I Am The Fire

Gus G.

Gus G. has a mighty reputation on the metal scene nowadays, from forging his identity […]
By Dan Mailer
March 24, 2014
Gus G. - I Am The Fire album cover

Gus G. has a mighty reputation on the metal scene nowadays, from forging his identity as a member of bands such as FIREWIND and ARCH ENEMY, to becoming a member of Ozzy Osbourne's band since 2009, he is a name at the forefront of people minds when talking about modern guitar playing. He has finally released solo album, with a stellar lineup of guest singers and musicians, from EVERGREY's Tom Englund to MEGADETH's Dave Ellefson, and it's full of great musicianship and songwriting to back it up!

Starting off with two songs featuring former Yngwie singer Mats Levén, "My Will Be Done" and "Blame it On Me" get down to business right away with no nonsense riffs and a really nice strong vocal performance too. Title track "I Am The Fire" follows this up with some more awesome playing and another good vocal performance from DEVOUR THE DAY singer Blake Allison. Next up is the awesome "Vengeance", a meaty instrumental with lots of chops on show and some awesome musical moments. It also features Dave Ellefson, and he doesn't just phone it in; this is a really awesome bass performance from one of the greatest metal bass players of all time. "Long Way Down" is a cool song featuring the female vocals of Alexia Rodriguez from EYES SET TO KILL. What I like about this one was that it shows Gus G.'s ability to write songs for various different styles and singers. He's managed to write something that really suits a completely different vocal style to many of the others on the album.

"Just Can't Let Go" features Jacob Burton from Adler and this is another well written song with lots of nice vocal harmonies and some chunky guitar riffs followed up with an awesome solo! "Terrified" comes in next with some powerful riffs and speed, all helped by the power of Billy Sheehan's technical wizardry on the bass. This is another well written instrumental track with lots of technique involved, and Sheehan really supports the track really well, and it's nice to hear just how differently he approaches this sort of thing to Ellefson from the earlier track. Mats Levén makes a comeback for the next track, "Eyes Wide Open", which opens with another awesome chunky riff before giving way to his vocals again. He does another stellar job here, plenty of grit and aggression yet holding on to that melody throughout. This song is once again punctuated by an awesome guitar solo that really works well with the musical backing.

"Redemption" is a great track featuring a powerful overall sound supported by a great vocal from Michael Starr from Steel Panther. It's nice to hear him in a more serious style and he really pulls it off quite well! This is a beefy song full of riffs and some great drumming too. Jeff Scott Soto fronts the next track, an almost power ballad with a bit more metal and grit behind it, "Summer Days". This is a really well performed track with plenty of emotion behind it. "Dreamkeeper" carries on from this track with Tom Englund's proving to be a real driving force. The song is another kind of ballad, with nice acoustic guitars and great vocal harmonies, and a nice emotive solo to finish it off. "End Of Line" aptly closes the album, with one final performance by Mats Levén. Opening up with more clean guitars, this song builds up nicely with lots of different moments, from quieter and more contemplative moments to heavy guitar riffs later on, and this finishes the album in a really nice way.

The production is absolutely stellar here, with powerful sounding drums and bass supporting chunky guitars and really well performed and produced vocals. Everything gels together really well and the sound overall is really tight.

This is a really good album from Gus G., showcasing not only his own talents but those of some really great vocalists and musicians, with thoughtful songwriting and great musicianship all around.

9 / 10

Almost Perfect

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"I Am The Fire" Track-listing:

1. My Will Be Done (feat. Mats Levén)
2. Blame It On Me (feat. Mats Levén)
3. I Am The Fire (feat. Devour The Day)
4. Vengeance (feat. David Ellefson)
5. Long Way Down (feat. Alexia Rodriguez)
6. Just Can't Let Go (feat. Jacob Bunton)
7. Terrified (feat. Billy Sheehan)
8. Eyes Wide Open (feat. Mats Levèn)
9. Redemption (feat. Michael Starr)
10. Summer Days (feat. Jeff Scott Soto)
11. Dreamkeeoer (feat. Tom S. Englund )
12. End Of The Line (feat.Mats Levèn)

Gus G. Lineup:

Gus G. - Guitars
Various Artists

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