Gus G – Brand New Revolution


Ozzy’s guitarist returns with a new solo album…

Review by Allan Jones

Century Media

Release Date: 24 July 2015

As I’m assaulted by the blistering pace of the opening track ‘The Quest’ and its furious fretwork, I’m wondering if I’ve been misled and this is an instrumental album. Suddenly, three minutes in, all of the distortion and drums drops away to leave a pretty piece of pseudo-classical guitar work that sees out the end of the track. I’m a bit stumped by it, to be honest. Is this just a demonstration of playing ability? Is it a promise of what’s to follow on the album?

Thankfully, the following track ‘Brand New Revolution’ does actually have a vocal – and a damn fine one it is, too, provided by Jacob Bunton of Adler and Lynam. The list of guest vocalists that he’s brought along for the ride on the rest of the album include Elize Ryd (Amaranthe), Jeff Scott Soto (Talisman, ex Journey) and Mats Leven (Candlemass, ex Yngwie Malmsteen). His Firewind bandmate Johan Nunez accompanies on the drums alongside bassist Marty O Brien (Lita Ford and Tommy Lee), too, and their contributions are no less important than the accomplished guitar work.

The fiddly fretwork of the first track gives way to something with a more metal feel to it, and by the third track ‘Burn’ all is forgiven and we’re settled into something far more enjoyable. All of the proficiency and speed displayed in the opener is still there, but now it’s been harnessed into creating songs rather than something that feels like a technical demonstration.

Every solo is fast and furious, but in many ways, the solos are the weakest part of the songs – the rest is almost completely forgotten in service to the mighty axe. With a little more restraint, for example, ‘We Are One’ could have been a contender for metal track of the year – as it stands, the unneccessary sweep picking at the end of the solo just feels jarring. That said, it probably only bothers me because I can’t play that fast and I’m jealous.

Digging up some Firewind and Dream Evil for comparison, I’m struck that this album feels like a major refinement. The production is better, and the songs get more room to breathe as a result. The multiple vocalists are another plus point – they add a touch more tonal variation (spectacularly so on Elize’s ‘What Lies Below’) that separates the tracks from one another. That said, it’s nowhere as heavy as The Book of Heavy Metal or Between Heaven and Hell. Perhaps unsurprisingly, it’s closest in feel to his previous solo album I Am The Fire – but it’s heavier, and far better for it. It’s safe to say that if you like any of Gus G’s previous work, you won’t be disappointed. If you’re not a fan already, then I’d say skip the first track and if you enjoy the rest, dig up his back catalogue if you want something even heavier and more excessive to listen to.

Gus G – BrandNewRevolution7 out of 10

Track Listing:

  1. The Quest
  2. Brand New Revolution
  3. Burn
  4. We Are One
  5. What Lies Below
  6. Behind Those Eyes
  7. Gone To Stay
  8. One More Try
  9. Come Hell Or High Water
  10. If It Ends Today
  11. Generation G
  12. The Demon Inside