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Deep cuts: Riches from the rock underground

Cover art for power of zeus

Rare Earth was a subsidiary of Motown, aimed at cashing in on the blossoming post-psychedelic underground hard-rock scene, and Detroit greasers Power Of Zeus were by far the heaviest band to be signed. But while the label’s main act, also called Rare Earth, achieved notable success, Power Of Zeus were barely recognised at the time, and The Gospel According To Zeus became a common sight in bargain bins throughout the US after its release.

In the intervening years it has become something of a cult record, with the opening beats of heavy album closer The Sorcerer Of Isis being a popular break lifted by many respected hip‑hop DJs. However, it’s hard rock fans who have found a genuine affection for this guitar-driven beast of an album, comparable to the heavier aspects of Deep Purple, Uriah Heep, Iron Butterfly and Bloodrock, with occasional nods to the soulful elements of Grand Funk.

Storming opener It Couldn’t Be Me is the most immediate track, although other rockers of note include No Time, Realization and In The Night. Meanwhile, doom fans will appreciate the epic dirge of The Death Trip. Although Power Of Zeus were a Christian rock band, that’s only really evident after close scrutiny of their lyrics.

Despite the sublime production and musicianship, each track becomes somewhat indistinguishable from the next. However, this is still a great album, and a must for aficionados.