Gus G. – Brand New Revolution (Century Media)Sunday, 12th July 2015
Never one to rest on his laurels, current Ozzy guitarist and Firewind main man Gus G. isn’t letting his sideline status close off the idea fountain while the original Black Sabbath twirls for one final album/world tour. Brand New Revolution comes a little over a year after his I Am the Fire offering that met with a wide array of mixed opinions as its modern hard rock/metal stance differs from the normal power/shred metal that put him on the map. Promising a ‘heavier’ product and axe prowess could swing the naysayers back, and one thinks for the most part the Greek guitar god succeeds – especially given the vocal support on display.
Unlike the 7 vocalists who filled out the previous effort, the 11 vocal led songs only showcase 4 separate singers. Adler crooner Jacob Bunton takes on the most through his five songs, a range very much ready for corporate radio takeover to hit all the right money notes for the choruses of “Behind Those Eyes” and the sleazy, semi-grungy meets surprisingly Prince of Darkness oriented title cut. Current Candlemass front man Mats Levén appears on multiple cuts towards the end, “Come Hell or High Water” more in the classic melodic hard rock mold while “The Demon Inside” contains the album’s most introspective and ominous riff collection, befitting of the man’s impressive metal larynx and kaleidoscope of mood shapes.
The most interesting appearance happens to be that of Amaranthe’s Elize Ryd on “What Lies Below” – a heavier undercurrent of chugging guitars plus electro-dance grooves gives the seductive siren ample room to shine. Gus G. may keep most of the songs in a commercial slant, but with the opening instrumental “The Quest” he illustrates all the tapping, arpeggio scales, and intricacies that make him the power metal hero to behold – and there’s plenty to enjoy about the lead work for “Gone to Stay” and the aforementioned “What Lies Below”.
Not as much of a time-waster as expected, the long-timers are hoping the ship steers upon Firewind horizons sooner rather than later – as Gus G.’s got the skills and tools that serve him best in a band-oriented format.