Very few of you would probably argue about Gus G being one of the guitar heroes of the 21st century. The Greek prodigy has been doing tricks for the likes of Nightrage, Firewind, Dream Evil, Arch Enemy and Ozzy and I’m just sitting here drooling over those names. After deciding that still won’t suffice, he decided to start making albums under his “own” name. With ‘Brand New Revolution’, we’ve come to his second solo effort after last year’s ‘I Am The Fire’.
Musically, Gus’ solo albums remind mostly of the things he did with Firewind. Me being quite a fan of especially the first albums with singer Stephen Fredrick – Apollo Papathanassio not so much – I should go check out this new work.
Starting off this new album with some fierce riffing and soloing is the instrumental track The Quest, reminding of Firewind’s The Fire And The Fury. Once more evidence is delivered that Gus is one of the most instantly recognizable modern day guitarists.
The title track comes up next with some pumping drums and a chorus that really sticks with you. On vocals we get to hear Lynam’s singer Jacob Bunton, who has taken charge of vocal duties on five tracks. Together with Mats Levén (3), Jeff Scott Soto (2), Elize Ryd (1) and of course the instrumental, that makes for a total of twelve tracks.
The fans of more commercial sounding hard rock will get their money’s worth on the Bunton songs. We Are One is one more of those ear worms that really stick with you and succeed in getting you singing along inside your head from the very first time you hear it. What Lies Below, with Amaranthe’s Elize Ryd on vocals, starts with some electric drumming and heavy riffing. The chorus on the other hand is very melodic and delightfully intense. The solo on the other hand has a slightly overdone feel to me, but it’s still a guitar shredder’s solo album after all.
Behind Those Eyes starts out as a power ballad, but one with quite some heavy riffing during the chorusses. That voice that comes greeting once we’ve come to Gone To Stay is unmistakeably from the one and only Jeff Scott Soto. The chorus reminds me a little of the one from What Lies Below, with the great vocal melodies and high intensity. The song title One More Try might hint towards Gus and Bunton giving one more try towards creating a power ballad, nailing it perfectly this time. Slightly clichéd melody and lyrics, this one makes for a great ballad. Gus slightly struggling to keep a low profile but succeeding in the end.
With the end approaching, it’s Levén’s time to shine. Come Hell Or High Water doesn’t really strike me, but with the next If It Ends Today, the former Therion and Yngwie Malmsteen singer performs some very convincing work. These must be the first double bass drums on the entire album!
With his second solo effort, Gus convinces the world that he’s not only an amazingly talented guitar player with an instantly recognizable style, but more so than some of his collegues, he knows how to write songs that don’t stand or fall with the guitar solos. Take away the guitar muscle flexing of most of Slash’ or Yngwies more recent work and it leaves you with close to nothing. With big guitar heroes being more and more considered to be something from the past, Gus is a great relief to guitar enthusiasts such as myself.