Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Power of Zeus Gospel According to Zeus LP

It's not very often that you get to thank Obie Trice and Nick Salomon in the same sentence, but thanks to the eternal glory of Power of Zeus I am able to do so today. First heard the band sampled on Obie's second album. Total Sabbath overload-who were these guys?. I gave up searching and hoped I would figure it out one day. One year later, I grab the incredible "White Lace and Strange" comp on Psychic Circle. Fourth song in is the none other than the Uber-Sabbath song Obie sampled. Damn. Power of Zeus from Detroit on Rare Earth Records 1970. A Motown connection? Not to big a stretch for a Detroit rapper to sample.
So the record has been reissued and isn't so hard to track down. 10 tracks of "hard rock". No track reaches the Sabbath worship of "it couldn't be me", but elements of B.O.C and Bad Company are in the house. The can ramble on in a pseudo spiritual Zep/Sabbath type vein for epic lengths-for example on the mega opus "death trip" that closes side one
They open side 2 with a mega guitar and piano groove monster called "no time" that works the Sabbathy groove again before tripping out into outerspace. "Hard Workin Man" keeps the cow bell beer drinking plod going strong.
Lots of odd hits when you google the name. They may also be the first band to use the name Gangrene -at least the Skate to Hell crew spelled it better.
A quick check over at thebreaks.com shows that "Sorcerer of Isis" is more sampled than "it couldn't be me" with Nas,Tribe,Common,Eminem, Spider Loc, 50 Cent, and Wiseguys all sampling it. The slow long,opening drum break should make it clear why. When the vocals kick in it is veering very close to Flower Travelling Band-it just never pushes the vocals to FTB's heights.
Perhaps most of this record resides closer to Vanilla Fudge than Sabbath but it is still a prime slice of forgotten US hard rock. The Motown connection only makes it better.

No comments: