Bart M. : Planet Of Zeus have been playing live in their homeland since 2000, and of course later also in other countries. They have released four albums since 2008, the second of which ('Macho Libre') has gained them some fame and recognition abroad, as well as including two singles, 'Leftovers' and 'Vanity Suit', that have been a part of their live performances ever since. Two years after the release of their latest studio album these guys return to the capital of Athens to record this live album in front of a clearly audible enthusiastic audience.
It is a good moment to do a live album, because four albums generally have enough material to have a diverse and full evening's worth of entertainment. What we see is Planet Of Zeus presenting a nice balance that consists of songs from all of their albums and not just "newer" material. I usually don't like it much when a band mainly plays stuff from their latest record, because I often do not know those songs by heart yet and thus my enjoyment of them is less. This is what happens when you get older. The audience on this disc clearly does not suffer from that as there are more than a few passages that they sing along with passionately. Planet Of Zeus shows the world they work very well together and their sound is dynamic and natural. The songs fit together really well and there is no point at which they sound boring or tired as we are sung past songs like 'Loyal To The Pack', 'No Tomorrow' and 'Stab Me'. There is also plenty of interaction between the band and the audience, obviously in their native language, which makes a lot of sense even though not everyone listening to this record will understand it. The only point of criticism - and I realize full well that I may not get any support in this - is the five minute drumsolo that is the introduction to 'Vanity Suit'. As far as I am concerned this never really adds anything to any show and is often just an obligatory thing. Fortunately, after that we are treated to the strong as hell song 'The Beast Within' before the band closes off their show with a lovely, longer and spontaneous version of 'Vigilante'.
'Live In Athens' has something for everyone. To the fans it is a stunning collection of songs that they are now able to listen to in a live environment and to the people who are not familiar with Planet Of Zeus yet it is a great way of being introduced to the tasty riffs of this band.