avert and revert. Well art’s like that, mister rosenschein…the real artists are getting up, getting down, right in your critical face. The melody, tempo, wails, low, high, hell….. they change it up & are hell fun to watch too. Gorgeous boys honestly, the critiques are just a bunch of jealous guys. I think women are smitten.

      GVF, keep it up.

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