Gus G - 'Brand New Revolution'

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Gus G - 'Brand New Revolution'

Gus G once again proves why his talent is increasingly one of the most sought after in the business.

One of the most noteworthy, if not prolific, guitar talents to emerge in the last decade or so, Greek shredmeister Gus G is rapidly turning into a real force of nature. Ever since the Thessaloniki native first made waves at the tender age of eighteen, he's rarely been far from the front pages of the myriad of Rock and Metal media.

Stints with bands such as Dream Evil, Nightrage and Mystic Prophecy were a vital stepping stone in establishing his identity in the early days, but it was with his own band (the brilliant Firewind) that his standing within the industry really began to grow in stature. Inevitably, his six string talents were destined to catch the eye and it was no real surprise when everyone's favourite eccentric uncle Ozzy Osbourne gave him the chance to prove himself to a worldwide audience. Grasping the once in a lifetime opportunity with both hands he not only helped Osbourne mould his strongest album in years (2010's 'Scream'), but also worked his ass off to embed the Firewind brand with a whole new audience and launch a parallel solo career to boot.

Released just over a year ago, his 'I Am The Fire' debut took a lot of people by surprise; not least because it was a largely vocal affair which allowed GG to explore many different sounds and styles that wouldn't have been so easy to introduce elsewhere. And although barely a year has passed since its release, he already has a follow-up ('Brand New Revolution') primed and ready for take-off.

Aside from the caustic instrumental 'The Quest' which opens the album in particularly uncompromising style, like its predecessor this release is also an entirely vocal affair. Featuring contributions from such luminaries as Mats Leven, Jeff Scott Soto, Elize Ryde and Jacob Bunton, recorded under the aegis of both Jay Ruston and Mike Fraser, 'Brand New Revolution' picks up where '...Fire' left off. When a lot of guitarists "go solo" they use the opportunity to showcase their fret-board talents at the expense of everything else, not so GG. Yes, his firebrand fret-board pyrotechnics are certainly well in evidence throughout, but not at the expense of some rather good songs.

Again proffering a revolving conundrum of moods and styles – crushingly heavy one minute, coy and reflective the next – tracks like 'The Demon Inside' (with Leven), 'Gone To Stay' (with Soto) and the ethereal 'What Lies Below' (with Ryd) all display hitherto unexplored facets of our hero's psyche. Heavy on the atmospherics, characterised by multihued light and shade and deftly balancing angst with melody, Gus G once again proves why his talent is increasingly one of the most sought after in the business.

Dave Cockett

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