|Posted on December 11, 2014 at 11:05 PM|
Gus G – I Am The Fire
Written by Dave Smiles
For those who don’t know Gus G, he’s the guitar wiz from Firewind, a band playing the complex style known as Power Metal, so Gus G just has to be good. How Good? Well he recently gained the coveted lead guitar spot in Ozzy Osbourne’s band, which adds him to the list of legendary guitarists to have played next to the heavy metal legend -Tony Iommi, Randy Rhodes, Jake E. Lee and Zakk Wylde.
With the avenues to perform Power Metal and traditional Heavy Metal in check, Gus G’s next creative outlet is his first solo album - I Am The Fire. To be honest it took a few listens for me to appreciate it, but it is well worth the effort. While I had no doubt this was Gus G the modern rock / metal influences were a little unexpected like the vocals from Blake Allison (Devour The Day) on I Am The Fire and Alexia Rodriguez (Eyes Set To Kill) on Long Way Down. But I soon realised this album could have easily become just a shred fest and Gus G is broadening himself musically. After all, it is a solo album so it should be different to his usual stuff.
The album focuses on song writing and performances, regardless of the various guests featured within. The diverse and dexterous playing goes towards achieving various moods and textures within the thirteen tracks.
Instrumental tracks like Vengeance (featuring David Ellefson) with its hammer and nails riffing and mid time shredding and Terrified (featuring Billy Sheehan) with its awesome guitar harmonies, still bring the metal / shred elements to the album.
Mats Levén (of Yngwie Malmsteen fame) features on four tracks. My Will Be Done and the awesome Blame It On Me. Both have cool riffs and impressive solos and in the case of the latter a catchy chorus. He brings a dark and menacing vibe to the mid paced Eyes Wide Open and is possibly at his best on the acoustic piece End Of The Line, which progresses through different dynamics and is one of the most interesting tracks on the album.
Redemption features Steel Panther’s Michael Starr. It is easy to forget just how good Starr is until he takes things a little more seriously like he does here. Summer Days is one of those tracks that just stands out with a catchy chorus that is brought to life by the vocals of Jeff Scott Soto, also of Malmsteen fame. The ballad Dreamkeeper has the best solo on the album. It builds from sustained single notes to some awesome shredding before allowing some room to breathe before a fade out. Evergrey’s Tom S. Englund sings on this.
Ultimately there is something for everybody on this album and it is good to hear a musician using a solo album as an opportunity to take a few chances and try something new.
Categories: Album Reviews