Gus G. – I Am the Fire (Album review)

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Kostas Karamitroudis, better known as Gus G., hailing out of  ThessalonikiGreece made his way to Los Angeles, CA at the tender, but adult age of 18 to begin his music career in the late 1990’s. In the past sixteen years since his arrival in North America, Gus G. has accomplished a lot including beginning his successful band Firewind and working with the likes of some of the metal scenes biggest bands including Nightrage and Arch Enemy to name a couple.   The biggest opportunity came for Gus G. back in 2009 when he was personally picked by the one and only Ozzy Osbourne to help return the Prince of Darkness to glory with the 2010 album Scream.  Now in 2014 Gus G. unleashes his first solo album titled I Am the Fire.

When thinking of a guitarist solo album, many may think that this is just going to be an overblown guitar solo where the guitar player can show off his skills that he would otherwise not be able to in a full band setting. If that thought crosses your mind you will be dead wrong.  The album starts off with the fast paced track, “My Will Be Done,” and “Blame It On Me,” featuring the vocals of Mats Levén who some may know from working with Yngwie Malmsteen on Facing the Animal (1997) and featured on Therion’s Gothic Kabbalah (2007). The two opening tracks coupled together is a wonderful start to the album because it’s full of rock-n-roll and metal throughout the tunes. Levén’s vocals are also featured later in the album on “Eyes Wide Open” and on the closing ballad “End of the Line.”

In a way, this album may remind listeners of the same approach legendary guitarist Slash produced with his self-titled debut Slash (2010), featuring different vocalist on a variety of tracks.  I Am the Fire does takes a similar approach, excluding Levén who is featured on more than one song. The album shows off the talents vocally and instrumentally of many well-known artists who have made names for themselves throughout the years.  One of the primary examples of such is the front man from Devour the Day (formerly of Egypt Central), Blake Allison, who lends his brutal and deep voice on the title track “I Am the Fire”.  Receiving airplay on SiriusXM channel Octane this song is bound to be a fan favorite.  Another example is Gus G.’s fellow Century Media label mate, Alexia Rodriguez of Eyes Set to Kill who belts out her beautiful voice on “Long Way Down”.  Other exciting vocal appearances including Tom S. Englund of Evergrey on the enchanting “Dreamkeeper” and Steel Panther’s Michael Starr on “Redemption”  Then there are the two instrumental tracks, “Vengeance” and “Terrified” which brings in two immensely talented bassists  Megadeth’s David Ellefson and Mr. Big’s Billy Sheehan.

I Am the Fire is a solid and loud metal album with clean guitar playing, incredible singers, and even more hard rocking tunes. Mixed by Jay Ruston (Anthrax, Stone Sour, Steel Panther, etc.), the twelve tracks are well balanced and placed for an easy flowing listen. I Am the Fire is worth buying and adding to your collection.  CrypticRock give this album 4 out of 5.

Century Media
Century Media
Review written by Felicia Rose

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