Release: April 20, 2018
In a world where only the best come out on top, Gus G. is one of the most respected and renowned rock metal guitarists of our time. He played the biggest stages worldwide between 2009 and 2017 as a member of superstar Ozzy Osbourne’s band and enhanced Ozzy’s album Scream (2010) with his amazing dexterity. In addition, Gus has been a known quantity on the melodic power metal scene as the founder and figurehead of his own group Firewind for some twenty years and can look back on eight studio albums and numerous tours so far. The third pillar of his exceptionally fruitful career is his work as a solo artist, having released his two much acclaimed albums I Am The Fire (2014) and Brand New Revolution (2015). Gus is now set to continue this successful series with Fearless which will be released on April 20 2018 through AFM Records.
At the same time, Fearless also marks the beginning of another chapter: his new band is a power trio featuring vocalist/bassist Dennis Ward (Pink Cream 69/Unisonic) and drummer Will Hunt (Evanescence, Black Label Society). The exceptional Greek-born guitarist has recorded twelve new songs with this line-up: nine vocal numbers and three instrumentals.
Don't Tread On Me
Nothing To Say
Money For Nothing
Thrill Of The Chase
Last Of My Kind
“Dennis and I have collaborated very closely for a number years, he produced the current Firewind album Immortals, among other things. We’re on the same musical wavelength and simply continued our cooperation after the Firewind production,” Gus describes his relationship with the multitalented German-American. “I sent him demos of and ideas for my new songs and once we had enough material and started to think about vocalists, Dennis suggested recording the album as a trio. A lot of people don’t realise that Dennis is not only a brilliant songwriter, bassist and producer but also an excellent singer. I immediately liked his suggestion because he’s very different from Firewind and everything I’ve done with Ozzy.” It was only a short step from Ward’s suggestion to the enlistment of drummer Will Hunt. Gus: “Will was at the very top of my wish list. Fate smiled on me because we played at the Frankfurt music fair 2017 during my tour with Steve Stevens, and Will stayed at the same hotel. So I approached him, we talked for a while and he agreed. Last August he came to the studio and recorded the drum parts for the whole album within two and a half days. A real pro with a great groove and an awesome punch.”
The first time I listened to Gus G was actually live, right after the first show I’ve ever saw of Kobra and the Lotus and before Kamelot. I was heavily impressed and since I saw ‘’Fearless’’ on the release list I became so excited!
‘’Fearless’’ starts with ‘’Letting Go’’, a very solid track with a lot of heavy guitar riffs. The lyrics are kind of cheesy but not in a bad way. ‘’Mr Manson’’ has a very good rhythm and I like the electronic influences. Up till now I seem to hear some eighties influences, which make a perfect combination with the more metal parts of the music. The same goes for ‘’Don't Tread On Me’’ actually. Title track ‘’Fearless’’ and ‘’Thrill Of The Chase’’ are by far the most metal songs on this album. They have no vocals, so you can focus on Gus G’s extreme talent. Usually I am bothered by songs having no vocals, but there are some (symphonic) exceptions to this rule. Gus G is one of those exceptions.
I understand that albums need to have their slower songs too, but in this case ‘’Nothing To Say’’ kind of brings down the vibe of the album. When I saw ‘’Money For Nothing’’ right after I already had a feeling that it was a Dire Straits cover. I am still puzzled to this day why they chose that song specifically, as the Dire Straits are not really that metal. Anyway, the cover is amazingly done, and they even updated some of the lyrics here and there! In ‘’Chances’’ I again hear a bit of that eighties vibe, and some high pitched vocals from Dennis. ‘’Big City’’ and ‘’Last Of My Kind’’ close off the album with some catchy choruses and some kick-ass guitar solos!
I really enjoyed listening to this album, but there are a few things I need to say. I liked the instrumental tracks the most, but that was not because of Dennis is voice, they had the most speed and sounded more metal than the rest,. Those songs stood out for me. I’d rate ‘’Fearless’’ by Gus G an 8 out of 10.
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Gus G. (Guitars)
Dennis Ward (Bass, Vocals)
Will Hunt (Drums)