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Gus G: I am The Fire

Greece's Mega Shredder Gets Down WIth His Mates

It's usually with a sigh and a raise of the eyebrow that musicians announce a solo album. There are exceptions - Steven WIlson, Ihsahn, er... George Michael - but when it comes to shredders there's usually no justifying the self indulgent twaddle they flog in the interest of creative freedom.

Capitalising on his success with Ozzy and Firewind, this timely solo effort from Gus G thankfully does not see the six string whizz kid indulging in noodling at the expense of a solid album. Boasting more guests than you can shake a whammy bar at, including Candlemass crooner Mats Levén, Billy Sheehan, Dave Ellefson and Michael Starr, Gus interweaves with a blend of Classic Rock styled taut and precision and fluid melody. Some songs lack pulling power, like the Jeff Scott Soto-led Summer Days, like a limp Bon Jovi cover, but there are gems, most noticeably the pop-rock-inspired title track featuring Blake Allison from Devour The Day and the two instrumental songs: a friendly nod to Racer X in Vengeance and the Malmsteen era _Terrified. _Michael Starr’s straight faced turn on Redemption is a particularly neat addition, seeing the Steel Panther funny man in a serious role for a change. Not a five star record, but definitely an all star cast.