'Brand New Revolution'
Release Date: July 24th 2015
The Greek guitar god, and Ozzy Osbourne wing man, follows up 2014s 'I Am The Fire' with another blast of wizardry, 'Brand New Revolution'.
The role of sole guitarist in Ozzy Osbourne's band has without doubt over the years been a poisoned chalice. Tragedy, deceit and addiction are just a few of the factors that heralded the end of Randy Rhodes, Jake E Lee and Zakk Wylde's association with the Prince Of Darkness.
But since 2009, Greek maestro, Gus G has been manning the post superbly and without a sniff of controversy. As well as his involvement with the legendary Brummie, he is also lead guitarist for Greek power Metallers Firewind who since 2002 have released an impressive seven studio albums, the last one being 2012s 'Few Against Many'. But one year on from his last solo effort, the 34 year old has kept his creative juices flowing like lava to bring us 'Brand New Revolution'.
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And just like on 'I Am The Fire', he has rounded up an impressive glut of vocal talent. Jacob Bunton (Adler), Jeff Scott Soto (Yngwie Malmsteen), Mats Leven (Candlemass), and Elize Ryd (Amaranthe) all lend their individual talents to give this album a wide variety of style and substance.
But on opening track 'The Quest', Gus takes centre stage and more than marks his territory with an ear splitting instrumental. Featuring numerous changes of pace throughout, the track never loses its mojo, even when it culminates in some chic classical guitar.
The next three tracks see Jacob Bunton take the mic with exceptional results. First up, title track, 'Brand New Revolution', a high octane slice of no nonsense melodic Metal, which also boasts a highly charged addictive chorus. 'Burn' takes things down the modern Metal route, but at the same time still maintains pure hard rock traits, a song that wouldn't be lost on a Velvet Revolver album, such is the sleaze ridden vibe.
A more traditional rock twist is taken on 'We Are One', with Gus showing great restraint with his playing and still turning in a killer riff.
The angelic power of Elize Ryd's vocals steals the show completely on 'What Lies Below'; even Gus G's big box of magic can't outshine this performance. A dark and futuristic sounding song that cascades in victorious melody. Probably Bunton's best performance lies in the power ballad 'Behind Those Eyes', a perfectly produced track thanks to some expert twiddling from Jay Ruston, a man responsible for cracking the whip on Anthrax, Stone Sour and Steel Panther albums.
Jeff Scott Soto makes his entrance on the funky thump of 'Gone To Stay', but to be honest his efforts pale in comparison to that of Bunton, who signs off on 'One More Try', yet another beast of a ballad that firmly hits the spot.
The mayhem returns with 'Come Hell Or High Water' with Sweden's Mats Leven unleashing his demonic yell like a man happily possessed. Gus G stated in a recent press release that most of the tracks on this album were recorded live; you more than get that vibe here as that ragged demo feel grips this track entirely.
While G lets loose yet more flawless fret abuse on 'If It Ends Today', the positivity ends there as this track is a lightweight in comparison to its predecessor's. Soto sublimely delivers on Generation G, a track that intertwines new and old metal traits, a stone wall winner if it gets an airing live. Though probably lacking in melody, its trashy vibe more than masks that minor flaw.
Compared to the robust opening of the album, closing track 'The Demon Inside' is a much more dark and subdued affair. That said, its chilling and macabre feel works brilliantly, the slow burning rhythm packs a firm punch and is a titanic finale.
Gus G comes across on this record as a man with a minuscule musical ego, his glorious playing never imposes on the quality of the songs, which is a rarity in musicians of this quality.
Brand New Revolution (feat Jacob Bunton)
Burn (feat Jacob Bunton)
We Are One (feat Jacob Bunton)
What Lies Below (feat Elize Ryd)
Behind Those Eyes (feat Jacob Bunton)
Gone To Stay (feat Jeff Scott Soto)
One More Try (feat Jacob Bunton)
Come Hell Or High Water (feat Mats Levin)
If It Ends Today (feat Mats Levin)
Generation G (feat Jeff Scott Soto)
The Demon Inside (feat Mats Levin)
Gus G - Guitars
Marty O'Brien - Bass